The 2017 Lake O’Hara Fall Colours

Landscape Photography Tour

Sept. 21 & 22, 2017 (Thursday and Friday)

Sold Out!

Join the waitlist via the green “Tickets” button

on the registration page here!


Start:  Sept. 21, 2017 at 7:45am at the Lake O’Hara bus access parking lot.

End:  Sept. 22, 2017 at 6:00pm

Cost:  $975.00 + GST for ILPA members and $1175.00 + GST for non-ILPA members (ILPA members will receive a $200 refund on their registration after their registration process is complete)

What’s Included:  Certified International Guides Association (IGA) hiking guides, professional photographers and artistic leaders, meals, lodgings, Parks Canada backcountry user permits and transportation passes along the restricted access 12 km road to Lake O’Hara.

Number of Tour Guests: 10

Number of Photographer leaders and Hiking Guides:  3

The 5 member leadership/cook team:  Brian Merry (tour organizer, pro IGA interpretive guide, ILPA president), Robert Berdan (pro photographer), Kazue Merry (pro IGA hiking guide and camp assistant manager), another professional hiking guide (TBA), and Kelly Mager from Backcountry Bistro, our very experienced back country chef!


Lake O’Hara in the Fall of 2016 ©


This is our 7th landscape photography tour into Lake O’Hara.  A description of the tour, and tickets are now available on Eventbrite.  Go to the eventbrite page for a complete description and to purchase your tickets early.  This tour always sells out early.  I really enjoy hosting this tour up there!  This place is the most beautiful place in the Rockies to photograph the Fall colours of the larches at treeline surrounded by mountains and glaciers.


Tour Description:

Lake O’Hara is a specularly brilliant blue alpine lake set in a small, high mountain valley nestled up against the west side of the continental divide.  The Eastern boundary of the region is Mount Victoria, which is the same beautiful mountain seen in the World famous landscape photograph of Lake Louise, except for the opposite side.  Lake Louise is about 8kms East of our base in Lake O’Hara, over Mount Victoria and the Continental Divide.

Why Lake O’Hara for Landscape Photography?

Most people who’ve been to Lake O’Hara agree that this is the best scenic little valley in all of the Canadian Rockies.  And, it is highly competitive to get a spot on the quota restricted buses that transport visitors there.

Come and join us on our 7th annual Lake O’Hara Landscape Photography Tour based at the Alpine Club of Canada’s Elizabeth Parker Hut.  This beautiful log cabin Alpine Club of Canada hut It is located a mere 800m meters along a hiking trail from where the buses drop us off on the morning of Sept. 17th.  The hut has one large co-ed dorm room with bunkbeds equipped with mattresses, which we lay our sleepings out on to sleep the night away.

The Dining:

We’ll enjoy beautiful meals prepared by experienced backcountry chef, Kelly Mager, from Backcountry Bistro.  This will be Kelly’s 7th year with us leading the cook team.  Yep, Kelly has been with us from the beginning.  She loves this area as much as I do and she loves coming back to join us on the tour, year after year.  I must admit that the amazing food she prepares is one of the highlights of the tour.

The Photography:

We’ll spend our time hiking around the valley at a photographer’s pace enjoying the amazing landscape photography locations that the area has to offer.  It seems that every few minutes I spend hiking down the trials in Lake O’Hara I see another world class landscape photography scene revealing itself in front of me around every other corner.  They just keep on coming and coming and coming…  This place is incredible!

The Lake O’Hara trial system is the best in the Canadian Rockies for hiking through spectacular scenery.  I, for one, can’t get enough of this place.  I’ve visited the area for climbing and photography on approximately 40 times now since the late 1990s.

Your Leadership Team:

The leadership team of professional photographers and IGA certified Hiking Guides.  We will use our experience in the area to maximize your time here, putting you in the best places to take your own landscape photographs.  We will have multiple hikes going out each day lead by the different photography leaders.  The difficulty of the hikes will range from low, medium and higher impact hike on a wide variety of terrain.  All hikes are on established Parks Canada hiking trails.  You’ll have the option to do your own self directed hiking and photography around Lake O’Hara if you would like to do that too.  The 3 km hike around Lake O’Hara is beautiful.  This lake loop hike only has about 100m of elevation gain/loss around the entire loop.

What to expect:

  1. Expect to hike 5-10 kilometers a day in varying terrain.  Hikes will range from 3 kms of flat terrain around Lake O’Hara to 8-10 kms round trip.  There is an elevation gain and loss of 1000 feet into some of the high glacial valleys surrounding Lake O’Hara should be expected.
  2. Hikes will proceed at “a photographer’s pace” including frequently stops to take pictures.
  3. Be prepared for all possible mountain weather including early fall snow/rain to bright, warm and sunny weather.  Bring your down jacket AND your sunscreen.
  4. Dorm style co-ed accommodation at the Elizabeth Parker Hut, the Alpine Club of Canada’s most beautiful alpine log cabin complex.  The hut is heated by a wood burning stoves requiring a sleeping bag rated for about -10 C to have a warm night’s rest.
  5. Gourmet meals prepared by Kelly Mager – former head chef in a trendy Toronto restaurant – turned full time professional backcountry caterer.
  6. Landscape Photography.  We’ll be photographing the famous grand landscapes of Lake O’Hara.
  7. Night sky photography session.

I’m sure you’ll be blown away by the beauty of this place!  I’m not kidding.  This is the most beautiful little valley and has some of the most scenic hiking trails in the Canadian Rockies!

Tour is Sold out!  Join the waitlist via the green “Tickets” button here!