For the second year in a row, I decided to head to Lake O’Hara for some camping and fall colors photography. I love this place. Alongside awesome scenery including towering peaks and golden larches, access is restricted so its not too crowded. Two ways to overnight at the lake: Camping in the campground or staying at the Lodge.
Having no luck with the Lodge waiting list, I decided to camp for a few night and hope for good weather. After an 11 hour drive from Seattle I was ready for an adventure. I learned a lot from last year’s Lake O’Hara camping. First was that it pays to bring real food and cook it at the campground. Second, bring the warmest gear you have.
In the end, I overpacked a bit and got a lecture from the staff before boarding the schoolbus that takes you up the fire road to Lake O’Hara.
I setup my tent on pad 26 and got situated for the days ahead. There was a little less snow than last year so people were socializing around the campfire. I relaxed for the rest of the evening since the skies were cloudy and the light wasn’t good.
I peeked out of my tent around 5am the next day and saw stars above so it was on. I geared up and headed for the Opabin Plateau. Having seen and photographed the view from the Plateau over the lakes, I decided to explore the larches and lakes farther in instead.
I found a winter wonderland of larches, frozen tarns and towering peaks. A few of these are below.
I wandered along the frozen trails for about an hour before the light lost its softness. then I headed back down to the campground for breakfast and some rest. The lakeside cabins of the Lake O’Hara Lodge were basking in warm morning light.
Part 2 coming up…