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  • Writer's picturePatrice Gagnon

Most Beautiful Spots in Lake O'Hara for Photography and Hiking Guide

Lake O'Hara is one of the most scenic areas in the world. It is fantastic for hiking, photography, and simply relaxing. The area has been a spot for painters and photographers interested in catching the magic on camera. In this article, we will discuss the most beautiful spots in lake O'Hara for photography and hiking guide.

Simply put, Lake O'Hara has a ton of beautiful locations prime for photography and hiking. The lakes, the mountains, the larch trees in autumn, there is always something to see when visiting Lake O'Hara.

Here are some of the most beautiful spots in Lake O'Hara for photography:

Lake O'Hara

Lake O'Hara, Lake O'Hara
Lake O'Hara

You can find this beautiful spot at the park entrance, where the bus drops you off. From here, you can see the lake and mountains around it. It is also an excellent place for photographers who want to take some pictures of the sunrise and sunset.

The best time to visit this place is early morning, as it will be less crowded than later in the day. This spot has many different viewpoints, but I recommend you go to the perspective near Lake O'Hara Lodge. This viewpoint offers excellent views of Lake O'Hara and its surroundings.

Your recommended gear would be a wide-angle lens (like Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6) so that you can capture more scenery at once when taking photos of this beautiful location.

Odaray Mountain

Odaray Mountain, Lake O'Hara
Odaray Mountain

The Odaray Mountain, a prominent peak in the Lake O'Hara region, is an ideal spot for photographers who want to capture the magnificent scenery of Lake O'Hara. From this point, you can see the entire Lake O'Hara valley and enjoy its beauty.

The best time to see the mountain is just before sunrise or right after sunset (at least one hour before dawn or after sunset). This way, the light will touch both sides of Mount Odaray with all its peaks and glaciers.

You don't need special gear to take photographs here; your smartphone will do just fine! However, if you want to take better pictures using your DSLR camera and lens, you are recommended to use a tripod to get sharp photos without any blurriness or motion blur.

Opabin Prospect

Opabin Prospect, Lake O'Hara
Opabin Prospect

Opabin Prospect is a viewpoint in Lake O'Hara, Canada. It is one of Lake O'Hara's most photographed spots, and photographers know it well. This spot is also known as "Opabin Falls".

The reason why this spot is so popular with photographers is because of its beauty and the variety of different views that you can take here. The scenery changes with every change in weather, so you will always find something new to photograph here.

There are many different viewpoints in this spot, and each one gives you a different perspective on the landscape around you.

If you want to get photos from these viewpoints without getting wet feet, then it's recommended to bring some waterproof boots or gaiters before going out there!

When visiting Opabin Prospect in Lake O'Hara, make sure you bring a tripod with you to take long-exposure photographs if it isn't too windy (and if you don't mind carrying it up!).

Cathedral Mountain

Cathedral Mountain, Lake O'Hara
Cathedral Mountain

A beautiful spot for photography, Cathedral Mountain is located in Lake O'Hara in Yoho National Park, Canada. This mountain is ideal for photographers looking to capture the beauty of the Canadian Rocky Mountains.

Cathedral Mountain offers stunning views of the Rocky Mountains, making it an excellent location to capture nature in its natural state. The mountain provides a unique view of the surrounding landscape, with its peak rising above the tree line and providing a bird's eye view of the forest below. The mountain also offers different viewpoints depending on where you decide to take your pictures, which allows you to capture different perspectives of this unique landscape.

The best type of photography that can be taken at Cathedral Peak includes landscapes and portraits. You could also get exciting shots with waterfalls or streams in front of the mountain range behind it.

The easiest way to find this location is by taking a hike through Lake O'Hara's trails or alpine routes. The hiking trails in Lake O'Hara are well maintained and marked by signs along the way. There are also multiple viewpoints along these trails where you can stop and take photos before moving to another spot nearby.

