Opabin Plateau
A fall dayhike at the start of the larch colours


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Distance - 9.27km Elevation gain - 264m
3:07 (moving) return

My final O'Hara daytrip of the season was scheduled for the Opabin Plateau, and we got a beautiful day with the larches just starting to turn.
I had a couple last-minute dropouts, so brought my parents out to join the trip.
We started up the West Opabin trail, and looped around the Opabin Prospect trail for a great view out, then meeting with the Moor Lakes.

We hike up West Opabin in the shadow.

Mary Lake and Lake O'Hara from the Prospect trail.

The sun lights up the larches near the top of West Opabin.

Hiking in to the Prospect lookout.

Mom and Dad reach the crest of the Opabin Plateau.

Lovely turning larches near the Prospect.

The view out to Lake O'Hara.

Mount Huber and some yellow-gold larches.

Wiwaxy Peaks above Lake O'Hara.

Dad approaches the Cascade Lakes.

Looking down at the Cascade Lakes and feeding river.

The river feeding the lakes.

Cascade Lakes, the Wiwaxy Pakes, and Mount Huber.

Hiking along the lakes.

Looking up the creek with some turning larches.

We left the Cascade Lakes and continued up the west side trail past Hungabee Lake and up to Opabin Lake.
Opabin Lake was low, but stunningly green, and I hiked up the hillside on the left (NE) for a view from above.

The group reaches Hungabee Lake.

Hungabee Lake and the Wiwaxy Peaks.

Colours in Hungabee Lake.

Looking back down to Hungabee Lake and the plateau.

Approaching Opabin Lake.

Beautiful clear-green Opabin Lake.

The lovely clear water.

The shore of Opabin Lake and the hillside.

A broader look at the green Opabin Lake and Schaffer Ridge from the hillside above the lake.

The rich green and the shallows of the lake.

Looking back to where the trails reach the lake.

More of Opabin Lake from the shore.

The large exposed shore above the low water.

Leaving Opabin Lake, we walked down to Hungabee Lake, then partially around it to meet the Highline Trail.
This route skips the Moor Lakes on the east side of the plateau, but especially in fall, it's a worthwhile sacrifice, as they don't have much water.
Unlike every other trail in the region, while the Highline is designated, it is not marked, or wide, or path-stone paved at any part.
There are at least a couple sections where the route is unclear, or there is more than one possible route.
It would be difficult to get actually lost here, as the path follows the high ridge in the middle of the plateau, with larger trails on each side.
The narrowness of the path gives some nice variety, and it winds through some beautiful larches, with views down each side here and there.
The trail comes out again on the east side of the Cascade Lakes, where it joins the Cascade shortcut over to the East Opabin trail down.

The view down to Hungabee Lake and the main plateau.

The main East Opabin trail heads for the Moor Lakes.

The NW shore of Hungabee Lake.

The uppermost Moor Lake.

Looking back at Hungabee Lake.

The group leaves for the High Line.

The High Line trail.

Hiking along the Highline.

Pretty larches on the Highline trail.

Some bright yellow-gold larches.

The trail comes in above the first Cascade Lake.

The spectacular view NW from the Highline.

Larches on the descent off the trail.

The group hikes out the end of the Highline.

We made it down to the Cascade Lakes, and took the shortcut on to East Opabin.
The hike down through the forest was uneventful as usual, and we finished along the shore of lovely Lake O'Hara.

The trail along the Cascade Lakes.

Pretty Cascade Lakes and larches.

The gorgeous milky-green water.

The trail down to East Opabin.

Lake O'Hara from the bottom of the East Opabin trail with Wiwaxy Peaks and Mount Huber above.

Lake O'Hara is very blue today.

And green in other places.

Lake O'Hara and the Oesa valley.

The west end of Lake O'Hara.

Photos taken by Rachel

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