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Scott Stoness
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Re: Banff Last Week of September


wayneng wrote:
Hi all,

I'm returning to Calgary for a family trip but wanted to stop by Banff for a day or two before. Last time I went was on my honeymoon in late May so was still a bit frosty with no turquoise. I was wondering what conditions are like around end of September normally.

In terms of where I'm planning to visit, since it's short, mostly going to be just at Lake Louise, Moraine Lake (for sunrise), Peyto Lake and Bow Lake and if time to creep over to Emerald Lake in Yoho. One curiosity I've had is where does everyone take that iconic bow lake picture straight on with the reflection of the glacier? Last time I searched for the spot but couldn't find it. If anyone can point me to it, I'd be grateful.

I hear Lake Louise area is crowded this time of year, so would I need to go early to beat the rush?

Thanks in advance for any advice.


End of september will have some colour but not a lot of it. This is pretty much the last week of color. Your best bet is to go high and there will be some colour in larch left. The leafy trees will almost be done. 7200' or higher gets you to larch. You can drive to this in Kananakis - Highroad pass or hike to it. Larch Valley at Morain lake is best but lately it has too many people. Highroad pass in Kananaskis and Ptarmigan cirque or Burstall Pass in Kananaskis is better. Or take the bus up to sunshine meadows depending on the smoke forecast.

Moraine Lake is good if you get there by 6:30 AM but by 9am - full to the rafters. But always spectacular.
Peyton is always good. And spareness of colour in trees will be less noticeable because its further view - good choice.
Bow Lake at the end of September maybe good - end of sep is a little late - its in its peak colors now. I suspect you will have missed it by end of september.

I would skip Lake Louise - its too symmetrical and crawling with people - but if you must go get there at 6am.

Emerald lake would be good to try because it might be a little later in colour.

This was Bow last weekend but it was so smokey I could hardly see across from smoke blowing in from British Columbia.



Sep 13, 2017 at 03:47 AM





  Previous versions of Scott Stoness's message #14179438 « Banff Last Week of September »