Boom Lake is a wonderful hike to take your (out-of-shape!) visitors and relatives out to see the real, pristine Rockies in Banff National Park. The trail starts high up near the continental divide so the elevation gain and steepness of the trail is minimized. The trail is wide and easy to follow; after a short climb, the trail levels out through picturesque forest, with snow-capped mountains rearing over the treetops. Just when everyone starts to ask, "when will we get there?" the trail opens up onto a beautiful, large, alpine lake sitting directly at timberline and right below the jagged edge of the continental divide. The lake makes a lovely picnic stop--bring your camera. The trail elevation also makes it a great early season hike as the snow is generally gone by early June. Kids can handle the hike well, though small children may need to be carried for portions. I've seen strollers used, but for the last few hundred metres, the strollers need to be carried. The hike is superb for older people, otherwise not used to the elevations in the Rockies. Best of all, the hike is not well known and is therefore not (relatively) crowded, a rare experience nowadays in our National Parks.
In the winter it makes a pretty decent ski, easy-ish to go up using waxless or skins and the 3.2km closes to the parking lot is a great downhill on the way back (30 kmh fun!).
There has been a slight re-route of the trail to go through the forest rather than across the tail end of an avalanche run. I didn't see anything on the entire trail that would make me the slightest bit worried unless we had a brazillion feet of snow some year.
NTS Map: 082N08
Elevation Gain: 175 m (575 ft).
Go west from Calgary, and continue west from Banff on the Trans Canada Highway (#1). Turn south-west on Hwy 93 to Radium, B.C. and ascend the continental divide. The trailhead is 7.1km down the road on your right (west) side just before you reach the summit of the divide (stay in Alberta) and starts at the end of a well marked parking area.
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Posted By: FredAnn
- Mon Sep 19 17:42:42 UTC 2016
UpsideEasy to get to from Calgary and a pleasant walk. The Fall colours of all the various plants & bushes, were very pretty. The elevation gain is decent and makes for a pleasant hike. Lots of parking (& and bathroom) at the start. Nice picnic tables as well. DownsideWe are in our 60's and not used to this length of trail, therefore we found it rather long. But that's just us. CommentWe did this in Sept and there were lots of muddy spots that you just can't avoid. Therefore wear appropriate footwear. We met a number of people in light shoes, pink shoes, and carrying delicate dogs. They weren't going to get very far.
Posted By: AV8R
- Sat Jun 13 22:06:18 UTC 2015
UpsideEasy hike (good for trying out new boots!) Quick (2.5 hours hiking time, not including stop at the lake) Well marked trail Not busy CommentThis isn't a hike you take a stroller on as there are many small streams (nothing serious, but you might get your feet wet if your shoes/boots aren't water proof), it may be a bit muddy and there may be the occasional fallen tree. We hiked it on June 12 after some rain and it was a bit muddy. We aren't super fast hikers, but we found it to be an easy hike, taking about 2.5 hours round trip. A good way to start the season off, break in/try out some new boots, or take family/friends that are less inclined towards hiking. I suspect it would make a nice winter trail with snow shoes or cross country skis.
Posted By: ChrisMarry
- Fri Aug 22 01:28:15 UTC 2014
UpsideBeautiful views of Quadra Mountain, easy and quick hike. Not busy. DownsideThat's a hike, there's nothing exciting there but enjoyable and accessible to everyone for sure.
Posted By: kitten422
- Fri Aug 03 17:40:58 UTC 2012
CommentThis was the first hike I did while visiting Canada. NOTE: NOT A STROLLER HIKE. Everybody who goes on this hike should be prepared for crossing baby mountain streams and mud. About halfway through you will see a log that is perfect for a quick stop. Because the hike was uncrowded, we managed to see a couple families of grouse (a quail type bird) and a marmot. Towards the end of the hike you will pass a large rock meadow kinda thing. If you are lucky you will see the marmot hiding in the rocks. When we reached the lake, we were rewarded with perfect views. There are plenty of large rocks that are perfect for a picnic. Because we went at the end of July, I took of my shoes and put them in the chilly water. On the way back it sprinkled, but that is normal for this time of year. In total we spent 4 hours hiking (we take our time) and 40 min relaxing at the lake with our new chip monk friends. :D
Posted By: ferreira01
- Thu Jun 16 01:03:54 UTC 2011
UpsideEasy and not busy. DownsideNone CommentI did this hike on June 12 and there was still lots of snow on the trail and very muddy. The lake was still amazing and for sure worth the trip.
Posted By: longleggedhiker
- Fri Aug 13 02:20:26 UTC 2010
UpsideA relativley easy and plesant trail to a brilliant lake located near the Continental Divide. This hike will be okay for someone who is out of shape. DownsideThere really isnt a downside to this one at all unless you absolutley must have a full day hike. CommentThis is a MUST HIKE trail to a beautiful alpine lake. The going is pretty fast owing to only 100 m elevation gain over 5.1 km. Therefore, you can spend some time at the lake and / or pair this hike with another short hike in the area such as Stanley Glacier, located only 6 km down Highway 93.
Posted By: kimmyg
- Mon Sep 28 19:14:44 UTC 2009
UpsideBeautiful and variable trail, lots to see and enjoy. Easy to get to the trail head, lots of parking. Was not busy at all.
Posted By: Park2
- Sun Mar 08 02:03:13 UTC 2009
UpsideGood access, fun rolly trail. Got lucky with great snow today. DownsideA little easy & short (10-11km return) CommentFun ride back down, wish it was 2x longer. Cloudy day so don't know about the scenery. The Alpina Control Edge (light B/C, steel edges, nnn BC bindings) were PERFECT for these conditions.
Posted By: dycheung
- Tue Aug 05 02:20:59 UTC 2008
UpsideGreat to take out of town guests, very easy and quick hike. DownsideNot the best hike you'll ever take, but Boom Lake is pretty. CommentThe road from Trans Canada to Radium is actually 93.