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hiking
21 hours ago

Saturday 15th December 2018
We got to this trail at about 9am. We didn’t see anyone on the way up and quite a few people on the way back down! The trail we followed took us to the lake. The round trip took us about 3.5 hours.

As the path is popular the trail is well walked so we didn't wear snowshoes. But spikes were needed on a few parts. We kept them on for the whole trek as the paths had enough snow on them.

The trail head starts on a road so use the toilets before the final turn. There is a toilet just before the lake too!

on Chester Lake Trail

7 days ago

Wide open vistas and well marked. Winter paradise for sure

Nice, easy trail with very gradual elevation gain. You are mostly in the forest until you reach the lake. Good for quick a winter hike. As of Dec 8/18, the trail is hard packed snow - no snowshoes or traction devices needed, though this might change over the next few days as the snow melts and refreezes.

snowshoeing
8 days ago

Mostly flat trail. Easy-moderate. ~2.5 hr hike.

Completed on December 1. Easy hike with great views. Trail was packed so no need for snowshoes yet.

Easy hike but truly stunning!

snowshoeing
10 days ago

Completed Chester Lake two weeks ago and it was a wonderful trail! Beautiful scenery, good steep sections to warm you up, and very rewarding lake at the end to sit and relax, have some lunch, and watch some of the backcountry skiers.

Very well marked, great views, will do this one again come summer.

on Chester Lake Trail

hiking
13 days ago

Trailhead was well marked with parking. Many different routes you can take (hike, snowshoe, ski...etc.)Took a few beginners up this trail, and didn't seem to have many issues. Views from the top were beautiful. Lots of Gray Jays and they are not shy, they will land on your hands if you let them!

Lovely wide and easy trail with nice views. There were
about 4 inches of fresh snow on the ground. We wore micro spikes but could have been done without them.

snowshoeing
13 days ago

Just finished this snowshoe trail and it was pretty good. first 1.5km will get you warmed up and your legs going. After that it is pretty much smooth sailing. The mountains surrounding the area are beautiful but since this is 'winter' the lake area is somewhat anticlimactic. Will enjoy coming back in the summer to do this one again.

hiking
14 days ago

Good fall/early winter hike if you have micro spikes. Some deep snow up top (don’t forget the gaiters) near the lakes, but lakes are frozen and you can easily traverse across them. Will be back in the spring/summer.

Nice and relaxing hike, definitely recommend doing it counter clockwise. You can enjoy the views from the ridge more. Was a bit slippery in places, we wore yaktrax, as there was a bit of ice in spots. It was quite beautiful with the light snow falling. Loved how wide the trail was, made it nice for conversation.

hiking
16 days ago

Great easy hike to take your dog!

I did this hike in 2017. The waterfalls are cool, but it is highly trafficked by tourists. Once you pass the upper falls and start on the trail to the ink pots, it is much nicer. Steep climb. When we reached the valley where the ink pots are, it was amazing. It felt like we had just stepped out into a beautiful valley from a short hike from our car, not remembering that we had hiked many kilometres to see it.

little to no wildlife....cows...cow patties ....not even a squirrel...lots of wild flowers kid friendly

Great hike with an incredible view at the end. If you are looking for a moderate winter hike in the area this is a great choice. The path to the falls had several groups on it and was busy for a winter trail, but once you passed the upper falls the trail was empty. The view of the mountains from the inkpots was perhaps more incredible than the inkpots themselves. The snow was packed most of the way. Ice cleats were helpful, especially when going down.

Went out today and got up to the alpine meadow but wasn’t able to complete either side of the loop due to the deep snow. There were tracks so I imagine if you had the gear and gators then it wouldn’t have been a problem. But I was alone without gators and only crampons so I decided to duck out. I look forward to going back in the spring/summer.

hiking
27 days ago

Completed Oct 31 and a not recommend.
The trail is a long, grueling uphill ascent that stays within the trees the entire time. There are no lookouts or landmarks along the 2hour climb. It's incredibly monotonous. Taylor Lake itself is now completely frozen, and the meadow is heavily snowed in. The view of the mountains is often fogged in. At 2100+ meters, I experienced mild altitude sickness. On our descent, we noticed fresh Grizzly tracks on top of our ascending footprints. No sitings, but the big bears aren't necessarily asleep yet.
This is not the worst hike ever, but in Banff this time of year, there are dozens that offer better views, with less work in more frequently used parts of the park.

hiking
1 month ago

I LOVED this hike today. It was stunning with all the snow, reminded me of a winter wonderland. Such a nice and easy hike. Highly recommended

Easy hike, lovely views in the canyon - get here early as the trail gets busy!

Took the fam here last year, was awesome, busy but awesome.

Was a great time, took our dog out on leash and she met a few other dogs along the way. If you have dog boots, take them with, although it wasn't muddy theres definitely some wet spots. We loved the trail, especially if you take it counter clockwise, some great view/easier to hike near the last quarter of the hike. Enjoy.

hiking
1 month ago

Amazing views of mountains! We went in Mid Oct before the larch trees lost their needles. Beautiful fall colours! Trail was slippery with fair bit of snow at the top. Traction aids and hiking poles were definitely a benefit for this hike especially for the descent. This hike is a gradual climb up with some steep areas in the trees, flattens out near the top, then gradual climb to reach the top. It’s a nice moderate hike. Would recommend it and will definitely hike it again.

I was very disappointed with the zoo. We did not see any animals but many bunny tracks. The snow gave it a nice touch but was confused why there was so much more snow the higher up we went when we were getting closer to the sun. It makes zero sense. It should be warmer.

Super fun and relatively easy hike! The view at the top is amazing. Can’t wait to snowshoe this trail once more snow comes along.

Nov 3, 2018
Johnston Canyon was awesome—is great if you love water. The river through the canyon was beautiful. Easy hike on paved trail. The trail to ink pots was a bit more difficult, but not too intense. We rented crampons and made heavy use of them (lots of steep icy inclines). The ink pots are nestled in a valley next to the upper river. While not as bright blue as we expected due to the cloud cover, they were still amazing. The surrounding mountain views are awesome too—we sat for a while and had a snack before making the trek back.

hiking
1 month ago

Did this hike Nov 3, 2018. High of 10 degrees, slight wind, mainly overcast. First 60% of the trail was greasy and we had to put on crampons to stop from slipping everywhere. Middle portion ice and some snow. Top portion by lake has deep snow. Crampons necessary and likely snowshoes for upper area. Mud should not be a problem since freezing temps incoming.

This hike isn't what I would call "super easy". More moderate to difficult since it is essentially straight up. Very few flat areas. Use my GPX data since All Trails map is out of date.

The Good:
Nature, outdoors, some okay scenery on the way up, vigorous hike
Scenery around the lakes is beautiful

The Bad:
Aggressive climb from trailhead to lakes
Mostly within treeline
Few views along the way

After seeing Johnston Canyon, you can continue the uphill and slightly monotonous trail to the Ink Pots. The Ink pots are pretty cool and there’s a steam near them, but I would spend time hiking elsewhere if I had it to do over again.

This this one about 3 weeks ago. Loved Johnston Canyon! Was a tiny bit disappointed with the Ink Pots, but still a very beautiful place.

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