5 Family-Friendly Hikes to do This Fall

5 Family-Friendly Hikes to do This Fall

Larch Valley in Banff, Alberta

Photo via @hike.vibes Instagram

Let’s be honest - Autumn is short-lived in Calgary; we basically go from summer straight into winter with just a few short weeks ( or days) of fall. Which means you have to take advantage of the autumn scenery while it lasts, and what better way to take it all in than going for a hike? 

Living in Calgary has its perks - one of them is being so close to the mountains. There are endless hikes to do in Kananaskis, Canmore, Banff and Lake Louise. If you’ve ever been hiking in the fall, then you’ve probably seen the beautiful colours of the trees turning. 

1. Larch Valley, Lake Louise 

Larch Valley, Lake Louise

Photo via @the.wanderingfox Instagram

If you’re looking for a beautiful, autumnal hike, this is the one. The Larch Valley hike is located in Lake Louise and is probably one of the most popular hikes during the fall. The larch trees turn a beautiful golden colour, making you feel like you’re in some sort of wonderland. September is a prime, yet busy time for this hike (because, you know - the larches are turning golden), so try to go during the week and early in the morning if you can!

2. Sunshine Meadows

Sunshine Meadows Hike in Banff, Alberta

Photo via @bess.c_explores Instagram

Sunshine Meadows is known for its picturesque setting - from alpine meadows to golden larches in the fall, this hike is beautiful any time of the year. If you have younger children, there are several trails that range in difficulty, so it’s perfect for the youngins. Sunshine Meadows is considered one of the top hikes in the Rocky Mountains - so it’s worth the trip out there!

3. Lake Agnes

The Lake Agnes hike in Lake Louise, Alberta

Photo via @mrs_clare_fraser Instagram

The Lake Agnes trail is probably one of the most popular trails near Lake Louise. The trailhead is at the base of Lake Louise beside the chalet, so it's a great option if you want to check a couple things off of your list. However, Lake Louise is a very touristy destination - so make sure you go really early (like before 7 AM), so you can get parking and beat the crowds of people. The hike is easy to moderate, and the views at the top are incredible. The Lake Agnes Tea House is also at the top, which is cool just to see or to grab a bite to eat with the family.

4. Ptarmigan Cirque 

Ptarmigan Cirque trail in Kananaskis Country, Alberta

Photo via @vsiuu Instagram

Ptarmigan Cirque is located in Kananaskis Country and is relatively short, making it great for younger kids. You can’t beat the views at the top, especially in the fall - remember those golden larches? Make sure to carry bear spray and check for closures before you plan to go because the trail is sometimes closed due to bears in the area. 

5. Chester Lake

Chester Lake trail near Calgary, Alberta

Photo via @stevebruce403 Instagram

Chester Lake is rated as easy to moderate, and it’s considered a pretty relaxed hike - so make sure you bring the kids along! It’s very pretty in the fall with a ton of golden larches, and there’s a short trail from the lake that leads to giant rocks called the Elephant Rocks. Make sure to check for any closures before you go because this is a popular spot for bear activity!

So there you have it - some of the best hikes if you’re looking to take in the autumn scenery before winter comes! If you’re on the hunt for the golden larches, this is the prime time to go (third week of September), and it’s a great activity for the whole family to enjoy! 

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