Best time to travel to Banff & Jasper National Parks

Fall Colors in Banff & Jasper National Parks 2024

The Banff National Park is a wonderful destination, especially in fall

Best time: late September–early October

Fall Colors
Fall Colors

Fall in Banff is probably the best time to visit the Banff National Park. Here’s the kicker: rare larch pine and other trees begin to change color and turn whole valleys into a burst of vividness. Well, to be more precise, the best time to visit Banff National Park is late September (the last week) and early October, give or take a few days.

You can see the fall colors everywhere, but still, some spots offer more breathtaking views. For example, choosing an Alberta larch hike may be one of the best decisions you have ever made.

Larch hikes

The Larch Valley is a highly popular Canadian Rockies hike with the most stunning natural scenery. Starting at Moraine Lake, the route climbs 1148 feet (350 m) and takes anywhere from 1-2 hours, depending on your level of fitness. The Paradise Valley trail is another larch hike, taking 6-8 hours because of the larger distance (12 miles or 20 km). But the views are delightful and so worth it! The best way to do it is to start at Moraine Lake, hike up to Sentinel Pass, and drop down into Paradise Valley.

Less popular but not less picturesque is Saddleback Pass through the Sheol Valley. This hike is 9 miles (14 km) long with 1640 feet (500 m) of elevation. The best way to start it is from Lake Louise towards the Fairview Lookout and continue on the path to Fairview Mountain. There, you will enjoy amazing Haddo Peak, Mount Temple, and Sheol Mountain views.

If you are looking for a place to stay during your adventure in Banff, use our map below. It offers the best accommodation options for a reasonable price.

Practical info

When is a good time to witness the fall colors in Banff National Park, and in what areas are they most prominent?

Late September and early October offer the best opportunity to witness the fall colors at Banff National Park. During this time of year, Larch Pine and other trees change color, creating an explosion of hues. The fall colors can be seen throughout the park, and spots such as Larch Valley provide especially beautiful views. Show more

What are some locations where fall colors can be experienced within Banff National Park?

Fall colors in Banff National Park can be observed in many locations, but certain spots provide especially stunning vistas. Larch Valley is an especially popular Canadian Rockies hike, and Paradise Valley and Saddleback Pass are also picturesque locations within the park. Show more

When would be the ideal time to undertake the Paradise Valley trail in Banff National Park?

Similarly to most locations in Banff National Park, late September to early October is the optimal time to experience the Paradise Valley trail’s full fall color spectrum. This particular trail spans a lengthy length of 12 miles or 20 kilometers, with a duration of 6 to 8 hours. This hike is best initiated at Moraine Lake, trekking up to Sentinel Pass, and making one's way towards Paradise Valley. Show more

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