Taylor and O'Brien Lakes is a 10.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until September.

Length10.8 miElevation gain3,733 ftRoute typeOut & back
HikingNature tripsSnowshoeingBird watchingForestLakeViewswild-flowersWildlifeMuddy
Description
Waypoints (0)

Please see the park page here for information about current COVID-19 and road closures: https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/ab/banff/visit/covid-19-info

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (102)
Photos (285)
Recordings (97)
Completed (452)
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Karen Erickson-King
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJanuary 24, 2021
Hiking

Great hike today up to Taylor lake. Packed snow, micro spikes used. Not too busy at all on the trail. A few backcountry skiers came down the trail pretty fast and we had to jump out of the way. They had some warning as we were talking, so it could have been worse on the narrow path if they didn’t hear us! Not too steep of an incline if you’re in descent shape. Took about 2 hours 15 min to get up. 6.5 km one way. Looking forward to another day up there to go further to O’Brien and maybe even Boom lake!

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K Man
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarDecember 5, 2020
Hiking
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K Man
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 28, 2020
Hiking
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Brad Boschman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarOctober 9, 2020
HikingMuddy

Not sure why elevation gain is so high, but in reality it is 760m and definitely should be rated as a moderate hike. Today the trail was extremely muddy so that made it a little more difficult.

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An Met
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 5, 2020
Hiking

Went on a Monday morning, easy to park, wide trail only mudy to get to O'Bryen. Beautiful hike and lakes (larches almost done)!

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Violet Lim
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 5, 2020
HikingGreat!

Hiking trail: Taylor and O’Brien Lakes Hiking date: October 3, 2020 Distance: 17km Total elevation gain: 750m Time: 06:00 (including 1 hr lunch) Dog-friendliness: 5/5 This hike is the 3rd of 4 days of hiking in a row. I was glad that we did only 750m of elevation, not 1134m as noted in AllTrails, as I needed to save my legs for an epic hike the following day! @kaedeephotography, @cheesecroissant1, @outcydaz, and I teamed up to tackle not only this trail but also to find the most creative way to park in an already full lot. The forest walk is long but the rewarding views of the lakes are worth the jaunt. Taylor Lake (Photos 1 and 2) is a popular hangout for people and dogs alike. Though O’Brien Lake (Photos 3 to 8) is a little further, the still lake makes for perfect reflections and photo ops. P.S. Can you tell the last picture is actually upside-down? Instagram for pics/DM: rootyhiker

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Samantha Simmonds
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarOctober 4, 2020
Hiking

A nice enough hike - you are in the woods for most of it . The lake is beautiful definitely better with the fall colours. Hiked up to O’brian lake as well

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Raelene Lange
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 4, 2020
HikingMuddy

Wanted to inform you if your doing both lakes it’s more like 19km out and back! A bit longer than we thought. Very busy this time of year when the Larches are so golden! Lots of people so go early or go later when everyone is leaving. A bit boring through the trees but the lakes are gorgeous!

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Kathleen Day
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarOctober 3, 2020
Hiking

Both lakes are beautiful! Taylor was relatively busy on a Saturday but O'Brien was quiet and well worth the trek for the views. Larches are definitely past their prime on Oct 3 but most still had their needles with the exception of the larches on the lefthand side of O'Brien Lake. One downside of this hike is almost the entire hike is in the trees so not much for views until you get to the lakes, but the lakes are worth it in my opinion.

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Maris Chutumstid
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 3, 2020
HikingGreat!Muddy

Complete on Oct 3, 2020 great trail conditions from parking lot to Taylor Lake, a few muddy areas, but can be easily avoided. Taylor lakeshore was more crowded than expected considering we didn’t pass many groups on the way up. Lake O’Brien was a lot less crowded but be cautious as there are many muddy area closer to the lake. Yellow larch can be still be seen at both lakes.

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Lindsay Kraus
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 3, 2020
Hiking
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Jason Hong
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 1, 2020
Hiking
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Gillian Graham
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 1, 2020
Hiking
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Alyssa Dudek
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 28, 2020
Hiking

Completed 2020-09-27 in roughly 5 hours with a lunch break at the lake. This trail is a fantastic way to view yellow larches in the banff area in September. The trail is very well groomed to Taylor lake, and becomes a single track between Taylor and O’Brien; this seems to deter most people from going, which was great as we had O’Brien lake to ourselves when we arrived. Lots of muddy spots throughout the trail due to recent snow. I put this on another review I did but I think it warrants repeating: remember, larch season goes hand-in-hand with autumn and its shorter days. Make sure you are aware of the time that the sun will set, and if hiking late, that you select a turnaround time that allows you to reach the trailhead before dark. There were a few groups behind us who seemed unaware of the early sunset, and ill equipped to hike through it.

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Jun Xu
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 27, 2020
Hiking
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Lynne Marion
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 26, 2020
Hiking

Nice trail to view the larches in mid to late September. Not as busy as Larch Valley to sentinel pass. Trail is well defined to both lakes. Being mostly through forest there are no real views until you get to the lakes. Trail has lots of exposed roots and rocks so you are watching your step. Lakes are both lovely. O’Brien lake is smaller than Taylor with similar feel so if you are tired, not worth the extra kms in terms of scenery. We ventured onto the Panorama ridge trail, accessible from Taylor lake - just past the campsite near the picnic benches. This trail is tricky to follow after the first km so I suggest you download the map beforehand. We turned back about 2/3 of the way along the ridge trail so didn’t get any Panorama views. Larches were beautiful throughout.

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Pierre Longchamps
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HikingMuddy
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Tyler Trinh
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 26, 2020
Hiking
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Terry Huang
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 26, 2020
Hiking
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J H
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 26, 2020
HikingMuddyRockySnow

Started at 845 and the parking lot was pretty full already (but there was a semi truck parked in there and there is also overnight camping and it was larch season). There are facilities in the parking lot. Long hike. But Taylor Lake was stunning with the larches. The hike to the lake is boring, beautiful forest but boring. Just a long slog up. There are some shortcuts through the switch backs, we took a few on the way down. It was pretty muddy around the lake (from snow) the day we went. Path to Taylor is pretty wide (easy to share the trail). The trail to Obrien is much narrower and goes up and down. Obrien lake had a bigger shoreline to share. Beautiful view from there too. Long trek back to the car, but the kids did awesome! Not sure how often I would redo this hike due to the length and lack of points of interest throughout to help break up the hike.

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Allison Kiss
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 25, 2020
Hiking

The lakes were gorgeous! Especially with the larches. We went on to O’Neil; definitely more technical than the hike to Taylor, but not too hard. The trail was also quite diverse- not very repetitive. We did see grizzly (?) bear scat on our way back to the car that was very very fresh, so bring your bear spray!

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Charlie Kemp
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 23, 2020
HikingBugsGreat!Muddy

Both lakes were absolutely stunning, especially with the larches. Definitely take the extra 20 to do O’Brien lake. Pretty muddy to get there but nothing too crazy. Completed both lakes in just over 4 hours.

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Tamara B.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 23, 2020
HikingGreat!
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Nicholas Renaud
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 20, 2020
Hiking

Well traveled trail with amazing views. Definitely worth the extra length to see O'Brien. Trail was dry and clear with the exception of a short damp mossy patch.

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Brandi Vanderwolf
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 20, 2020
Hiking

Decent trail. Views are worth it

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