The Elizabeth Parker Hut is situated in the world famous Lake O’Hara area and is surrounded by an incredible network of hiking trails. It is one of the most popular ACC huts, and for good reason! It is truly a hikers paradise.
When to Go
The Elizabeth Parker Hut is absolutely fabulous destination year round. It is available for regular reservations through the winter and shoulder seasons and as a lottery during the peak summer months.
The Lake O’Hara parking lot is 12 km west of Lake Louise, Alberta and 13 km east of Field, B.C on the south side of the highway. It is well signed from both directions. Once you turn off the highway you will cross a set of railway tracks and end up in a very large parking lot. You will pass the main bus stop as you enter the parking area. This is where you will await the shuttle described in the approach section of this article.
In the Summer, from mid June to late September, you have the option of taking the Lake Ohara Shuttle bus operated by Parks Canada. This bus will pick you up at the parking lot and deposit you at Le Relais, a cafe/info centre operated by the Lake O’Hara Trails Club. From here you will hike an additional 500m to the hut itself.
Throughout the summer, outside of shuttle bus dates, you will be required to walk the 10km road. It is a very gradual uphill (gaining 440m) walk all the way to Lake O’Hara. Unfortunately Bicycling is not permitted along this road so your only option is to attack it on foot!
In the winter you will be skiing or snowshoeing in on the same access road. Again, its a rather gentle uphill 10km. Skiers need to be equipped with Avalanche Beacons as the road does cross a couple slide paths.
According to the Alpine Club the hut is located at
- Grid reference: 457983
- GPS coordinates:51 21′ 18″ / -116 20′ 36″ NAD83 11U 545726 5689508
- Hut elevation: 2,040 m (6,700 ft)
The two maps I have found helpful are the Gem Trek “Lake O’Hara” map and the Canadian 1:50,000 “82N/8 Lake Louise”. Both can be purchased at MEC and/or you can download the 82N/8 from Geogratis. I made a video on how to do this here. Another service I have found helpful is All Trails Pro, with a $30/year subscription you can build and print maps of any size! Here are the maps I printed from All Trails for this hike, they have graciously let me share them so please check them out. Thank you All Trails!
You can view the Elizabeth Parker Hut and check availability at the ACC’s Website Here. From there you can follow their instructions on how to book.
Have you fallen in love with the lake O’Hara area and the hut is sold out? Not a problem, you have a couple of options: