Banff National Park
Time: 3 hours
Distance: 10 km (return)
Elevation Gain: 175 m
How To Get There: Heading west on the Transcanada Highway, turn south on Highway 93 (towards Radium). After about 7.1 km, turn right at the Boom Lake Day Use Area. The trailhead starts here.
Since Kim and I were going to be staying in Banff for the weekend, I thought it would be a good time to check out Boom Lake. Kim was suffering from an injured knee so I wanted to go for an easier hike. Boom Lake was just that. There is minimal elevation gain. The only difficult part was the long drive since Boom Lake is right on the border between Kootenay National Park and Banff National Park.
The parking lot is large and in tourist season I imagine also very full. But it’s shoulder season now so we virtually had the whole place to ourselves when we arrived. A snow storm had blown through the night before so the ground was covered in the wet stuff.
As we started on the trail, the fog began to lift revealing a blue sky background. We walked over a bridge that crosses over the **** creek.
The hike then moves into two switchbacks before leveling off.
It travels through thick forest, crossing over various beautiful trickling streams.
While the trail remains mostly flat the whole way, it does move up and down here and there. Whenever we crossed a creek, it created a break in the trees that allowed a nice view of the mountains.
Any broad-leaved trees disappeared the closer we got to Boom Lake until we were only surrounded by pine trees. After 2.3 km, we came across an intersection. If you want to go to Taylor Lake, you can turn off to your right. But our objective for the day was Boom Lake so we continued going straight.
After trudging through the snow for another 3.1 km, we finally spotted the pale grey-blue of the lake. While there was a lot of snow surrounding the area, it was still a very beautiful sight. The mountains in the foreground as well as the boulder covered shore made the lake look incredibly pristine.
Kim and I decided that this was the perfect time to sit down and have some lunch. However, two other guests also decided it was a perfect time for lunch. Perched above us were two Grey Jays, watching as we began to chow down. It didn’t take long before they both started swooping down and snatching some of our food. Even if it was a bit alarming at first, it was also incredibly neat to see them so up close. It’s sad that they are so used to humans as a source of food but it did provide some really interesting photos.
After sitting with the birds for a while, we started to feel a bit chilly so we decided it was time to start heading back. There were plenty of other people on the trail by the time we started to turn around, many of them with dogs and children. This was just further proof that this is a wonderful easy hike with a wonderful sub-alpine reward.