The autumn is a great time to catch up on the hikes that we missed during the summer hectic rush. Jasper slows down and the trails are not as traveled, so it feels like you own a private reserve.
This trail is one of the popular one at Maligne Lake, where you can have an amazing view of the Lake from an elevation of approximately 2,700 meters. If you venture past tree line, the unobstructed view across the valley is where you see the start of the Six-trail pass, Skyline trail and much more.
The day we picked was just close to perfect as the weather was cool and the skies were blue. This year has brought us an unusual amount of precipitation, so needless to say that any blue-sky day is a good day. With the elevation at Maligne Lake, the moist conditions were showing with the mountain peaks covered with snow. Getting back to the hike, Opal Hills loop is only 8.5 kilometres, but very steep. Fast elevations gain to treeline then a gentle terrain on sub-alpine part of the loop. If you want to get any higher, you can try and summit the peak of Opal, another steep hike and a little more time.
Silly me, forgetting to bring gaiters for the snow and if you do this one in the summer and want to bag the peak, the gaiters will help with the scree (loose rocks). Anyhow the snow was not that deep, so I only got slightly wet. The loop did not take more than 5 hours, so this makes it a great day trip just to enjoy the area. Enjoy the photos that were taken that day.