Lake McArthur

Lake McArthur, Lake O'Hara
Lake McArthur by M.E. Sanseverino

Lake McArthur is an excellent spot for photography in Lake O'Hara. The views from this lake are spectacular, and there are many different spots to take photos from.

This lake is located at the bottom of Mt Biddle and has fantastic scenery. The best time to go is at sunrise or sunset when there aren't many people around, and the mountains are lit up with golden light! There are plenty of different viewpoints around this area so there's no reason not to come back here multiple times!

You would be recommended to bring any camera gear with you on your trip! A telephoto lens would be helpful if you're trying to capture wildlife in the area and want some distance between yourself and your subject. Also, a tripod would be very beneficial because most of these shots require long exposures.

Mount Schaffer

Mount Schaffer, Lake O'Hara
Mount Schaffer

The mountain was named after James Hector Schaffer, an early explorer of the Canadian Rockies. This viewpoint is an excellent place for photography because it has some interesting angles that make for beautiful landscapes. The best time to photograph Mount Schaffer is during sunrise or sunset when some nice colors are in the sky.

Mount Shaffer can be observed from many of the trails in the Lake O'Hara trail network and is most notable for photographs from Lake O'Hara or Lake Schaffer.

Wiwaxy Peaks

Wiwaxy Peaks, Lake O'Hara
Wiwaxy Peaks

This is an excellent spot for photographers. There's a beautiful viewpoint from the Opabin Plateau, and it has a lot of different spots to take photos from.

This spot is perfect for photographers looking for a beautiful view of nature with some mountains in the background. It's also great for those who want to capture wildlife since many animals live in this area, such as deer and elk.

Any route to see the peaks involve hiking along a fairly steep trail, so be prepared for some physical exertion! If you're going to be shooting here regularly, I'd recommend getting yourself some good boots and hiking poles - it'll make your life much easier!

You can take photos here during all seasons of the year as there are always new things happening depending on what season it is (for example, during winter, there are no leaves on trees, so your background won't be as green as it would be during summer).

Opabin Plateau

Opabin Plateau, Lake O'Hara
Opabin Plateau

The Opabin Plateau is a beautiful, open meadow surrounded by mountains and lakes. It's located in the Lake O'Hara, Yoho National Park in British Columbia, Canada.

The name of this spot comes from the Cree word "opabin," which means "little lake." This area has many lakes, including Twin Lakes, Lake Oesa, and Opabin Lake. The water here is very cold and fresh because it comes directly from melting snow.

This spot is excellent for photographers who enjoy hiking or backpacking into remote areas with a lot of natural beauty to photograph. It's also a good place for photographers who want to capture unique angles on the mountains surrounding this meadow. This spot has many points of view, so there are many different ways to photograph it!

The recommended gear for this spot is a wide-angle lens (16-35mm), but if you want more zoomed-in shots, bring along a telephoto lens (70-200mm).

If you plan on visiting this spot and taking photos, I recommend getting up early so you can catch the sunrise over these beautiful landscapes before anyone else gets there. If you don't mind crowds at all, this spot can also be nice in the late afternoon/evening when fewer people are around.

If you have a chance, make sure to catch the Opabin Plateau in fall when the larch trees turn a big bright yellow. Truly a beautiful sight to see and photograph.

Yukness Ledges

Yukness Ledges, Lake O'Hara
Yukness Ledges

Yukness Ledges is a beautiful spot in Lake O'Hara. It is a popular spot for photographers and hikers alike.

The spot is accessible by hiking up the Aspen Grove Trail, which starts at the Lake O'Hara Lodge. The hike to get to this spot can be as short as an hour, but it can take longer depending on how far you choose.

Yukness Ledges is a good spot for photography because there are many different viewpoints. Several ledges have been carved out by time and weathering, creating interesting shapes and patterns in the rock face. These features are especially prominent during the winter when snow covers much of the area and accentuates these features even more than usual.

