Larch Walks

  • Events & Family Fun
  • Thursday, September 22, 2022

Every autumn in Canada we all look forward to the beautiful views created by the colours of leaves changing from green to magnificent yellows, oranges, and reds. In Alberta, one of the most spectacular views are those of the stunning golden vistas of larch.

Larches are large deciduous conifer trees native to North America, and every fall their needles turn golden yellow before dropping to the ground. Every year, thousands of Calgarians flock to the mountains in search of golden larches.

Usually, late September and early October is the peak time to catch this golden display. With a long, hot summer this year, we can expect to see the larches start to turn in the next couple weeks. While everyone likes to hike the Larch Trail in Banff to view the beautiful colours of the larch, you’ll find them all the way from Calgary and into the Rockies. With its rolling hills, majestic valleys and generally smaller crowds, the peaceful walks of Kananaskis just might be the perfect place to go.

Best Kananaskis Larch Walks

  • Ptarmigan Cirque – This steep trail leads to a fragile alpine meadow and a spectacular view of the surrounding mountains, and of course, larches. 4.2 km round trip. Great for kids!
  • Pocaterra Cirque & Ridge – The Pocaterra Cirque & Ridge have become favourite hikes for the slightly more adventurous seeking larch viewing. 6.9km round trip.
  • Chester Lake – A hike that will please everyone, Chester Lake is a longer hike, but with moderate elevation gain to take away a bit of the sting. 9.3 km round trip.
  • Arethusa Cirque – Arethusa Cirque is an unofficial trail south of Ptarmigan Cirque that delivers much the same views and larch experience as its more well-known neighbour, but with much less foot traffic. 4.5 km round trip.
  • Yates Mountain via Prairie View Trail – Reach for the summit as that’s where you’ll find the larch views, as well as a view of the entirety of Kananaskis. 11.6km round trip.
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