Lake O’Hara Bus
The Lake O’Hara bus travels along an 11-kilometre road that is closed to public vehicles. The road begins at a gravel parking lot, across the railway tracks from the Trans-Canada Highway 15 kilometres (9.3 miles) east of Field and three kilometres (1.9 miles) west of the Continental Divide.
For day-trippers getting a seat on the Lake O’Hara bus feels like you have one the lottery—and you will have. Due to Lake O’Hara’s popularity, seats are allocated via a lottery system. Enter the Lake O’Hara bus lottery via the PARKS CANADA RESERVATION SERVICE throughout the month of March. Those lucky enough to win a seat will be notified in early April, but you must then register your intent and pay the bus fare, or your seats will be placed back into the pool.
Be sure to arrive at the parking area at least 15 minutes before the scheduled departure time and register with Parks Canada staff, who will be by the bus at the base of the access road.
Buses for day visitors depart the parking lot between Lake Louise and Field between mid-June and early October at 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m., returning at 2:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m., and 6:30 p.m.
Reservations are only required for the inbound shuttle; outgoing buses fill on demand.
Lake O’Hara Campers and Hut Guests
Your campsite reservation at Lake O’Hara includes a seat on the bus, so if you are planning on camping you do not need to make bus reservations separately.
Likewise, if you are staying at the Elizabeth Parker Hut, your reservation includes a seat on the bus.
Lake O’Hara Lodge
Guests at Lake O’Hara Lodge do not need to make bus reservations through the Parks Canada system. The lodge has its own bus that transports guests between the Trans Canada Highway parking lot and the lake on a separate schedule that you will be sent upon making a lodge reservation.
Walking to Lake O’Hara
It’s possible to walk to Lake O’Hara, but it’s a long, 11-kilometre uphill trek that leaves little time for exploring the area once you arrive. You may be able to take the bus back down from the lake if there are empty seats for a small fee (cash only).