It's no secret that Alberta's favourite mountain town makes for a stunning trip at any time of the year. But there's something truly special about going hiking in the fall. Whether it's the changing colours of the leaves or the cold, brisk feeling in the air, these fall hikes near Banff need to be experienced by everyone at least once in their lifetime. 

Just because summer is over doesn't mean that you have to put a stop on exploring the various sights and hot spots in Banff National Park.

In fact, this is perhaps the best time to take in those views. Forget about the sweaty, dry summer months or the brutal, frosty winter stretch β€” autumn is just right if you're hoping to adventure through the national park without any extreme weather conditions. 

Banff itself is an adorable town that comes with its own fall-friendly Hallmark vibes. Once you've seen the local sights, you can begin venturing on one of the many trails that surround the town. 

There's a lot to love about this region of Alberta β€” golden larch trees, magical turquoise lakes, and short and sweet hikes that provide fantastic views of the Rockies. 

All you have to do is wear your hiking boots and your comfiest sweaters and nothing can stop you from finding some fall magic near Banff. 

Sundance Canyon

Address: Cave and Basin National Historic Site, Banff National Park, AB

Distance: 7.4 kilometres round-trip

Why You Need To Go: This simple but steady hike will treat you to phenomenal views of the Rockies and the Bow River. If you want, you can also go on the short but slightly difficult 1.6-kilometre loop trail that takes you past a water-filled canyon. 


Johnson Lake

Address: Johnson Lake Day-Use Area, Banff National Park, AB

Distance: 2.8 kilometres round-trip

Why You Need To Go: Strolling around this lake will take you to some of Alberta's most massive and ancient Douglas Fir trees. You can rest assured the fall foliage is going to blow your mind. 

 

Johnston Canyon Upper Falls

Address: Johnston Canyon Day-use Area, Banff National Park, AB

Distance: 5 kilometres round-trip

Why You Need To Go: The Upper Falls viewpoint is so unreal that you've got to see it to believe it. There's also a forested trail in the area that leads to a set of unreal shallow pools known as the Ink Pots. These pools are just for looking, so no need to bring your bathing suit. 


Surprise Corner to Hoodoos Viewpoint

Address: Surprise Corner, east end of Buffalo Street, Banff, AB

Distance: 9.6 kilometres round-trip

Why You Need To Go: Every bit of this moderate trail is picturesque. From the lookout view of the Banff Springs Hotel at the beginning and the Bow River in the middle to stunning scenes from Tunnel Road near the end, this trail offers the best of Banff the whole way through. 


 

C-Level Cirque

Address: Upper Bankhead Day-Use Area, Banff National Park, AB

Distance: 7.8 kilometres round-trip

Why You Need To Go: This unique trail goes past historical rock formations, vents from mining operations, and ends up at a spectacular hollow by the northern side of Cascade Mountain. It's on the tough side, so be sure to prepare appropriately.  


Lake Louise Shoreline Trail

Address: Upper Lake Louise parking area, Banff National Park, AB

Distance: 4 kilometres round-trip

Why You Need To Go: A trip to Banff isn't complete without an impromptu drive to Lake Louise. The turquoise colours of the lake sparkle just as bright during the fall, so it's always worth the trip. 


Eiffel Lake

Address: Moraine Lake Lodge, Banff National Park, AB

Distance: 11.2 kilometres round-trip

Why You Need To Go: This wonderful alpine hike will let you take in the autumnal colours at their brightest. The scenic lookouts facing yet another azure-coloured lake and the Valley Of The Ten Peaks isn't too shabby, either. 


Larch Valley

Address: Moraine Lake Lodge, Banff National Park, AB

Distance: 8.6 kilometres round-trip

Why You Need To Go: This moderate trail is perhaps the most quintessential fall hike in Alberta. It goes through a forested area packed with larch trees and ends near a small set of lakes called Minnestimma Lakes, so you're getting a little bit of everything. 


Moraine Lake

Address: Moraine Lake Lodge, Banff National Park, AB

Distance: 3 kilometres round-trip

Why You Need To Go: Honestly, why leave this iconic destination off your list if you're in Banff National Park? The orange hues of fall reflected against the emerald colours of the lake are an unbelievable sight to behold. 


Before you get going, check our Responsible Travel Guide so you can be informed, be safe, be smart, and most of all, be respectful on your trip.


 

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