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Vive los colores del otoño en Alberta

You’ll Love Alberta’s Spectacular Fall Colours

Vive los colores del otoño en Alberta

A version of this post was originally published on the Travel Alberta websiteTítulo del enlace externo.


Late September is a special time for hikers on the iconic Larch Valley trail near the famous Moraine Lake. The forest of delicate larch trees that give Larch Valley its name turn a surreal shade of burnished copper. It's as if the meadowland is ablaze with color. Along the trail you can also see aspen leaves fluttering a pale yellow and buffalo berry shrubs turned a brilliant shade of marmalade. But it's the enigmatic larch that's the annual showstopper.


There's a short window of fall color that separates the Canadian Rocky Mountains' green alpine summer from its white winter, when the feathery needles fly away, spraying the towering rock walls of Alberta's Rockies with the last golden threads of summer. The best way to experience its colorful performance is to hike or horseback ride the mountain trails between late-August and early October.


Fall Comes Early to Jasper

Jasper National Park. Credit: Dave Lieske / Travel Alberta

Horseback ride or hike to Shovel Pass Lodge in Jasper National ParkTítulo del enlace externo. This historic lodge, located high on the famed Skyline TrailTítulo del enlace externo, is open until the first weekend in September. Come to see the larch needles begin their metamorphosis during the last two weeks of August, when the 3000-foot climb to the lodge is spackled with color. Whether you opt for the three-day horse-packing trip with Skyline Trail Rides or the classic 28-mile hike, your alpine journey will be replete with stunning stands of larch.


Trails Blaze with Color in Banff

Banff Trail Riders. Credit: Travel Alberta

Saddle up and ride into the high country in Banff National ParkTítulo del enlace externo to slumber in a beautiful lodge. Banff Trail RidersTítulo del enlace externo leads horse-packing trips to Sundance and Halfway lodges in September and early October. As your steed climbs higher you'll see a changing palette of beauty. From the velvety greens of the valley floor dotted with late-blooming flowers, to the crimson carpets of high alpine meadows with their stands of yolky larch trees. Bonus: the colors look even better from the back of a horse!


Prairie Meets the Peaks in Waterton

Waterton Lakes National Park. Credit: Mike Seehagel / Travel Alberta

Hit the trails on foot to experience fall glory in Waterton Lakes National ParkTítulo del enlace externo. Though the views here are always dramatic - green carpeted mountains seem to erupt from golden grasslands on the prairie's edge - the splendor doubles when the fall foliage turns umber. Hike the 7.8-mile Rowe Lakes trail to Upper Rowe Lake and marvel as the landscape changes from verdant green forest to apricot-hued alpine meadow. If you're feeling adventurous, scramble up to Avion Ridge to see the golden larch trees.