Booking a hut in Yoho National Park

May 5, 2004
Outside Magazine
Week of February 12-18, 1998
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Booking a hut in Yoho National Park

Booking a hut in Yoho National Park
Question: How can I book Alpine Club of Canada accommodations at Lake O'Hara? I live in Australia, but am a member of the New Zealand Alpine Club. Does the ACC have an e-mail address? What is it likely to cost? Are there any other low-cost accommodations in the area?

Peter Marsh
Balmain, NSW

Adventure Adviser: Canadian Alpine Club's Elizabeth Parker hut is less than a half-mile west of Lake O'Hara in Yoho National Park. Only a 15-minute hike from where the Parks Canada bus drops you off on the Lake O'Hara Road, the hut is so accessible it is nearly impossible to find it available during the summer months.

The ACC recommends booking it at least six months in advance and, of course, priority goes to people with an ACC membership. I'm not sure if they'll consider taking your NZAC membership, but if they will, the membership price is $14 (Canadian) per night.

If they won't accept your NZAC status, the hut costs $21. That's very inexpensive considering the only alternative is pitching a tent or staying at the famous Lake O'Hara Lodge which costs anywhere from $320 to $490 per couple per night. The obvious difference is you won't be served gourmet meals or sleep under down comforters at the Elizabeth Parker Hut.

The modest but comfortable cabin consists of two buildings: the main hut and the Wiwaxy cabin. The main hut has a large kitchen area and a separate room for bunks, tables, and a wood-burning stove, and sleeps up to 16 people on two large, long platforms.

The Wiwaxy cabin comfortably sleeps eight people. This hut is used as a base for mountaineering and also as a starting point for trips to the Abbott Pass Hut. To reserve the Elizabeth Parker Hut call 403-678-3200, e-mail [email protected], or write the ACC at Box 8040, Canmore, Alberta, Canada, T1W 2T8.

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