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Booking Lake O'Hara

toronto
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35 posts
5 reviews
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Booking Lake O'Hara

I would like to go to Lake O'Hara and plan on calling exactly 3 months ahead. Will I have difficulties. We are going mid-July, the busy season.

Port Moody, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver, British Columbia
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12,068 posts
150 reviews
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1. Re: Booking Lake O'Hara

I tried to book for 4 years finally gave up..good luck and have a back up plan.

lost in Ohio
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2,278 posts
3 reviews
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2. Re: Booking Lake O'Hara

We have been going to Lake O'Hara for more than ten years. We are able to obtain tickets each year. In recent years, it has become much easier, now that they have put in a telephone queue.

You need to remember a couple of rules. You can call THREE MONTHS ahead. This does not mean 90 days ahead -- for July 13, you can call beginning on April 13. Remember that they are closed on weekends.

If you are a newbie, you can "test drive" the system by calling the regular Yoho phone number a few days before your call date. Talk to the Ranger. Ask all your questions. Make sure you have the phone number correct for your reservation call. Make sure you know what time to call -- allowing for the time different. All of that can be handled in a leisurely pre-call.

On the morning of your reserve call, plan for an hour to get through and get your reservation made. If you want to reserve for more than one day, ask if you can do that on that phone call -- Depending on the time of year, they may let you do it.

You may get a busy signal if the queue is filled. Dial back immediately. If you have an auto-redialer on your phone, and/or a speakerphone, you will have the least amount of trouble.

Be patient -- there is only one seasonal park ranger on the other end of the phone. Many people who are calling are asking a lot of questions other than just making a reservation. (You will not have to do that, because you called the day or two before and got all those answered already.) Keep in mind that they do take a break for lunch.

Be nice to the young person who picks up the phone. They are overworked and underpaid and they will appreciate your consideration as much as you need their help.

By the way, mid July is not the busiest season for O'Hara -- that would be early August. If you are going to O'Hara in mid July expect SNOW, and expect that there may very well be trails which have not yet been opened. Please please please respect the trails.

They are the most beautiful, well maintained trails I have ever found anywhere, mostly all built by one man -- LAWRENCE GRASSI -- who did them with a pick, shovel, and wheelbarrow. Consider a small donation to their upkeep when the bus lets you off at LE RELAIS, at the edge of the Lake.

Finally, if you are going to O'Hara, you will need to bring lunch and water and warmer clothing than you needed down below. And take a little time to sselect your trails in advance. If it's your first time and you are a moderate hiker, consider LAKE OESA or LAKE MCARTHUR. If you are a strong hiker, consider at least a part of the ALPINE ROUTE.

If you need ANY other info on O'Hara, just write back.

ENJOY!!!

Calgary, Canada
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1,474 posts
1 review
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3. Re: Booking Lake O'Hara

As above, keep redialling until you get through, starting right when the office opens. Calling ahead to ask other questions is a good idea.

I have been to Lake O'Hara twice--it took about 30 minutes of trying to get through the first time, and I got through on the first try the second time.

Toronto, Canada
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67 posts
1 review
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4. Re: Booking Lake O'Hara

If for whatever reason you don't get through, I'd say don't give up --- have an alternative plan, of course, but also try calling 24 hours in advance. We went to Lake O'Hara twice, both times mid-August, planned our trips a month or so in advance and were successful with the 24 hour bookings. We just called right at the opening time and kept redialing until we got through.

5. Re: Booking Lake O'Hara

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