Taylor Lake Alberta Canada
Taylor Lake Alberta Canada
Good morning Trail Climb Nation. I have been offline for a few days due to some technical issues. Today I wanted to share the most amazing place I have seen with my own eyes-Taylor Lake. My wife and I went to Alberta for our honeymoon and really had no plan. We wanted to just hike in Banff and she left it up to me to plan all of our day hikes. I could have searched the internet and found some highly rated hikes but I decided to ask the locals every morning when I got coffee. One our first day there a man suggested the hike to Taylor Lake. He said it would be a 6-8 hour hike and the lake was beautiful. I ran next door to an outdoors shop and took a picture of the hike in a guidebook so I could bring all this information to my wife. We set out with our pup Ozzie and couldn’t wait for what seemed like an easy hike.
I kept researching this hike from the picture I took and it seemed relatively easy. It had a 600 foot climb and clocked in at a little over 3 miles. The hike was beautiful. We were surrounded by trees and a creek running through every facet of our hike. As we climbed what felt like 600 feet I started to wonder if I had the right information. We kept climbing and climbing. Surely we had done our 600 feet. Alisha turned to me and said this is way more than 600 feet. Immediately I remembered crossing under the Canadian overpasses that said 5m clearance. My heart sank as I pulled my phone out to check the stats. Our climb was 600 alright but it was 600m which meant we had to go over 2,000 feet. We were a little distraught but trust me the hike was worth it. We finally arrived to Lake Taylor and the pictures cannot do it justice. We sat and ate peanut butter and Hershey’s chocolate on top of a graham cracker. The over cast clouds kept moving from mountain to mountain so we could take in all the beauty. The lake was crystal clear. It reflected the mountains on them perfectly. Here we sat newlyweds while our dog ran wild and the moment was perfect. We were alone in Canada in the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen.
Trailhead: Located between Castle Junction and Lake Louise. Park at the trailhead parking lot 8kms northwest of Castle Junction or 18kms southeast of Lake Louise on the west side of the TransCanada highway. The parking lot can be accessed from either direction. Banff National Park.
Description: From the parking lot go through the wildlife gate making sure you close it behind you. Take the trail on your right Continue on mostly uphill for another 6kms and cross the wooden bridges over Taylor Creek. Shortly after the second bridge you’ll arrive at a beautiful meadow with the outlet stream ‘Taylor Creek’ flowing down it’s south side. Stay on the trail until you reach the Taylor Lake, O’Brien Lake signed trail junction. Keep going straight a few hundred meters to the east shore of Taylor Lake. O’Brien Lake is another 2.1kms from the signed junction. Taylor Lake is a beautiful crystal clear aqua green color. Mount Bell rises 725ms from it’s south shore and at the west end of the lake there is a waterfall cascading down a 50m cliff face. The north east end is surrounded by an inviting meadow that I’m sure contains every wildflower found in the Canadian Rockies. There is also a five tent site backcountry campground complete with picnic tables, outhouse and food storage cables. The campsite area is to wet for tenting in the spring months. Snow melt above has the entire area soaked. Experienced scramblers can continue on to Consolation Valley and Moraine Lake. Taylor Lake offers good Cutthroat Trout fishing. You’ll need a fishing license to try your luck, check regulations for closures. Nearby O’Brien Lake is only 2.1kms from here and is well worth the effort.
The trail starts with a moderate uphill grade to a bridge 1km up. There is steady uphill with switchbacks for the next 5 kms. After crossing another bridge the trail emerges to open meadows near the lake’s outlet. An excellent campground is located here with great views of the surrounding peaks.