Some spots also have great views of other mountains and lakes nearby. These natural wonders are easily visible from Yukness Ledges once you're high enough on them.

Lake Oesa

Lake Oesa, Lake O'Hara
Lake Oesa

Lake Oesa is a beautiful alpine lake located in Yoho National Park, British Columbia, Canada. It is one of the most photographed spots in Lake O'Hara, and for a good reason! This spot is perfect for photographers who want to shoot expansive angle landscapes or telephoto wildlife shots. The best time to shoot here is during the morning when there is still snow in the mountains.

The best way to get here is by hiking from Lake O'Hara. By starting your hike early, you can also catch some stunning light on the surrounding mountains and some epic reflections off the lake (which are not always visible).

When shooting here, you should have a wide-angle or telephoto lens, depending on what type of photography you enjoy doing most often.

Seven Veils Falls

Seven Veils Falls is one of the most popular spots in Lake O'Hara. It's a short hike from the bus drop-off point and provides a scenic view of the falls. The hike down to the falls is about 500m (0.3 miles).

This spot is great for photographers because it has many different viewpoints. You can get close to the falls and see them from above or take photos from further away with a wide-angle lens. It's also possible to photograph people in front of these falls!

The best time to go here is during the summer when there is no snow on the ground because it will make it difficult for you to hike up to this spot. If you go on rainy days, then you may not be able to get close enough to take good photos of this waterfall because it gets full of mist.

You need to spend at least two hours hiking up and down from this spot, so ensure you have enough time before heading out there. Make sure that you wear proper footwear like hiking boots or trail shoes so that your feet do not get hurt while walking through snow-covered terrain.

You should also carry water with you because it gets very hot here even though it is located at a high altitude in the Banff National Park region, where temperatures are usually low during the summer months.

If you're planning on shooting bokeh in this spot, bring a telephoto lens with an aperture of f/2-f/4, such as a 35mm full-frame equivalent or 50mm full-frame equivalent (which would be suitable for portraits). If you want to shoot wide-angle lenses, bring something like 18mm-24mm full-frame equivalent or 24mm-35mm full-frame match.

Hungabee Lake

Hungabee Lake, Lake O'Hara
Hungabee Lake

Hungabee Lake is a beautiful spot for photography. The lake is located in the Lake O'Hara area and is a popular destination for hikers and photographers alike. The lake is surrounded by mountains and offers some great landscape views. This spot is especially popular with photographers who want to capture the mountain scenery.

The best way to get to this spot is by hiking to it. You can take any of the trails leading up to Lake O'Hara and then look for a trail that leads down towards Hungabee Lake. The trail will lead you right past the lake, so you won't have trouble finding it!

You recommend bringing a telephoto lens for this spot since there are no close viewpoints of Hungabee Lake (other than being there!). I also recommend getting a tripod since many steep inclines make taking photos difficult without using one.

The best time of year for photographing at Hungabee Lake is mid-September, when all the larch trees have turned yellow, allowing for great colorful reflections.


Grizzly, Lake O'Hara
Grizzly by 🇸🇮 Janko Ferlič

The Lake O'Hara area is a beautiful place to visit, especially for those who enjoy photography. The scenery is spectacular, and there are many unique opportunities to take pictures.

Several different animals can be seen in this area. The most common animal is the mountain goat. They can be seen high on the mountains in groups of about 20 or more goats. It's fascinating to see these animals so close!

Another animal you might see is a grizzly bear. You may see them along the trail leading up to Lake Macarthur, but they tend to stay away from humans unless they feel threatened or their food supply is threatened by people who feed them! They usually stick to higher elevations with fewer people, so they can avoid humans altogether if they wish!

If you want great photos of wildlife at Lake O'Hara, try hiking up into the high country above Lake Macarthur, where there isn't as much traffic from tourists looking for wildlife.

