Alright, folks – we’re getting down to the wire! Alberta’s Rocky Mountains have seen their first snow and while there is still sun in the forecast, it won’t be long until the larch trees brown and that white stuff really starts falling. From peaks and valleys, waterfalls and wildlife, there’s no day but today – or tomorrow, to get an autumn jaunt in. Not sure where to go? Here are 15 fall hikes in Alberta that you should take before the season is over.

LARCH VALLEY AND SENTINAL PASS

 

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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
Distance: 10.9 km
Difficulty: Hard

KARST SPRING TRAIL

 

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Stunning year-round, Karst Springs really has it all. From towering trees to waterfalls, this hike is totally worth taking before the season’s over – 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
Distance: 9.2 km
Difficulty: Moderate

POCATERRA RIDGE

 

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You want larch trees? Pocaterra has got ’em… but you’ve got to earn them. Rated as difficult, this hike is truly stunning and totally worth it – as long as you can 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
Distance: 11.4 km
Difficulty: Hard

PTARMIGAN CIRQUE

 

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For those of you 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
Distance: 3.5 km
Difficulty: Moderate

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CHESTER LAKE TRAIL

 

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Looking to experience the last of 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
Distance: 9.3 km
Difficulty: Moderate

GOAT LAKE

 

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Don’t sleep on this one, Alberta. Jasper is projected to get some snow in the coming weeks so if you’re looking to check this one out, you should probably do so sooner rather than later. Rated as difficult, Goat Lake is one of the most beautiful trails on this list, thanks to its many trees and of course, the lake itself. Check it out before October’s end, you won’t regret it!

Where: Directions here
Distance: 14 km
Difficulty: Hard

EDGE OF THE WORLD TRAIL

 

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As the name would suggest, Jasper’s Edge of The World Trail is something spectacular. This hike, unlike the majority on this list, is a shorter one, so it’s definitely worth tacking on to any trip that you have planned for the area. Overlooking the town, mountains and the trees – this hike is one we’d definitely recommend checking out while everything is still golden.

Where: See directions here
Distance: 1.1 km
Difficulty: Easy

WOOD BISON TRAIL

 

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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
Distance: 15.9 km
Difficulty: Moderate

CRYPT LAKE

 

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Named among the World’s 20 Most Thrilling Trails, crypt lake is ideal for the fall-loving adrenaline junky – and that’s not only because it comes packaged in 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
Distance: 20.4 km
Difficulty: Hard

LAKE AGNES TEA HOUSE TRAIL

 

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Though the iconic Lake Agnes Tea House is now closed for the season, 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
Distance: 7.4 km
Difficulty: Moderate

ARNICA LAKE

Ah, Arnica Lake – a nature lover’s dream trail! Not only is it crazy 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
Distance: 9.2 km
Difficulty: Moderate

SUNSHINE MEADOWS

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
Distance: 7.6 km
Difficulty: Easy to moderate

RED ROCK CANYON

 

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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, 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
Distance: 0.6 km
Difficulty: Easy

HEALY PASS

 

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Alright – last one, folks! If you’re looking for an all-day fall hike-stravaganza, 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
Distance: 18.3 km
Difficulty: Hard

BC BONUS: NUMA PEAK AND FLOE LAKE LOOP

 

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Located in Kootenay National Park, the Numa Peak and Floe Lake Loop are worth the hike, despite it being on the more difficult side. Here, you’ll see stunning larch trees by the dozen, a lake and if you’re lucky, wildlife! Bring your poles though – because it is a bit rocky, this one is a tad slippery.

Where: Directions here
Distance: 24.8 km
Difficulty: Hard

There you have it, folks. 15 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