Taylor Lake and Boom Lake are easily accessible mountain-bound lakes in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada.
There are several ways to access Taylor Lake. The obvious trail-head is on the south side of the TransCanada Highway about 35 KM (22 miles) west of the Town of Banff in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada.
A brilliant, early morning, orange-red sunrise in the rear-view mirror is spectacular. The shallow and broad band of mist throughout the foothills hovers above the ground and glows orange and auburn over the shadowed contrast of grain fields. The gradually rising sun progressively lightens the color of the mist to yellow, then white until it burns away as the day warms up.
Ahead there are isolated storms in the mountains. Dropping into the Bow Valley Corridor skies are angry but sun behind creates an awe-inspiring rainbow at the beginning of the front range and over Lac des Arcs beneath Grotto Mountain hovering over Canmore, Alberta, Canada.
Cloud cover is low, dense and dark on the south side of the highway and intermittently higher and heavy on the north side which creates dramatic and dynamic, slowly moving scenery. The clouds perceptibly slide smoothly up mountain-sides under the sun's influence and create slow-motion images which are emotionally stirring and bring back wonderful memories of rainbows past.
Access to Taylor Lake is on the south side of the TransCanada Highway, so heading west requires a cautious left turn past lanes of opposing traffic to the well-signed and large parking area for the Taylor Lake trail-head.
A short, arched, wooden bridge crosses the high and fast-running water of Taylor Creek onto good quality, reasonably graded trail with switchbacks. The 6.3 KM (3⅞ mile) trail meanders along and across Taylor Creek before terminating at a beautiful mountain-bound alpine lake.
A self-portrait at shoreline precedes an attempt to photograph the magnificent and audibly apparent 100 m (328 ft) glacier-fed waterfall at the far end of the lake. At 7,100 feet (2,164 m) of elevation, the forest is still heavily snowbound. The 16 KM (10 mile) trail between Moraine Lake and Taylor Lake is snowbound and virtually impassable.
After hiking a quick 6.3 KMs (3⅞ miles) back to the car, there is a short drive west on the TransCanada Highway then a few kilometers south on Hwy 93 at Castle Junction to the well-signed trail-head for Boom Lake. Beautiful clusters of Indian Paintbrush flowers proliferate near the parking area.
This wide, popular and well-traveled, good quality trail, with mossy borders and frequent wet and muddy spots, rises gradually over 5.1 KM (3¼ miles) to another visually spectacular, mountain-bound lake at 1,984 m (6,215 feet) of elevation.
The trail is sufficiently wide to allow for a great winter snowshoe trip. There is a very secluded spot high in the massive rock-fall above the lake shore where there is a perfect spot to relax in the sun and enjoy lunch on a quiet and peaceful day at Boom Lake. The other side of the lake encroaches on Kootenay National Park in British Columbia.
Final photos are captured before hiking the 5.1 KM back to the car for the drive to the Town of Banff to enjoy a late afternoon, hour-long soak in Banff Upper Hot Springs prior to the drive back to Calgary.
The hikes to Taylor Lake and Boom Lake in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada create a long but incredibly satisfying hiking day.