September is here and autumn isn’t far behind – which means it’s high time to explore the peaks, valleys and waterfalls of the Rockies. Draped in a blanket of yellow, orange and green – sweater season is when the mountains and their trees come to life but blink and you might miss it. Not sure where to see the iconic larch trees in all their glory? Here are 12 Alberta hikes you should take this fall!

Recent Posts:
Up up & away: Alberta’s FREE-to-attend hot air balloon festival will return this month
Alberta is home to the ‘most complete coal mine left in Canada’ & you can explore underground

Larch Valley Trail

View this post on Instagram


A post shared by @perrispeak

We’re going to kick things off with one of our absolute favourite hikes on this list! With stunning larch trees, a picture-perfect view and a trail that will have you sweating, this challenging trek (like a lot of ones on this list) is absolutely worth checking out this fall.

Where: 622 Moraine Lake Rd, AB

Karst Spring Trail


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Hans Suarez (@hans_suarez)

From towering trees to waterfalls, Karst Spring Trial is totally worth taking before in the fall – especially because, while the scenery is amazing, it’s not all that difficult! This place is well-maintained, quiet and perfect for groups of friends who are looking to hit one last trail before it’s too cold to do so.

Where: Mount Shark Trailhead, Alberta

Pocaterra Ridge


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Josh Kirton (@livin_er.and.givin_er)

You want larch trees? Pocaterra has got ’em… but you’ve got to earn it! While this one is tough, the hike is truly stunning and totally worth it, as long as you stay on the path! For this one, we’d recommend having your phone handy as it is a bit tough to navigate, but don’t let this scare you away! The view is outstanding.

Where: Pocaterra Ridge Parking Lot, Kananaskis, AB

Ptarmigan Cirque


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Anh Ho (@nhatanh13)

For those who have already taken the Pocaterra Ridge trail or are looking for something a little easier, you could also check out the Ptarmigan Cirque – as they both share the same trailhead! Lined with larch trees and well-travelled by families (and their dogs) this stunning hike has a waterfall, views and wildlife.

Where: Pocaterra Ridge Parking Lot, Kananaskis, AB

Chester Lake Trail


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by ???????? ???? सिद्धार्थ (@siddarthmore24)

Looking to experience this season with your furry friend? Check out the Chester Lake Trail! Not only is this hike a beautiful one, but it’s also super dog-friendly – and we love that. From the colours to the easy-to-follow path, this one has become a fall favourite among nature lovers – both inexperienced and professional.

Where: Kananaskis, AB – See directions here

Wood Bison Trail


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Maxine Myre (@maxine.myre)

Located in the beautiful Elk Island National Park, this serene hike is not one that should be missed. Although this trail can actually be taken at any time of the year, it’s far superior in the fall – and we mean that. Ask anyone who’s checked it out in the Autumn and they’ll probably tell you the exact same thing, it’s truly breathtaking.

Where: Elk Island National Park – See directions here

Crypt Lake


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Rachel (@ridiculous.rachel)

Named among the “19 Thrilling Trails Guaranteed to Make Your Heart Race,”, Crypt Lake is ideal for the fall-loving adrenaline junky – and that’s not only because it comes packaged with a spooky name. This hike may be challenging but the views are outstanding, overlooking large trees and the Waterton Reservoir this bad boy will take you through caves, by waterfalls and ends with an incredible view of the entire national park – colourful trees and all.

Where: Waterton National Park – See directions here

Lake Agnes Tea House Trail


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Jaegs (@jaegermicklabalan)

Though the iconic Lake Agnes Tea House closes for the season on October 10th, the hike there and back is totally worth it. Located within close proximity to Chateau Lake Louise, this hike is rated as moderate and has an incredible view. With waterfalls, trees and wildlife, this is another one that you should really check out any time of year.

Where: Lake Louise, Alberta

Arnica Lake


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Oksana+Max | Travel & Vanlife (@drinkteatravel)

Arnica Lake is a nature lover’s dream trail! Not only is it incredibly pretty in the fall, but it’s also not overly difficult for experienced hikers. Now, it does get a bit steep throughout – so be warned, but it’s nothing you won’t be able to handle if you know what you’re doing. Bring your poles, some water and some determination for this one, folks!

Where: See directions here

Sunshine Meadows


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Sherri Castiglione (@sherricastiglionephotography)

If Larch Valley is incredibly busy, this one is a close second! Located in Banff, Sunshine Meadows is just as breathtakingly beautiful. With yellow and orange larch trees as far as the eye can see, you’ll probably never see Alberta Autumn, quite the same way.

Where: #1 Sunshine Access Road, Banff

Red Rock Canyon


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Jink Supremo (@itsjinksupremo12)

Are you willing to take a bit of a drive to find something extra special? Look no further than Red Rock Canyon. Not only is this a super family-friendly hike with waterfalls, trees, and wildlife, but it also is quite literally, a canyon of red rocks. If colour and contrast are what you’re after, this is most definitely the hike for you.

Where: Waterton Park, AB – See directions here

Healy Pass


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Tim Banfield (@timbanfield)

If you’re looking for an all-day fall hike-extravaganza, stretch those legs, because Healy Pass isn’t your regular there-and-back trail. Pack some snacks, lace up those boots, and remember to breathe. This one is freaking lengthy, but the view of Banff’s golden larch trees, wildflowers, and far-off lakes is worth it. A day well travelled is a job well done.

Where: Sunshine Rd, Edgewater, AB

There you have it, folks. 12 of Alberta’s most beautiful fall hikes. Remember to hydrate before hitting the trails and to hike safely – especially now that there is snow on the ground