Banff National Park: Taylor Lake (2 days / 26 km)

If you want to camp beside a stunning glacial lake, hike through beautiful alpine meadows and be rewarded with 360-degree views with little effort, this is the backcountry trip for you. Although not the premiere Banff destination, this easy trip offers a big bang for its buck.

Trip Completed: July 2019

Trip Summary

Starting Point: Taylor Lake Trailhead

Ending Point: Taylor Lake Trailhead

Total Distance: 26 km

Elevation Gain: 1700 m

Duration: 2 days

Difficulty: Beginner 


This route is located in Banff National Park and the nearest town is Banff.

Traditional Territory: This route takes place on the traditional territory of Niitsítpiis-stahkoii ᖹᐟᒧᐧᐨᑯᐧ ᓴᐦᖾᐟ,  Ktunaxa ɁamakɁis and Tsuu T'ina (source).

Maps & Resources

Map: The Parks Canada PDF has mapped the entire backcountry trail system.

Permits and Campsite Reservations: Must reserve through Parks Canada. Select “Backcountry Camping”, and for the park choose “Banff, Kootenay and Yoho National Parks”. Then select “Taylor Lake” as your access point. You will need to purchase a backcountry permit which you can do in advance when reserving your campsites. You will also need to have a National Parks day pass which you pay as you enter the park. Print your passes out and place them at your campsite. 

Guidebook: If you wish to climb one of the mountains in the area you can follow Alan Kane’s “Scrambling in the Canadian Rockies” which contains by far the most popular and best routes.

Outfitters & Shuttles

Shuttle: No shuttle is required as this route starts and ends in the same place.

Outfitter: There is no outfitter operating here, so bring your own gear (including bear spray).

Trip Report

Day 1: Trailhead to Taylor Lake (13 km)

We were looking for a quick 2 day, 1 night adventure and decided on Taylor Lake. I had seen the lake and the mountain camp at the far end of it from the summit of Mt. Bell the summer befor...

To continue reading this Trip Report, please login below.

If you aren't a Member yet, please sign up here.