7 hikes to beat the crowds and see the Larches in the Rockies

Dec 19 2017, 2:35 am

The larches are a wonder of nature. Despite being a conifer, they are also a deciduous tree so they lose their needles in autumn. Before they fall, they turn a vibrant golden yellow. Drive through the Rockies this time of year and the upper slopes will be covered with a stripe of gold. It’s wonderful.

Hike into the mountains, and the experience is even better. Larch hikes are a popular thing to do in mid-late September in the Rockies. The window of the needles turning golden and falling is short. You’ve got two, maybe three weekends to get out and see them.

Here are seven hikes to try to beat the crowds and see the larches in the Rockies:

1. Pocaterra Ridge

djes je Pocaterra, Kananaskis, Canada main video: http://youtu.be/mLkqM7n_-KQ

2. Ptarmigan Cirque

3. Burstall Pass

4. Taylor Lake

5. Castle Mountain Lookout

6. Tryst Lake

7. Chester Lake

Now if you really want to be elbow-to-elbow with the other larch hunters, go to Larch Valley. The trailhead is at Moraine Lake, and the hike is so popular that free shuttle buses run to take people to the lake. Arrive before 9a if you want a shot at parking, earlier is even better.

Larch Valley, Banff National Park - Buzz Bishop

Image via Buzz Bishop

h/t to posts by Tourism Canmore, Big Grey Rocks, Rockies Family Adventures, Crowfoot Media, Avenue Magazine, and The Blog According to Buzz.

DH Calgary StaffDH Calgary Staff

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