Hi I'm planning a one week trip in mid June to Banff/ Yoho. What are the best hikes? Are there guided packages?
Mid-June is not the best time for the well-known high-altitude hikes, as some of them may still have snow. It is impossible to predict this far ahead what the weather will be like, so your best bet will be to check in with the park information centre (224 Banff Avenue) when you arrive for the latest information on trail conditions. In the meantime, you can watch this Parks Canada page for trail updates:
As for hiking guides: in the Banff area try Eva and Paul Sylvestre
in the Lake Louise area try Joel Hagen and Nadine Fletcher:
Thanks for the advice. I managed to get a booking at Elizabeth Parker hut at Lake O hara. Will the trails be accessible in mid-June? Is there a bus from Banff to Lake O hara?
There is no bus from Banff to the Lake O'Hara parking lot. You might try taking a bus to Lake Louise village, and a taxi from there to the Lake O'Hara parking lot, in order to catch the bus for the final 11 kms up the old fire road to Lake O'Hara -- but if I were you, I would check in advance with the taxi company in Lake Louise to make sure that is possible.
Does your booking at the Elizabeth Parker Hut include a place on the Lake O'Hara bus? Because otherwise you have to walk in ...
You will need to check on this but I believe that the hut booking includes the bus trip in to Lake O'Hara. (Otherwise, it's an 11 km hike up a fire road to access Lake O'Hara.) However, the bus departs from a parking lot just off the Trans-Canada highway near Field, BC, which could be tricky to get to if you do not have a car. Greyhound has bus service from Banff to points west (on to Vancouver) but I don't know whether or not the schedule works as a way to get you to the parking lot.... you'll have to check at www.greyhound.ca
I can only offer second-hand information since I have never been to Lake O'Hara but I have seen a friend's pictures from late June hiking at Lake O'Hara, and I am familiar with hiking in the Rockies in general - at higher elevations like Lake O'Hara, you can expect some trails to still be snowbound. In my friend's pics, in approx. the third week of June, there was still snow in some areas on the lakeshore, and some spots on hiking trails up higher where they had to traverse some patches of very deep snow. At that elevaton, even early July is "early" in the hiking season. How much hiking you will be able to do will depend on the particular conditions when you are there, your skill level and how comfortable you are with hiking in snowy places, especially if there is a slope or exposure on one side.
Thanks so much for the tips. The greyhound stops at Field Junction. Is that walking distance to the Lake O' Hara parking lot?
No, not really. From the info on the Yoho NP pagehttp://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/pn-np/bc/yoho/natcul/ohara/a.aspx (and assuming that "Field junction" is where the highway enters the town of Field) : "The Lake O’Hara parking lot is located 12 km west of Lake Louise and 13 km east of Field, a short distance off the Trans-Canada Highway."
If you go over Healy Pass to Egypt Lake in June, it is likely that there will be snow in places. Glacier lilies normally bloom on Healy Pass around July 1, and they are snow-edge bloomers. Once again, every year is different, so there is really no way to know for sure until you are here -- keeping track of the Parks Canada trail conditions link in post #1 and checking in with the information centre (see post #1) as soon as you get here will give you the most up-to-date information.Edited: 13 May 2013, 18:55
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