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Larch Banff and Lake Louise
The Real Banff / Published: Thu, 10/01/2020 - 16:23

Things to do in October in Banff and Lake Louise

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October marks a transition in Banff, with temperatures dipping and the season changing. It's time for unique opportunities for nature lovers, with hikes you won't want to miss it at this time of year and wildlife on the move, as well as ways to unwind and stay cozy.

Take a larch tree hike

In summer, larches look much like other coniferous trees, but frosty autumn nights unlock a change, turning them a brilliant golden yellow. Leaving from Moraine Lake, the Larch Valley hike is a moderate to difficult trail. Saddleback and Lake Agnes, a gentler option, both begin at Lake Louise. Between Banff and Lake Louise, Taylor Lake and Bourgeau also offer stunning golden larch views. For more larch hikes check out these 8 larch hikes in Banff National Park that are local favourites. 

Taste for Adventure

Indulge your taste buds and spoil your senses with the flavours of Banff National Park. The region’s top chefs and restaurants have cooked up exclusive menus, unique dishes, and irresistible specials in honour of the Taste for Adventure festival.  

There’s over a month to sample Taste for Adventure’s many enticing offers, so why not make the most of it? Plan ahead, stay a while, and let your appetite guide you through the ultimate mountain getaway. 

Watch for wildlife

Early autumn is a busy time for animals. For one, it's the elk mating season. You'll hear the sound of male elk bugling, which echoes throughout the valley. It's unsafe to approach elk at any time of year, and male elk are particularly dangerous during the rut, but a guided wildlife tour with Discover Banff Tours lets you observe these magnificent animals from a safe distance.

Celebrate Banff Pride

Banff Pride is back in October, with a week of events and activities for everyone to enjoy. Attend Pride community yoga at Banff Yoga Practice, the Drag Brunch, Pride Trivia Night, or visit a participating restaurant to sip and celebrate with rainbow-inspired cocktails from October 4-11.

Banff Pride, Banff National Park
Banff Pride

The solitude of the mountains

What better place to enjoy stillness than Banff National Park? Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise offers two October retreats to enjoy yoga and mindfulness, all while immersing yourself in nature. This is a chance to connect with yourself and others who are nourishing their bodies and minds in the mountains. 

Stroll through a gallery 

Take a step inside on those cooler fall days and enjoy the local art of Banff National Park. Visit the recently reopened Walter Phillips Gallery at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity and their exhibit darkness is as deep as the darkness is. In downtown Banff discover breathe, an exhibit inspired by the mask wearing of the COVID-19 pandemic at the Whyte Museum.


Make sure you purchase your Parks Pass in advance for express entry into the park. All of the details, including frequently asked questions can be found in our Guide To The Parks Canada Pass

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Plan Your Stay

Browse and book accommodation and lodging packages with our trip planning tool. To learn about the different types of accommodation available in Banff and Lake Louise, visit our Places to Stay page or Contact Us to speak to a local expert.