YOHO NATIONAL PARK: Early Snow in the Canadian Rockies

Photography of the Lake O’Hara area of Canada’s Yoho National Park after an overnight snowstorm.

Canoe waiting for a hardy guest from Lake O’Hara Lodge to brave the cold and snowy morning

Late September in the Canadian Rockies is almost certain to bring light snow to the rugged peaks and valleys.  And so it was on the morning of 21 September, when we awoke to four inches of snow covering the trees and meadows around Lake O’Hara.

Our original goal for the day had been to hike up to the Opabin Plateau, a hanging glacial valley; unfortunately, we expected the steep trail and its switchbacks would be icy on this cold morning, so we changed our plans. Instead, we decided to do two shorter hikes. Our first hike led around Lake O’Hara, culminating in a close view of the stunning Seven Veils Falls, which looks like it could be sitting in the foothills of the Himalayas.

After returning to Elizabeth Parker hut for lunch, we set off on a trail to Schaffer Lake, which was ringed by golden Alpine Larches covered with snow. We spent some time here, enjoying the wildlife and beautiful trees, before heading back down the trail to the hut.

The photographs in this Yoho portfolio represent that one beautiful, snowy day, when ice and snow frosted the golden Alpine Larches and lay lightly on the Englemann Spruce boughs.

We awoke that morning to snow covering the landscape around Elizabeth Parker Hut

Stream burbling through the valley near Elizabeth Parker hut

One of the elegant cabins of the Lake O’Hara Lodge on a morning to gather near a cozy fireplace with an English China cup of Earl Grey

Looking across Lake O’Hara and up to the hanging valley of Lake Oesa

Cathedral Mountain floating above the clouds and the quiet waters at the outlet of Lake O’Hara

Snowy vessels and reflections of the peaks surrounding Lake O’Hara

Snow-covered Englemann Spruces reflecting in Lake O’Hara

The elegant cabins of Lake O’Hara Lodge; while we were visiting, the going rate was $800 per couple per night, including meals and tea

The turquoise waters of Lake O’Hara below Seven Veils Falls

Seven Veils Falls feels like it exists in an earlier place, when everything is fresh and new and the world’s natural rhythms go on without the interference of humans

Another view, showing two of the Seven Veils

Hiking the beautiful trail to Schaffer Lake through a subalpine forest of golden Alpine Larches

Looking down on Schaffer Lake through a golden Alpine Larch forest

Schaffer Lake with fresh snow and Wiwaxy Peaks distant

An immature Barrow’s Goldeneye fresh from a dive into Schaffer Lake

A Pika eating plant stems as it watches over the talus slope

Snow melting around rocks and tiny autumn leaves on the shore of Schaffer Lake

Snow on a stunning forest of Alpine Larches

This Seattle Mountaineers photography trip into the Canadian Rockies was ably led by Linda Moore. Yoho National Park is, in my opinion, the most beautiful place in the Canadian Rockies and perhaps in all of North America. For more information about Yoho National Park, go to the Parks Canada web site.

For other entries in my weblog about Yoho National Park, go to Ice and Wolverine.

To see my web site, which includes photographic prints for sale, please go to LeeRentz.com.

To see thousands of my photographs in large file sizes for use in magazines or other printed materials or electronic media, go to my PhotoShelter Website.