Trailhead: Located between Castle Junction and Lake Louise. Park at the trailhead parking lot 8kms northwest of Castle Junction or 18kms southeast of Lake Louise on the west side of the TransCanada highway. The parking lot can be accessed from either direction. Hike is close to Banff and Canmore, Banff National Park.
Description: From the parking lot walk through the wildlife gate making sure you close it behind you. Take the trail on your right, continue on mostly uphill for another 6kms and cross the wooden bridges over Taylor Creek. Shortly after the second bridge you’ll arrive at a beautiful meadow with Taylor Creek flowing down it’s south side. Stay on the trail until you reach a signed trail junction Taylor Lake or O’Brien Lake.
Turn left here and cross the twin wooden beamed bridge over Taylor Creek. Keep going approximately 1.7kms until you see another sign reading “O’Brien Lake 1/2 Mile” pointing to a trail on your right. A short distance from here the trail drops slightly down amongst thick bush. Keep going and cross a couple of old logs bridging the outlet stream flowing out of O’Brien Lake. Stay on the trail leading west towards the meadows. Once you arrive at the meadows, stay left to avoid wet boggy sections. In a short distance you’ll arrive at the east shore of O’Brian Lake.
The meadows and the lake are surrounded by Larch trees that turn golden brown in the fall. Taylor Lake and O’Brien lake can be completed the same day and well worth the effort. Both lakes are beautiful, however O’Brien Lake see’s less people. Pictures below were taken in August.