Yoho and Kootenays Visit - September - ClubTread Community

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post #1 of (permalink) Old 02-28-2017, 11:28 AM Thread Starter
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Default Yoho and Kootenays Visit - September

Hi everyone

We'll be out in your neck of the woods this September and are looking for some information to get all our ducks in a row.

We hear Lake O'Hara is highly recommended and we are trying to fit this in to our itinerary, because Yoho!

Question 1: My main reason for asking so far in advance. I've seen several mentions of calling ahead and booking a spot - is this specifically in reference to the bus tours? Or do we need a reservation for a day hike, driving ourselves in?

Following the trail map from dougz here (Lake O'Hara, Sept 5-7, 2016) I was wondering about this route: Lakeshore trail to Lake Oesa trail, follow Yukness Ledges Alpine Route back to East Opabin and back around the bottom of Lake O'Hara.

Question 2: What sort of time should be set aside for a route like this? We are both experienced Ontario hikers but I know that doesn't necessarily equate to experienced BC hikers, so go for a little padding of the timeframes
As this was an addition to our trip, we're trying to fit it in between leaving Tonquin (we'll be at Astoria campsite, hiking out the ~7km that morning) and arriving at Johnston to camp that night. We don't mind arriving at Johnston in the dark, as the camp is set right next to the truck, but we'd prefer not being out on the trail in the dark (twilight is fine).

Question 3: will this route take us past those Must-See views? Is there another trail section we should consider adding, if time permits? Or taking another route instead?

---
For Kootenays, we're looking for some suggestions to stop along the 93 through the park. Marble Creek and Paint Pots were suggested, and the Kootenay Valley Viewpoint - any other quick stops we should consider, or switch out for? We'll be camping at Redstreak and visiting the Hot Springs as well.

TIA
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 02-28-2017, 02:09 PM
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Question 1: My main reason for asking so far in advance. I've seen several mentions of calling ahead and booking a spot - is this specifically in reference to the bus tours? Or do we need a reservation for a day hike, driving ourselves in?
You can't drive yourself to Lake O'Hara. It is forbidden. Once you are up you can go anywhere you like, but you have 11km access road. Bus reservation is one huge mess & good luck with it. I never bother; just march up the road, 1.5 - 2hours and it can easily be hiked with headlamp. Bikes are forbidden too.

Once up, the best thing you can do is full alpine circuit, of which Yukness Ledges dougz did is just 1 part. For fit team it is feasible as day trip (road up-down + Alpine Circuit).

For example how glorious this looks see: O(h) Hara. Oh Yes!

Not sure about logistics of your trip, but if you can try to book campsite & give yourself few days to explore this wonder. My personal favorite is Lake McArthur basin: O'Hara inversions: Mt Schaffer

I am extremely familiar with whole area so feel free to ask anything else
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 02-28-2017, 06:03 PM
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Hi everyone

We'll be out in your neck of the woods this September and are looking for some information to get all our ducks in a row.

We hear Lake O'Hara is highly recommended and we are trying to fit this in to our itinerary, because Yoho!

Question 1: My main reason for asking so far in advance. I've seen several mentions of calling ahead and booking a spot - is this specifically in reference to the bus tours? Or do we need a reservation for a day hike, driving ourselves in?"

Unless you plan on hiking up the road (I believe you can take the bus down if there is room) you will need a reservation (either for camping or for the bus to take you in for a day hike). You can only drive as far as the parking lot off of Highway 1.


Reservations for camping open April 3, 2017 at 8 a.m. MDT
Reservations for the bus open April 20, 2017 at 8 a.m. MDT


This is a painful process as you need to call in and there is (I believe) only 1 person taking reservations. Last year it took me 2 hours of busy signals to finally get through (and unfortunately due to illness I had to cancel)


Another great hike in Yoho is Iceline which makes for a long day hike, or you can overnight at Little Yoho


Cheers


K
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 02-28-2017, 06:47 PM
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I believe you can take the bus down if there is room
Yes. And last bus is 6:30pm. It is still not free; last season it was $10 just for trip down ($15 both ways). It seems this is what lots of locals do nowdays; walk-up then ride down.

I used to be able to 'hitch' a ride up -- i.e. show up 15 min before departure and somebody always cancels or doesn't show up. NOt anymore; last couple of years, even if there were clearly couple of seats left in the bus they wouldn't take me - I think it is change of policy. So I really don't bother anymore. In a way it is better because it is way more flexible; I start when I want and I go back when I want.

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post #5 of (permalink) Old 03-01-2017, 12:06 PM
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You don't say exactly when in Sept but as echoed here Lake O'Hara is a bit of a zoo. Personally, I would trade in the time you've committed to O'Hara and some Kootenay stops for one four day Kootenay Rockwall backpack although it is done in three as well. Equally stunning scenery and with a little luck the larches may turn.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 03-02-2017, 07:19 PM Thread Starter
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Looks like we'll be making a few trips out there!

Rockwall does certainly look stunning. I wish we had time to add that in! (Thanks for adding to my list! )
Are there any quick stops along 93 that we should be looking for? 'Quick' being up to maybe 6 hrs. If there are a few shorter ones it just means we can add more for the day!

Thanks for the info about the buses. We've decided to try and get a camp site at Lake O'Hara instead of Johnston. Fingers crossed. We're not too worried about the bus; we'll try and call in, but the 11km hike in is fine if we can't get through, since we would then be staying the night anyway.
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 03-02-2017, 07:26 PM
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ID:	194641Hey Dayle

if in Kootenay Park, you must do Stanley Glacier. Lovely. Not much of a glacier there nowadays but if you hike ALL the way to back of the valley, past the official end of trail, you will end up on a magnificent shangri-la escarpment with amazing views down and across the valley. Here's my TR from a few years back. This would make a nice hike fitting easily in that six hour range you're looking for along Hwy 93

Stanley Glacier - Kootenay National Park
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 03-02-2017, 08:03 PM
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yes, there are lots of nice stops. If you want easy stroll to very beautiful back-country lake, then Boom Lake trail is good idea. Think it's 5km (each way) but gentle & can easily be done in an hour (x 2). Once at the lake rough trail continues on the right side where you can also get some solitude.

Can't find a nice photo right now & this one really doesn't do justice, but to give you an idea
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 03-02-2017, 08:25 PM
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We're not too worried about the bus; we'll try and call in, but the 11km hike in is fine if we can't get through, since we would then be staying the night anyway.
If you can book campsite, then you booked bus as well

http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/pn-np/bc/yoh...erve-camp.aspx

Don't know your schedule, but if not in time crunch get 3 nights

Last edited by zeljkok; 03-02-2017 at 08:33 PM.
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 03-03-2017, 12:56 PM
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If you can book campsite, then you booked bus as well

http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/pn-np/bc/yoh...erve-camp.aspx

Don't know your schedule, but if not in time crunch get 3 nights

This is the main reason why they open camping reservations a few weeks earlier. Day hikers only get the remaining space on the bus after people staying at the lodge and campers (not sure if the ACC hut folks need to book the bus separately)


The best way to guarantee a spot at Lake O'Hara is to stay at the lodge, but it is quite expensive (~$1400 for 2 people, 2 nights)
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