Now that pumpkin spice lattes are available Canada-wide, we’re all feeling the spook – you know, the tingle that you only get when the air gets crisp and the leaves turn yellow? September and October might not be on the calendar quite yet, but autumn is on our minds and so are all of the wonderful things that come with it… like foliage! Now we may be biased here, but one of the best places in the country to see the leaves do their thing – is Wild Rose country. Here is when you can expect to see the fall leave and colours in Alberta’s national parks – because we simply just cannot wait for sweater season. 

JASPER NATIONAL PARK

 

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Located about 4 hours from Edmonton (or 5 from Calgary), Jasper is stunning no matter the season, but wowza is it something else in the autumn. Here, travellers can actually expect to see the leaves change as early as late mid-late August, which is earlier than other parks in AB.

Stunning fall viewing point: Maligne Lake – Directions here
Distance from Calgary: 461 km
Distance from Edmonton: 403 km

WOOD BUFFALO NATIONAL PARK

As Canada’s largest National Park, Wood Buffalo National Park has just as many trees as you’d expect. Unfortunately, to comfortably see the incredible fall colours, you’ll have a pretty small window to do so. If you’re feeling adventurous and would like to travel as far north as you can in the province, we’d recommend going in mid-September. This is when you’ll see the foliage before it gets exceptionally cold and starts to snow – which often happens in October.

Stunning fall viewing point: Pine Lake – Directions here
Distance from Calgary: 1,636 km
Distance from Edmonton: 1,341 km

BANFF NATIONAL PARK

Canada’s most popular national park maybe be a bit of a late bloomer but it’ll be well worth the wait – we promise! Come late September-early October the mountains will be vibrant with yellow and orange leaves trees and bushes, a breathtaking sight for anyone with 20/20 or a second pair of eyes.

Stunning fall viewing point: Larch Valley – 622 Moraine Lake Rd, Field, AB
Distance from Calgary: 217 km
Distance from Edmonton: 316 km

WATERTON NATIONAL PARK

 

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Come late September, head down to Waterton National Park for a two-for-one. Not only will you be surrounded by thousands of stunning foliage, those willing to stay after dark will also get a mesmerizing view of the night sky thanks to their new star-friendly street lighting.

Stunning fall viewing point: Lower Rowe Lake – Directions here
Distance from Calgary: 279 km
Distance from Edmonton: 593 km

ELK ISLAND NATIONAL PARK

 

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Much like Waterton, guests looking to get an eye full of larch trees will have to wait until late September. Luckily, the weather here in the fall is typically still pretty warm, averaging around 16°C. Here, you’ll be able to see the buffalo, check out the Living Waters Boardwalk, check out the discovery dome and of course, go fall sight-seeing – wearing only a light jacket!

Stunning fall viewing point: Beaver Pond – Range Rd 200, Fort Saskatchewan, AB
Distance from Calgary: 360 km
Distance from Edmonton: 58 km

There you have it, friends, a rundown of when you can expect to see the fall leave and colours in Alberta’s national parks. Get excited! The best time of the year is right around the corner.