top 10 hikes – Lake O’Hara, Canadian Rockies

Alpine Circuit, Lake O’Hara 

Super popular, it’s very difficult to get a reservation to camp overnight.


  • Yoho National Park in British Columbia near Banff, Alberta.
  • time zone is Alberta, not B.C.
  • mid-June through the end of September (start and end dates vary)
    • for example, bus operated for hikers and campers from June 19 to October 4, 2018
  • 11.6 km
  • perhaps 9 hours
  • perhaps 900 photos 🙂
  • highest point 2528 m
  • elevation gain 1012 m

Some like O’Hara best late in the season to see the larch change colour. Green to golden.

Details on our Lake O’Hara Alpine Circuit information page.

Pumalín, Chile – Laguna Tronador trail

trip report by besthike editor Rick McCharles

Duration: 4 hours round trip.
Distance: 4,8 km round trip.
Return: Same route.
Difficulty: Medium-High

Parque Pumalín 

This physically challenging trail climbs through an alerce forest, once burned and now recuperating.


You need your own wheels to get to trailheads like this. I tried to hide my bike in the bush before heading up.

The cost to develop trails is here is high. And these workmen are superb.

I love how they use local materials to blend in to the pristine environment.

At one point they tunnelled under roots of a tree.

Though shockingly well maintained despite the climate, one railing did rip out on me. Happily I was using it for balance, not support.

The path generally climbs up near loud waterfalls.

One reason to choose this trail over others is free camping at Laguna Tronador. There are only 2 excellent spots, however.

I recommend the Laguna Tronador trail.

carrying furniture on the PCT?

Kolby Kirk is quoted. So this must be true. 🙂

… due to the recent success of the book and movie “Wild”, many hikers have expressed fears that the trail will become overcrowded with Oprah Winfrey fans wearing enormous backpacks and ill-fitting boots with red shoelaces. …

The 2014 hiking season saw a dramatic rise not only in the number of hikers on the PCT, but also in the number of hikers apparently carrying large pieces of furniture.

“There was a couch at Scissors Crossing, and another one outside of Big Bear,” said Renee “SheRa” Patrick, “I can only imagine that they were carried there by hikers and abandoned when they realized that couches are too heavy for a thru-hike. I mean, a section hike, sure. Maybe somewhere in Oregon. But in the desert? It’s crazy.” …

“Wild” Debates About PCT Overcrowding (Part One)

recliner PCT

finally – a waterproof backpack

Somebody tell Bill Bryson. 🙂

Mountain Hardware South Col™ 70 OutDry Backpack

The one-pack solution for mountaineering expeditions on the world’s highest peaks. The flexible design and highly evolved compression system lets you add and remove components as well as shrink and expand the pack as needed.

OutDry construction bonds a durable waterproof membrane to the main compartment so that your gear stays safe and dry in even the wettest conditions.


Click PLAY or watch a preview on YouTube.

(via Adventure Blog)