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“One of my Favourite Hikes!!”
Review of Opal Hills

Opal Hills
Jasper, Canada
Level Contributor
107 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 186 helpful votes
“One of my Favourite Hikes!!”
Reviewed October 6, 2013

This is a hike that I have done dozens of times... I hike it at least once, and often several times, each summer, and it's always amazing! I prefer to hike the loop in a clockwise direction (turning left at the junction), since the grade is more moderate that way. Also, I love the way the view opens up as you contour around the hills and enter the meadows.

According to early accounts and photographs, the forests on the shore of Maligne Lake and the lower slopes of the Opal Hills had burned in a forest fire in the late 1800's; the continuous lodgepole pine forest up to the junction illustrates the typical re-growth after such an event. But as you continue ascending, you leave the lodgepole pines behind and continue through older forest that was not burned; there are some really big (by Rocky Mountain standards), old trees along the stretch of trail between the junction and where you enter the meadows.... if you are aware of how short the growing season is at that elevation, just below treeline, you will understand the majesty of these knobby evergreens.

Doing "just" the official loop trail is definitely worthwhile, but if you have more time or energy, the hike gets even better if you head up the ridge. (Follow the obvious trail that branches off after you cross the creek and ravine, just before you start heading downhill and into the forest again.) A short way up the ridge, you leave the last stunted trees behind and enter the alpine zone; in July and early August, the selection of alpine flowers up there is truly incredible. For those with even more time or energy on their hands, at the top of the ridge, it's possible to cross over to the high col at the base of Opal Peak, and from there to walk up the peak. From the col, it's almost an hour's slog up the scree but the ever-expanding views are welcome distraction!

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
6 Thank krp329
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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42 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
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  • Any
English first
Berkley, Michigan
Level Contributor
18 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Great hike”
Reviewed September 17, 2013

What a view, so worth it. You can see the mountain range beyond the lake.
My wife took a boat ride while I did this hike. About 2.5-3 hours

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank SueKevin2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, GA
Level Contributor
35 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Solid Hike”
Reviewed September 12, 2013

Steep ascent for a couple miles then opens up to an alpine meadow. Not a lot of flowers at the end of August, but beautiful none the less. Take the last ascent to the far right after the hike seems to end to get incredible views of Maligne Lake. Go all to the end of the right most trail for a full lake view!

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank fbeaven
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Waterloo
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Our favorite in Jusper”
Reviewed September 9, 2013

I'm a inexperienced hiker and the the hiking poles were very helpful for me on this trail - it is very steep at times (it is difficult trail on the park site). But I so liked it when we've got to the top - I couldn't get enough of the views of the valley. There is side trail to the top of one of the hill that has also great views of the lake.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank Mabuka
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Great day hike!”
Reviewed September 5, 2013

Some steep ascents - at least the route we picked. Well worth it for a visit to the alpine meadows with great views out over Maligne Lake and of the surrounding peaks. Lots of opportunities for scrambling up to the local peaks for those who want to get up higher.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank AliveAloud
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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