Just because everybody want to see it, would it mean it really is beautiful?
This is what we say to ourselves for a while now, it seems Lake O’Hara is impossible to be reached: limited accesses with places sold out three months in advance, only available access with a 11 km long walk which we are not sure how steep it is. It does not scare us, but we are doubtful about its worthiness.
That’s it, today we have decided it is worth the walk, at least just to have a personal opinion about it. But before, we have a stop at Minnewanka Lake, just outside Banff town, where we spend the night at the overflow of the Two Jack campground, that’s basically a big parking lot uses as a campground for the late comers and the not booked.
We wake up early, the campground is already moving early in the morning and the total privacy lack – at the not so good price of 10,80 $ a night – don’t let us oversleep.
On the other side, we spend a lot of time for the breakfast and in the end we arrive at the beginning of the Lake O’Hara path after 10.30, losing whatever possibility we had to find a free spot on the bus.
We park and put on our backpacks and we begin to walk. The path is slightly steep, sourrounded by amazing landscapes all around it.
We do get ahead of some groups, both with children and elderly people: so, everybody can get to Lake O’Hara, you just need to really want it.
When we get close to the campground, on our right, we know we are almost there, and indeed after wome minutes we are on the lake shore.
It is really, really beautiful, but we feel something missing, even if we don’t know what.
Once here, we discover that a lot of trails start from here, all of them leading to some places which should be one better than the other. We have a look at our loyal guide and the many signs and decide for a path which leads to the McArthur Lake, not too far away but which should be stunning.
We immediately begin to walk, we are a little bit tight with the time since we have decided to try and jump on the bus back down and spare ourselves another 11 km. So, with a good pace, we start the walk.
Once we overcome the last hill, we can glimpse down in the anfitheather a turquoise spot, it nearly seem the Peyto Lake we have seen in Jasper National Park, the one famous all around the world for its colours.
Getting closer, it is hard to believe the colour of this lake really is the one we are seeing, it is so unbelievable it could be painted. Lake O’Hara? McArthur Lake is way, way better.
We spend some minutes here, watching the amazing waters of the lake, still having a hard time believing the colour of that is not some joke of our minds.
Then, screams and shouts coming from the shore distract us and we see a group of british senior having a dive in this frozen turquoise waters, naked and careless of our presence. They sure are some pretty tough men and one after another they have their jump. We think about it for just one second, but we are too good in our warm clothes.
A snack, bananas and chocolate, and we hit the trail again.
Right on time to catch the bus, we are back again at Lake O’Hara, walking by the Alpine Club of Canada, the Elisabeth Parker Hut, three little huts in a meadow, some kind of the Paradise on Earth.
In time for the bus, we still have time to enjoy Lake O’Hara for a little while more, it is not that bad in the end. Then, it’s time to get in line.
We really do catch the bus – the last available spots – and we end up on the luggage compartment, seated between bags and backpacks, but better this then walking all the way back, even because our day is still not done.
Some weeks ago, indeed, we went visiting the Moraine Lake and we found it so crowded. So we have resolved to come back again, in the evening maybe, just to have a little spot all for ourselves.
And since the lake is on our way back, why not to go!
We walk along the shore up to the end of the lake, where a river flows in this marvellous waters and there, we have a good dinner with some soup and some baby carrots, then we relax and enjoy the first lights of the sunset from the little hill at the beginning of the lake.
Our day is almost done, we have seen more lakes today than in the last whole week. We have no rush to come back, so we decide to drive on the Bow Valley Parkway, to enjoy a little more this lovely nature.
The perfect choice I would say: just minutes after entering it, we stop and stare to a big, fierce deer, with a huge pair of antlers, half moulted and slightly bloodish. It’s a little bit grim, unusual for sure, but still beautiful. It’s nature afterall.
We are pretty much satisfied by the day by now. It has been a super full day, marked by the discoveries and the natural beauties, we are enjoying our drive back at night when, just a pair of kilometers from home, we get aware of some dim Northern Lights!!!
Yep, it’s really dim, coming and going every now and then, but here it is, and finally another dream comes true.
We can definetly go to sleep happy and satisfied, so so happy.
This article is available : Italian