LAKE O'HARA ITINERARY (Updated May 4, 2018)
Day 1: Sun. Sept. 16: Leave OKM early, 7:30 a.m. Students will be transported in Bus #2. Travel from Kelowna to the Roger's Pass Visitor Information Centre for a meeting at 11:15 am - 11:45 am, BC Time with Canada Parks officials. Topics are safety, Parks regulations and policies, etc. You must be on the road again no later than 12:15 (BC Time which is 1:15 Alberta Time. Now is a good time to change your watches to Alberta time. It is approximately 2 hours to the Lake Louise campground. After setting up your camp, make sure that you have your group prepare for tomorrow's hike by getting everything organized so you can have an early departure. If you want you could do an early dinner and a night hike up to Lake Louise via the Louise Creek Trail (6km return).
Day 2: Mon. Sept. 17: Up early and on Bus #2 by 9:00am. Monday morning Bus # 2 will drop off Group 7 at Vista Lake/Arnica Lake then Group 6 at Paint Pots or Marble Canyon then Group 5 and 8 at Flow Lake / Hawk Creek. Your starting point will depend on if Parks Canada has built a new bridge at Paint Pots. This bridge was washed out in the floods of 2013 and if it is not in, you have to start at Marble Canyon. Your group will now travel on to the Paint Pots or Marble Canyon Parking Lot where your support vehicles will be left for the duration of the hike. Hike into Helmut-Ochre Campsite (#4). This hike is rather short and you should be into camp in good time. Fires are permitted in this site so you can set up camp and gather fire wood.
Day 3: Tues. Sept. 18: Your group will hike into Helmet (Falls) Creek Campsite (#6), After you've set up your tents take a short hike to Helmet Falls. The falls are awesome -- keep your eyes peeled for sightings of some mountain goats grazing on the upper slopes of the cliffs on either side of the falls. This is another short hiking day to get warmed up. Have night games planned to get to know the group.
Day 4: Wed. Sept. 19: Today you are going to go on the most spectacular hike in the Rockies!! The first hour or so will be a good warm-up; take your time going up the switch backs and keep your group together.
When you get to the top of the Rockwall Pass, stop for a short break under the Old Larch tree at
Limestone Summit -- a good place to have lunch is at the lake about half way towards Wolverine Pass.
Be sure to fill you water bottles at the outlet stream from the little lake about 1.4 km down from
Limestone Summit at the foot of Limestone Peak. When you come to Wolverine Pass you may want to leave your packs and take a short hike (500m) to look out to the Beaverfoot Valley. Hike down into Tumbling Creek campsite (#10a) and set up. This is a large campsite and Group #5 will be staying in the other side (#10b). This can be a great night to mingle groups and let the kids share trekking stories. Have some kind of games or evening events planned. Remember that there is to be absolutely no open fires in this camping area.
Day 5: Thurs. Sept. 20: Hike to Numa Creek Campground via Tumbling Pass - spectacular scenery along the way. Your group will be staying in the Numa Creek Campground (#11). Remember that there is to be absolutely no open fires in this camping area.
Day 6: Fri. Sept. 21: Today is going to be a "grunt" so you should plan on getting a fairly early start for the hike up and over Numa Pass to Floe Lake Campground (#12). This is going to be a long day, get your group going early. Take lots of pictures on the way especially from Numa pass looking down to Floe Lake.
Day 7: Sat. Sept. 22: Leave at 6:30am Alberta Time. Hike out from Floe Lake to Hwy #93 which will take 2.5-3.0 hours approximately. Be at the parking lot by 9:30 am. Bus #2 and Group #5 and Group #7 will be waiting in parking lot. Pack all gear in the support vehicles and get on the road.
DO NOT LEAVE Floe Lake until EVERYONE in Groups 5 6 and 7 have been accounted for
The Bus will proceed to the Vista Lake Lookout to pick up Group 8 by 10:00 and then proceed to Red Earth Trailhead to pick up Group 9 and 10 by 10:15.
When a headcount indicates that everyone has been accounted for you can proceed to the Kicking Horse Campsite at 11:30.
DO NOT LEAVE the Kicking Horse Campground until everyone has been accounted for from the groups in Yoho, Kootenay, and Banff --- then drive directly to Roger’s Pass Summit Monument for a rendezvous at 12:30 -- 1:00 pm (BC Time) with all the other groups. A group picture will be taken here. Then we will proceed to Revelstoke for a lunch break at the fast food strip on the left-hand side of the highway at the main intersection.