Banff hadn’t had a ton of snow, especially in the valley area. Christian and I visited the park visitor’s center in Banff to figure out which trails would be good for snowshoeing or cross country skiing. After not really finding out exactly what would work on any of the trails, we just decided to rent snow cleats and headed to the trailhead of Taylor Lake. The trailhead is located off the TransCanada Highway (about 42km from Banff). There were a few other cars already in the parking lot & we found that the trail was snow-covered but packed, so we didn’t need snowshoes or even the snow cleats.
It was a 6km uphill hike through the forest.
It was just starting to rain after we started hiking but after climbing a bit the rain turned to snow.
After following the switchbacks, the trail opened up into a valley. The snow was deeper, so we could have used snowshoes here. There were a couple people wearing snowshoes for the hike. We also saw a few people with skins on their skis, who made it up to the lake and then skied down.
A short hike further led us to the snowy lake. Our camera lens got a few drops of snow on it when we were taking those photos, so they don’t look so good & I am not skilled enough with photo editing!
Christian & I sat under a tree to escape the snow to eat our packed lunch.
Then it was a much quicker 6km walk back down to the car.
In the official winter trail guide for the Lake Louise area, they classify this hike as most difficult. There was nothing technically difficult about the hike. I think you just need to be in reasonable hiking shape! Christian mentioned that since I had been in Denver for a couple weeks, I was already adjusted to the higher altitude. He has been working at a lower altitude & he carried all our gear, so there were a couple times where I got ahead. But that is not normally the case!