Linda Lake Loop Trail – Best Canadian Rockies Day Hikes

#10 – Canadian Rockies Day Hikes: Linda Lake Loop Trail (With Morning Glory Lakes & Cathedral Lake Spur)

Linda Lake Loop Trail
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  • Location: Yoho National Park
  • Trailhead: Lake O’Hara
  • Type: Loop
  • Rating: Moderate
  • Total Distance: 7.5 miles
  • Trailhead Elevation: 6,625′
  • Total Elevation Gain: 995′
  • Recommended Time: 3 – 4 hours
  • Recommended Season: Late-June to Late-September
  • Reservations for the Lake O’Hara bus are needed (Otherwise add 7-miles (one-way) to hike up the road)

Linda Lake Loop Trail

Linda Lake Loop Trail Map
A trail map for the Linda Lake Loop, Cathedral Lake Spur & Monica Lake Spur.

The Lake O’Hara area has no shortage of amazing hikes and beautiful lakes. The Linda Lake Loop Trail is one of those hikes. This beautiful hike is often overlooked as it leads to the Duchesnay Basin adjacent to the main Lake O’Hara area. This hiking adventure leads not only to the shores of three distinct lakes but also to meadows that burst with summer wildflowers. This is one of the best moderate hikes in Yoho National Park and the Canadian Rockies.

West Linda Lake
The view of Linda Lake from the western edge of the lake.

Morning Glory Lakes

Morning Glory Lake
One of the Morning Glory Lakes with a massive waterfall plunging from the glacier on Odaray Mountain.

The normal Linda Lake Loop starts from the Lake O’Hara campground and loops solely around Linda Lake. However, our recommended version of the Linda Lake Loop Trail takes hikers from the shore of Lake O’Hara up to a series of smaller lakes referred to as the Morning Glory Lakes via the Morning Glory Trail. The picturesque landscape of these lakes is crowned by a massive waterfall plunging from the glacier on Odaray Mountain. This scene would be enough reason to make the journey but there is more to be discovered on this loop.

Linda Lake

South Linda Lake
The view from the southern edge of Linda Lake.

Leaving the Morning Glory Lake the trail climbs through a set of long switchbacks to the shore of Linda Lake. The rich blue waters reflect the surrounding mountainous terrain. While the scenery pales in comparison to some of the other lakes in the Lake O’Hara area, the deeply saturated blue hue makes this lake truly special.

Cathedral Lake

Vera Lake
The water from one of the Cathedral Lakes cascades towards Vera Lake.

The final stop is via a short spur to Cathedral Lake. Along the way, the path cuts through a meadow that in late July was blanketed by wildflowers. This is the most densely covered meadow I have ever seen. The path leads directly to the shore of Cathedral Lake. There is a bridge that crosses over the outflow of the lake and just beyond the bridge, there is an ideal lunch spot.

Bee in the Flowers
I was astonished that this bee let me get so close in the meadow full of flowers.

Finishing the Linda Lake Loop

East Linda Lake
The view across Linda Lake from the east shore.

After taking in the lake, return to the path at Linda Lake and complete the loop around the backside of the lake. The path back is an easy descent through fungi-filled forest that leads straight into the Lake O’Hara Campground. Hikers can then follow the road a short distance back to the shores of Lake O’Hara.

OHara Fungi Forest
The Linda Lake Loop Trail leads through a lush forest blanketed in colorful fungus.

Monica Lake Add-On

If you are keen for a more heart-pumping climb than this moderate loop affords, adventurous hikers can also continue past Cathedral Lake. You’ll ascend to the high alpine Monica Lake that sits on a shelf below the towering Cathedral Mountain. To get there requires a steep climb up extremely tight switchbacks that climbs more than 700′ in less than a mile. (Most of that elevation is gained in less than a quarter of a mile). However, the views back over the valley are stunning!

Monica Lake Trail Viewpoint
Looking back down at Cathedral Lake and Odaray Mountain from the trail to Monica Lake.

Lake O’Hara Shuttle

Lakeside Cabin
The lakeside cabins at Lake O’Hara also make for a great base camp when exploring the area.

To explore any of the Linda Lake Loop or the great Lake O’Hara area of Yoho National Park you need to reserve a seat on the Lake O’Hara shuttle bus as the area has a daily quota system in place. Click here for more details.

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