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Lake O'Hara Bus Information



The Lake O'Hara area is one of the most spectacular places in Canada. Wildlife abounds, the hiking trails are extensive and varied and the surrounding high mountains are simply incredible. For these reasons, all of the facilities at Lake O'Hara are busy during the summer months. There is a campground, a lodge, and two Alpine Club of Canada huts – Abbot and Elizabeth Parker.

To get to any of these facilities, one must either hike 12km or take a scheduled bus. While the trail which parallels the bus road is a nice hike, we recommend you catch the bus and save your energy for the more spectacular hikes in and around the many alpine lakes, tarns, moraines and high traverses which surround Lake O'Hara.

The following information is in regards to taking the bus into Lake O'Hara during the summer months. Personal vehicles and mountain bikes are not allowed on the road or on the hiking trail that parallels the road. The road is normally plowed and ready for hiking from the end of May.

Bus Schedule and Prices

The Alpine Club of Canada only takes bus reservations for people staying at Elizabeth Parker or Abbot Pass huts – we do NOT book people on the bus for day trips or camping. For day trips or camping, people must book the bus through Parks Canada (see information below).

Lake O'Hara Reservation Line
Telephone: 250.343.6433

Hours of Operation:  
March 16 - April 12: Monday - Thurs., 8 am-12pm/ 1pm-4 pm
April 16 - May 25: Monday - Friday, 8 am-12 pm/1 pm-4 pm
May 28 - September 30: daily, 8 am-12 pm/1 pm-4 pm

Don't forget to be 20-25 minutes early for any bus you take into Lake O'Hara. The bus leaves ON TIME, and you must allow time for luggage loading prior to departure.

The ACC is allotted 12 seats on all of the in-going buses. See below for tips on how to possibly get on a morning bus even if you can only reserve space on an afternoon bus.

You cannot reserve space on an outgoing bus – it is first come, first served.

Children under the age of two do not need to be booked on the bus as long as they sit on their parents’ laps. If the child is two or older, they MUST have a bus booking.

Bus Cancellation Policy

We now require 72 hours cancellation notice for Lake O’Hara bus reservations. If we do not receive proper cancellation notification, your Lake O’Hara bus reservation will be NON-REFUNDABLE.
We will accept cancellations left on our answering machine, provided it is prior to your cancellation deadline.

Special Buses

There is a way to get a head-start on the summer rush. From June 1 to 16, you can book up to 24 spaces in the hut, and a special bus that will take your group to Lake O’Hara and back to the parking area (round-trip). The minimum bus charge is $225 based on 15 visitors. Each visitor over that number will pay $15 per person. A three week advanced notice is required if this service is desired. To reserve the early season bus, please contact Bob Weaver at (403) 870-1687 or refer to the following website: www.exploringcanada.com

Getting on an Earlier Bus

If you already have a bus and hut booking for either Abbot or Elizabeth Parker, but did not get the early bus time you wanted, there may be a way for you to get on an earlier bus. If you have a 3:30pm or 5:30pm booking, you may show up for the 8:30am or 10:30am bus and hope that there are empty spaces on the bus. There are no guarantees, but you likely have a good chance if your group is small. Do not call Parks or Lake O'Hara Lodge to try and get an earlier bus – they can not help you!

Bus and Hut Rules

Each person is allowed 2 pieces of luggage - backpacks or duffel bags (25 kg. maximum per person). If you have ice axes and crampons on your pack, you must remove these prior to handing your pack over to the bus driver. The sharp items will be loaded separately.

If you are staying at the Elizabeth Parker Hut, please remember the following:

  • food coolers, hard sided storage bins, items stored in plastic bags, lawn chairs, barbeques and other miscellaneous loose items will NOT be allowed on the bus
  • do not store food outside the hut or in the near-by stream – you will attract wildlife
  • if you arrive at the hut before 2:00pm, put your belongings where they will not disturb the previous night's occupants.
  • if your belongings will be in the hut after 2:00pm, and you are not staying that night, be sure to pack everything up and leave it out of the way in a corner so the new guests can move in.
Wilderness Passes

Don't forget that adults over 16 must have backcountry wilderness passes to stay overnight at both the Abbot and Elizabeth Parker huts. A Parks Canada representative will be checking for proof of your pass on the bus. We encourage you to buy these passes from the ACC, as 40% of the monies collected goes to a special huts account for our heritage huts and environmental improvements.

Other Facilities

To book the Lake O'Hara campground or to get a “day trip” seat on the bus, call (250) 343-6433. You can view their website at:

To book a space at the Lake O'Hara Lodge, call (403) 678-4110 or (250) 343-6418. Their web address is http://www.lakeohara.com/

For more details on the Lake O'Hara bus system, or to reserve the Elizabeth Parker or Abbot huts, contact our National Office:

Phone: 403 678 3200, ext. 1
Fax: 403 678 3224
Regular mail:
The Alpine Club of Canada
P. O. Box 8040
Canmore, Alberta
T1W 2T8

    VISION: Preserving, practicing and promoting Canadian mountain culture and self-propelled alpine pursuits.
Préserver, pratiquer et promouvoir la culture alpine canadienne et les activités non motorisées en montagne.