Elizabeth Parker Hut

Elizabeth Parker Hut

Built 1912

The ACC operates the largest network of backcountry huts in North America. One of our most accessible and popular huts, Elizabeth Parker (EP) Hut is located in a beautiful alpine meadow 500 metres from the shores of Lake O’Hara in Yoho National Park.

Hut Facilities

Elizabeth Parker Hut Features

Family Friendly
Open All Year

Hut Lottery Closed

The Elizabeth Parker Summer Lottery is now closed.

Features

Historic log cabin in the meadows of Lake O'Hara

The Lake O’Hara area, with its sublime alpine lakes and scenery, amazing network of hiking trails and alpine routes is rightfully famous around the world as a hiker’s paradise.

The Elizabeth Parker (EP) Hut is located in a beautiful alpine meadow 500 metres from the shores of Lake O’Hara in Yoho National Park. This is one of the most accessible ACC huts and is very popular.

The Lake O’Hara area is a sensitive alpine area and Parks Canada has implemented a quota system to limit use and protect the area. Access to the Lake in the summer months is via a Parks Canada bus, which you can book through the ACC if you’re staying at the hut.

Note: High season rates apply in the summer months while the bus is running.

Lottery Details

Because of the popularity of the hut, in the summer reservations are made via a lottery system, and here is how the lottery works.

  • The lottery is for reservation dates from June 21, 2024 to the end of Oct 6, 2024.
  • There is a $15.50 + GST fee for each lottery entry. People can purchase multiple lottery entries.
  • ACC Membership is not required to enter the lottery. However, as all lottery bookings are made at least three months in advance, an active membership is required at the time of booking for each space being booked.
  • Lottery winners will have their choice of booking any date that the hut is available for summer 2024.
  • Lottery winners may book any number of available beds in the hut, for up to maximum of 5 nights.
  • Lottery winners are limited to one booking per summer.
  • Lottery winners will be notified after mid-January and will be able to book any summer dates that remain available.
  • As reservations are made, additional lottery winners will be drawn until all summer 2024 dates are filled.
  • Once all summer 2024 dates are reserved, any lottery entrant who did not receive a reservation will be placed on a waitlist. In the unlikely situation of a cancellation, individuals on the waitlist will receive 1st opportunity to make a reservation.
  • Once a reservation is confirmed, all standard cancellation and payment policies apply.
  • The maximum duration for any single reservation is 5 nights.
  • Each person can make only 1 reservation for the duration of the lottery season.
  • An additional $13.50 booking fee will be charged for each group of up to 8 guests. The booking fee will apply to each additional group of 8 guests.
  • The bus fee is $24 tax incl. for guests 6+ years. If the guest is 5 or younger, the bus fee is waived.
  • Lottery entries will be issued a ticket number once the purchase period has ended and all tickets will be drawn against one another. Winners will then be contacted and given the opportunity to chose their overnights (up to 5 nights maximum, 1 booking per person, for the duration of the lottery season) along with their intended capacity. There is no weight placed on when you enter the lottery, provided you enter within the lottery entry period.

Trail Access

Parks Canada Bus: From mid-June – September, Lake O’Hara is reached by a Parks Canada bus. From the bus drop off in front of the Le Relais Cabin, a 10-minute hike takes you to the hut. You can make your bus booking at the time you make your hut reservation.

You can learn more about getting to the hut on our Lake O’Hara bus page and through Parks Canada.

Hiking: During the summer peak season, it is recommended that you book the Parks Canada bus with your Elizabeth Parker Hut booking. During the shoulder season, when the bus is not operational, you may hike up the Lake O’Hara Road for 12 km.

*Mountain bikes are not permitted on the Lake O’Hara Road.

Member Rates

  • Standard $50
  • Peak Season $60

    June 15 - Oct 8

Non Member Rates

  • Standard $60
  • Peak Season $70

    June 15 - Oct 8

Features

Cozy base for ski touring

In the winter, the ski touring is as beautiful as the summer hiking. The scenery is stunning and as the approach trail follows the summer road, access is straightforward.

Wood stoves in both the main cabin and the Wiwaxy Cabin keep things cozy for large or small groups.

Trail Access

Skiing or Snowshoeing: The winter approach to Elizabeth Parker Hut is the same route as the hiking approach. From the parking lot, you can ski or snowshoe up the Lake O’Hara Road for 12 km (typically 4-5 hours). Parks Canada considers the access route simple Class 1 Avalanche Terrain; it is primarily forested terrain with some openings that cross runout paths.

Trail Conditions: Parks Canada

Member Rates

  • Standard $50
  • Peak Season $60

    December 1 - April 30

Non Member Rates

  • Standard $60
  • Peak Season $70

    December 1 - April 30

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Hut History

As much as any single person, Elizabeth Parker was responsible for the formation of the Alpine Club of Canada.

For many years, climber and surveyor A .O . Wheeler had a desire to begin a Canadian alpine club “similar to the European and other big alpine clubs of the world representing mountain ranges such as the Canadian Cordillera,” but could not rouse sufficient interest and support, meeting instead with skepticism and indifference. In 1902, in a conversation at Glacier House, Rogers Pass with Charles Fay, Wheeler decided to form a Canadian chapter of the American Alpine Club, which Fay was in the process of forming . When Wheeler tried to garner support for the idea through the country’s leading newspapers, Elizabeth Parker, then on the staff of the Winnipeg Free Press, chastised him for his lack of patriotism. Wheeler asked Parker to support his “plan A”, a truly Canadian club, and got the support in spades. As Wheeler said of the Club’s co-founder: “Her cultured and forcible style of writing, her keen sense of vision and invariable accuracy of statement was one of the most helpful factors of the Club’s foundation.” Largely due to the efforts of Elizabeth Parker and the Winnipeg Free Press, the Alpine Club of Canada was formed in Winnipeg on March 27, 1906; Mrs. Parker was one of six original honorary members.

The present Wiwaxy cabin was the first hut in the Lake O’Hara area, built in 1912 by the Canadian Pacific Railway. This was the same year that the ACC applied for and was granted a two-acre lease for a future hut on the south shore of Lake O’Hara, the site of the Club’s 1909 annual camp. In 1919, the CPR built the present Elizabeth Parker Hut, and by 1923 had built a further 11 huts in the meadow. In 1923/24, the CPR moved all but the first two huts down to the lakeshore, and seven years later donated the last two in the meadow to the ACC.

The Club was able to exchange its lakeshore lease for a meadow lease, and in 1931 was in business with a hut at Lake O’Hara – the Elizabeth Parker Hut.

As you can expect with log buildings, the Elizabeth Parker Hut has required substantial renovations and upkeep. Over the years the hut has seen a new floor, a new roof, new timbers and new foundation logs, as well as completely new interior furnishings. The outhouses are new, a stove in the Wiwaxy Cabin has been added and the entire meadow around the hut has been rehabilitated and reseeded. Over the past couple of years, the Huts Committee has worked very hard to restore the appearance of the hut as closely as possible to its original state. The Canadian government designated the Elizabeth Parker Hut as a Federal Heritage Building in 1997.

“her memory is preserved by the very popular tribute inscribed with her name, the ‘Elizabeth Parker Hut’, maintained in one o f the most charming centres of the Canadian Rockies, close by beautiful Lake O’Hara ” (Quotation from Elizabeth Parker’s obituary by A . O Wheeler, CAJ #29

Rab Canada sponsors the ACC hut network.
We thank them for their support.