Lake O'Hara is a truly unique gem of a place located in Yoho National Park that should be on everyone's bucket list to visit. Parks Canada limits how many visitors can travel to the sensitive area to protect the natural beauty therefore you'll want to plan ahead and book a bus ticket to visit. The moment you step off the bus you are greeted by Lake O'Hara and expansive views that are beyond stunning. There are hiking trails for every skill level and even just a walk around the lake would be worth the trip to see this special place.

Parks Canada introduced a new lottery system in 2020 to book a bus ticket to visit. Reservations are required to take the bus to Lake O'Hara which is a 11km one way trip up to the lake. The bus operates from June to September (start and end dates vary year to year).

If you miss out on getting a reservation on the bus for the date you wish you visit you can walk the fire road which is 11km one way and then take the bus down for a one way cash fee IF there is room on the bus. Be prepared to walk the 22km walk in & out if you plan to walk up. Please note that buses do NOT stop for walkers. It's a long dusty road, no bikes are allowed. No pets are allowed on the bus but you can walk your dog up to the lake and back down. Keep in mind that walking the long dusty road means a 11 KM hike up the road to access Lake O'Hara and another 11KM back down the road if you don't get a seat on the bus on the way down. Which means you would hike 22KM on the dusty access road before even beginning your hike at Lake O'Hara. I definitely wouldn't recommend it.

You may also choose to stay at the incredible Lake O'Hara Lodge and it's surrounding cabins.  This would give you lots of time to explore the area and stay in some absolutely amazing cabins.  Staying in one of their lakeside cabins is number one on my bucket list.


Hello my name is Kirstie and I am a wedding photographer who specializes in photographing weddings & elopements in Banff, Canmore, Lake Louise & Emerald Lake. I’ve been photographing mountain weddings since 2004 and feel very lucky to call this place home. I live in Canmore with my husband Kevin and our 3 rescue dogs Mabel, Olive & Bandit.