My wife and I spent two nights in a lakeside cabin (#6, which had the best view of any lakeside cabin except #1). The cabin itself was perfectly functional...nice shower, warm blankets, second bed, etc. You don't go to O'Hara to stay in your cabin, though; you go there to hike and enjoy the stunning surroundings. Just sitting on your front porch and staring at the lake as the sun goes down is worth the price of admission. The staff are all very friendly and will call you by name from the time you show up.
The only downside I found, being an introvert, was how "high-touch" everything was. Breakfast and dinner were communal, with all ~30 people at the lodge eating at once, and there's kind of a sense of forced community. It's kind of what I imagine a cruise to be like, except everyone escapes between 9:30 and 6:30 to hike in the mountains. However, this was a pretty minor complaint; I'm more introverted than most people and it was still never off-putting, just a bit awkward at times. Also: the average age skewed fairly high; the only people there younger than us seemed to be college-aged people with their parents.
I don't want to sound down on it...it's an absolutely spectacular place to visit. If you just want to hike for one or two days up there without paying for the lodge you can book the bus, but you're limited by its schedule. If you want (practically) unrestricted access to the best day-hiking in the Rockies, this is the place to stay. Be warned, though; once you've enjoyed O'Hara, other settings in the Rockies, no matter how beautiful, will pale by comparison.
A note on the weather: we've been to O'Hara in early October and, this time, in late June. In October it was getting pretty chilly, but there were few people around. This time, in June, there were a lot more people hiking but there were still many trails, especially on the alpine circuit, that were not recommended (or even impassable) because of snow. Clearly somewhere in the middle of these months is the sweet spot.
- Also Known As:
- Lake o`Hara Hotel Field
- Lake o Hara Lodge