Banff and Jasper for Fall Colors

Sep 2nd, 2007, 05:18 PM
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Banff and Jasper for Fall Colors

What is likely to be the best time to see fall colors at their peak in the Canadian Rockies?
happytrailstoyou is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2007, 05:54 PM
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I would suspect late September to mid October.

However, I've never heard that of the Rockies being a destination for fall colours. Many (most?) of the trees are evergreen and don't change. There's definitely strands of poplar that go yellow in the fall, but they're not the majority.
ShelliDawn is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2007, 06:29 PM
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Yes, those who live in that region would have more expertise, but having trvalled through the BC mountains in fall, I don't recall extensive colour. As mentioned by SheiliDawn, I believe alpine forest does tend to be predominated by coniferous specious. Fall colour tends to be associated with maples (e.g. Sugar Maples) and to a lesser extend other deciduous trees such as Oaks, Aspens (poplars), birch. Maples are, I believe, more abundant in the mid-north eastern North American Forests. Regions known for fall colours include Northern New England (Appalachians), Quebec (Laurentians), Central/Northern Ontario (e.g. Haliburton Highlands, Algonquin Park), Nova Scotia (Cape Breton Highlands). Peak colour is variable depending on the weather patterns in any given year - I usually target somewhere between late September and mid October.
mat106 is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2007, 08:25 PM
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We drove through the Rockies in late September a couple of years ago. It was definitely fall, but the colours, as others have said, were nothing like what we've seen in Ontario, especially Algonquin Park. It was certainly beautiful - golden larches and evergreens, sometimes dusted with a bit of snow on the top - but not fall colours as we know them.
Meesthare is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2007, 02:27 AM
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I'm going to a wedding in Banff on october 12; will we be in the middle of the color explosion or at the end?
mitchdesj is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2007, 07:19 AM
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As previously posted, there is no colour explosion in the Rockies in the fall. However, as always, the scenery is still spectacular.
ShelliDawn is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2007, 08:33 AM
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The poplars and birches in the Rocky Mountain valleys will be starting to change colour right about now, and will probably be at their peak sometime from mid-September to the end of September. One good rainy or windy day can blow all the golden yellow leaves away. The only reds I've seem are on trees planted within the towns, or on some shrubs/bushes.
The dramatic colour difference between the dark green of the coniferous trees (spruce, fir, pine) and the golden to bright yellow of the poplar/birches can be spectacular.
There are usually very few leaves left by mid-October.
Borealis is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2007, 08:37 AM
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I will say that some of the most beautiful scenery I've ever seen was near Banff when we were driving across the country. We had spent several long days driving through the Prairies. We stopped for lunch in Calgary and shortly afterwards found ourselves in the mountains outside of Banff. The golden trees set against the tall evergreens were stunning, and as I said earlier, a sugar-dusting of snow was on the crags and the tops of the trees. It was absolutely magical. We spent that night in Golden, BC and I couldn't stop staring at the mountain peaks.
Meesthare is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2007, 03:33 PM
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Borealis is quite right. The leaves are starting to change now. When we get a few frosts they will quickly change and then the first windy day all the leaves will blow off. This is usually around the end of September. I would say that peak for colour is about Sept 15 to 20 but that can really vary.

lunabug is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2007, 04:06 PM
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Thanks everybody. I was hoping the colors would arrive in mid-October because we have other plans for late September. I'll mark my calendar for next year.
happytrailstoyou is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2007, 08:34 AM
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The fall colours peak right around the end of September/beginning of October. By the second week of October, it's gone. I know this because our wedding was Oct. 10 - we had hoped for pictures in an aspen grove near Jasper. It was ablaze with colour a week before, but all gone by the 10th. Since then (we got married many years ago), I have paid attention to the colours, and find the end of Sept/beginning of October to be reliable for the colour. It's good right now!
krp329 is offline  
Oct 5th, 2007, 01:04 PM
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We visited Jasper during this year mid Sept 2007 and we had great fall colors and snow caped mountains. The mountains look very nice (dotted yellow islands mixed with ever geen treas and blue sky). We had also very good opportunities for wildlife viewing in Jasper. We love this time of the year.
tom22 is offline  
Oct 5th, 2007, 02:05 PM
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Thanks, Tom. I'm making a note for September, 2008. HTTY
happytrailstoyou is offline  
Oct 5th, 2007, 06:03 PM
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We were there last week, September 28th, and the Larch trees were golden along the highways.
The area about a mile north of Banff is especially beautiful when seen from the overlook on the southbound roadway
There are only a few Larch trees along the roadways but they are set off all the more by the contrasting green forest and snow covered mountains behind them.

don76 is offline  
Oct 7th, 2007, 06:23 AM
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I just returned from the Canadian Rockies last weekend and it was the most spectacular I've EVER seen it. I've been several times, both in June and September/October.

We were in Lake Louise September 22 for 3 nights, Jasper on September 25 for 3 nights and the final two in Banff (September 28 & 29). It was at its peak while we were there.

There aren't many reds except in low growing bushes, but the golds were unbelievable. Some areas and beautiful bright oranges. Much of the Icefields Parkway was glowing with color. We had fresh snow for part of the time which made it even prettier, but didn't keep us from doing anything.

Several years ago we were there the last week of September and into the first week of October and the leaves were just starting to change. So, just like anywhere, it would be hard to predict the "peak" week.
jewelhawg is offline  
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