Most Beautiful Hikes

Lake O'Hara Trail Map

Lake O'Hara is home to one of the best trail networks in the rocky mountains! Due to the current bus lottery system, your chance of seeing this park may come down to a single day and you'll want to make the most of it, which is why I made this small guide for the most beautiful hikes in Lake O'Hara.

Here are some of the best and most beautiful hikes in Lake O'Hara:

Lake O'Hara

Lake O'Hara is a great hike in the Lake O'Hara region. The trail is well maintained and well-marked, with signs along the way. The total distance from the parking lot to Lake O'Hara is about 8 km one-way (16 km round trip) unless you take the bus that takes you right up to Lake O'Hara.

If you are hiking during the summer months, you will encounter a couple of creek crossings that can be challenging if there has been recent rain or snow melt. Due to heavy use, some sections have been built up so that crossing these creeks does not require getting your feet wet; however, at times when fewer people are using this trail, there may only be one bridge across each creek crossing which could require getting your feet wet if there has been recent rain or snow melt.

If you want to avoid getting your feet wet at all costs, I recommend hiking during early spring when there is still plenty of snow.

Lake Oesa

Lake Oesa is one of the most popular hikes in the Rockies. It's a relatively easy hike that can be done by anyone in good shape and with some endurance. The trailhead, located at the end of Lake O'Hara Road, is at an elevation of 240 meters.

The first part of the hike is a stroll along the shoreline until you get to O'Hara Lake. You'll have to climb up near the Yukness Ledges and then down again to Lake Oesa. This part of your journey will take about 30 minutes.

Lake Oesa is surrounded by mountains and glaciers, creating fantastic photography opportunities. It's also possible to see some wildlife such as marmots and ptarmigan on this hike if you're lucky!

I recommend bringing good hiking boots and poles so that you don't have any problems with your knees or ankles on this hike.

Opabin Plateau

The Opabin Plateau is a wonderful destination trail. On the way, you'll find many of the mountains listed in this article and some small lakes and ponds offering dreamlike landscapes and reflections.

This is an incredible hike for photographers as there are so many different vantage points that allow you to capture amazing photos of wildlife and landscapes.

Lake McArthur

Lake McArthur is one of the most beautiful spots in the Canadian Rockies. It's a relatively easy hike but has some challenging sections that test your fitness level.

You'll be taken through larch tree valleys and lakes along the way to your ultimate destination which is one of the most beautiful lakes in the Canadian Rockies.

Duchesnay Basin

Duchesnay Basin is a hiking trail in the heart of the Lake O'Hara region. The trail is relatively easy and can be done in a day. It is about 6.4 km long with an elevation gain of 230 m.

The trail takes you through a beautiful forest and open meadows and on the way there, you'll be able to see multiple of the prettiest lakes in Lake O'Hara.

Odaray Plateau

Odaray Plateau is a must-see hiking destination that offers excellent views of the landscape and sunsets. The hike itself is easy to moderate but can be steep. The trail is short at only 2.4 km, but there are several sections where you will need to climb some stair-like rocks or navigate over rocky terrain. The trip takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes to complete (including a stop at the viewpoint). The first section of the hike is relatively flat and easy to navigate. You will pass through some forest areas and eventually come out into an open meadow with a view of the mountains in the distance. This is where there are many opportunities for photography and taking in the sunset views.

The next section of the trail is more difficult because it climbs onto Odaray Plateau itself and requires climbing over large rocks with some scrambling needed to reach the top. It's not too difficult for most people, so don't let this deter you from visiting.

Linda Lake and Morning Glory Lakes

The hike to Linda Lake and Morning Glory Lakes is a great way to spend the day in Lake O'Hara. This trail starts at the Elizabeth Parker Hut and works its way up through a lovely forest before breaking into an open alpine meadow. The views are spectacular as you go through both Morning Glory Lakes and Linda Lake.


No matter which way you turn in Lake O'Hara, it is truly a beautiful environment for taking photos and hiking. It is the ultimate destination for getting away from it all, especially in the fall when all the larch trees turn yellow.

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