Albertawow

Opal Hills Hike

  Ratings:    Ratings 5 Star
Level: Moderate to Diff Time/Dist: 3 to 4 hours / 9K return Elevation Gain: 510

 

Trailhead: Located at the northwest end of the Maligne Lake parking lot approximately 56Km east of Jasper in Jasper National Park. Expect to see lots of hikers here during the summer months.

Description: If you're looking for a good selection of wildflowers, this is the hike for you. As you hike higher and higher the wildflowers and the varieties are constantly changing to the altitude and terrain. No dogs allowed here, it's a protected Caribou range. Stay on the well worn trail, turn right at the return loop intersection located approximately 1.5Km from the start. From here the trail climbs steep slopes and will test your stamina. It's a tough uphill grind to the meadows but well worth the effort. Once you arrive at the meadow it's like walking into a flower garden, best in late June and all of July. Beware of Grizzly bears here. This meadow is perfect bear habitat and there is not enough room in the meadow valley for both you and a bear. Keep an eye out and make lots of noise while arriving at the meadow. At this point you can take the left trail through the meadows and back down the loop or take the right trail that leads up to the ridge to your right straight ahead of you. If you make it this far don't stop here. Keep going up the ridge to your right staying on the trail as to not disturb the fragile wildflowers. The views from the ridge are excellent. You can see Maligne Lake below and Bald Hills directly across the valley to the south. The trail now turns into rock and scree that traverses a steep slope. Keep your eye out for mountain goats and sheep.

On your way back down head to the meadow entrance and complete the loop through the meadows and back down to the start. If you want to see better views east towards Maligne Lake hike nearby Bald Hills. In 1908 Opal hills was named by Mary Shaffer after the the resemblance of wildflowers to jewels. Don't be fooled by the term 'Hills'. Opal Hills and nearby Bald Hills are mountainous. Mary named most of the peaks near Maligne Lake while exploring this area. Seems to me if she didn't see a glaciated peak she called it a hill. She must have been a very strong individual.

Near Here:
Local campgrounds include Snaring River, Pocahontas, Wabasso, Wapiti and Whistlers. There are several hiking trails, Bald Hills, Miette Hot Springs, Mount Edith Cavell, Punch Bowl Falls, Sky Line, Sulphur Skyline, Whistlers Mountain, Maligne Canyon, Horse Shoe Lake and Athabasca Falls are all located in this area. You are in bear country.

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Opal Hills Hike Jasper National Park
   
Opal Hills Hike Jasper National Park Opal Hills Hike Jasper National Park
   
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  Loop Intersection
   
 
   
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Opal Hills Meadow Top of Ridge
   
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Opal Hills Hike Jasper National Park Opal Hills Hike Jasper National Park
  Bald Hills
   
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Opal Hills Hike Jasper National Park Opal Hills Hike Jasper National Park
   
Opal Hills Hike Jasper National Park Opal Hills Hike Jasper National Park
   
Opal Hills Hike Jasper National Park Opal Hills Hike Jasper National Park
   
Opal Hills Hike Jasper National Park Opal Hills Hike Jasper National Park
   
Opal Hills Hike Jasper National Park Opal Hills Hike Jasper National Park
   
Opal Hills Hike Jasper National Park Opal Hills Hike Jasper National Park
   
Opal Hills Hike Jasper National Park Opal Hills Hike Jasper National Park
   
Opal Hills Hike Jasper National Park Opal Hills Hike Jasper National Park
   
 
   
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Opal Hills Hike Jasper National Park Opal Hills Hike Jasper National Park
Opal Hills Meadow Opal Hills Meadow
   
Opal Hills Hike Jasper National Park Opal Hills Hike Jasper National Park
Mountain Goats Above Trail To Ridge Mountain Goats
   
Opal Hills Hike Jasper National Park Opal Hills Hike Jasper National Park
Top Of Ridge Trail To Top Of Ridge
   
Opal Hills Hike Jasper National Park Opal Hills Hike Jasper National Park
Top of Ridge  
   
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  Maligne Lake
   
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Opal Hills Hike Jasper National Park Opal Hills Hike Jasper National Park
Maligne Lake  
   
Opal Hills Hike Jasper National Park Opal Hills Hike Jasper National Park
   
Opal Hills Hike Jasper National Park Opal Hills Hike Jasper National Park
Opal Hills Meadow  
   
Opal Hills Hike Jasper National Park Opal Hills Hike Jasper National Park
Opal Hills Meadow Opal Hills Meadow
   
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Opal Hills Hike Jasper National Park Opal Hills Hike Jasper National Park
Very Tame Mule Deer  
   
Sulphur Skyline Hike Jasper National Park Sulphur Skyline Hike Jasper National Park
   
Sulphur Skyline Hike Jasper National Park Sulphur Skyline Hike Jasper National Park
   
Sulphur Skyline Hike Jasper National Park Sulphur Skyline Hike Jasper National Park
   
Sulphur Skyline Hike Jasper National Park Sulphur Skyline Hike Jasper National Park
   
Sulphur Skyline Hike Jasper National Park Sulphur Skyline Hike Jasper National Park
   
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