Every Autumn, pockets of Banff National Park come aglow with gold. It’s that special time of year when larch trees sweeping across the Canadian Rockies bring the landscapes alive, as they begin to change coats for winter and turn a brilliant yellow hue. This natural phenomenon is a wonder to see, but it doesn’t last long. Visiting between mid-September and early October are your best bet to take it all in. Numerous trails will immerse you in the experience on your own two feet. However, there are several other ways to enjoy the golden larches in all their glory this Fall in Banff National Park.
Wondering how to see larches without hiking? Check out these helpful suggestions below - they’re a wonderful way to take part in one of nature’s most beautiful shows.
1. Hop on a Horse
For a truly Canadian Rockies experience, there’s no better way to take it all in than with a trusted companion. Quietly tucked away right near Lake Louise, Timberline Tours Ltd. and Brewster Adventures offer various day trips along trails renowned for their larches. Enjoy a horseback trip to Lake Agnes and the Little Beehive for a short but highly rewarding ride to enjoy the larches and epic views. Or, opt for a full day in the backcountry to Skoki Lodge - the journey there is brimming with history and larch trees, making it a truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
2. Go for a Drive
Another way to see the larch trees is simply to go for a car cruise at your own pace. The Icefields Parkway is one of the most beautiful drives in the world, offering ample opportunity to take it all on. But first, be sure to stop at the village of Lake Louise on the way to stock up on your favourite snacks. Trailhead Café serves up some of the best artisan sandwiches and coffee concoctions around, while Laggan’s Bakery is a local hot spot for sweet treats and pastries. The Village Market has everything else you need, from healthy snacks to your favourite bag of chips.
3. Get a Bird’s Eye View
Perhaps one of the most breathtaking ways to see the larches in Banff National Park is from high in the sky. You can truly see it all from the heights of a helicopter passenger seat. These tours will take you to places inaccessible any other way, unblemished by human impact. Discover new corners of Banff National Park and enjoy some of the most stunning backcountry scenery around, including waterfalls, towering mountain peaks, glaciers, and blankets of golden larches. Rockies Heli Tours Canada, Alpine Helicopters, and CMH all offer tours in a variety of times and distances.
Whether you’re not keen on hiking, have limited mobility, are travelling with little ones in tow, or are simply looking for a fresh perspective, these accessible experiences are sure to delight adventurers of all ages. Talk to our local experts for more information or help with planning the ultimate larch trip this Fall.