Top 5 Places To Hike in the Canadian Rockies this Fall (Part 2)
Long time, no blog, King's!
Some of you may remember me from my blogging days of yester-year, with such hits as "Happy National Coffee Day", "What You Can Dooooooooooo At King’s This Halloween", and "Top 5 Things You Can Do With a Free Edmonton Leisure Pass". And as you know from my infamous blog, "Goodbye Summer, Hello Fall", in which I won an award for the first ever blog written while simultaneously holding a pumpkin spice latte in my hand, the fall season is my favourite time of year! What better way to kick off my return to the blogger-lyf than with a follow-up to one of my favourite blog topics of all time, "Top 5 Places To Hike In The Canadian Rockies This Fall".
Don't be one of those people who sees Alberta through a car's windshield--especially in the fall when the province is as eye-catching as your high school prom date. The best way to explore Alberta's landscape is on your own two feet, and no, the time it takes to walk from your house to your car does not count. So turn off that episode of The Office you've seen for the fifth time, fold-up the blanket you've been living in for the past two days, and get up, get out, and get to one of these hikes that have the best eye-candy the province can offer. Plus, in celebration of Canada's 150th Birthday, all these places are free to enter!
Voted "Canada's Best Hike" in 1981, this popular six-hour excursion near the Canada - US border is accessed by a 10 minute boat ride across Waterton Lake and begins with a gradual climb through shaded forests. As you progress into the hanging valley, you’ll test your climbing skills as you climb up a short ladder and crawl down a 40-metre rock tunnel, making your way forward by holding a steel cable. Just make sure you’re back in time for the return boat!
With wildflower filled meadows in the mid-summer, and sun-soaked golden larch trees in the fall, this hike offers an experience that closely resembles the backcountry of Banff National Park. The real foie gras is the backdrop of 10 mountain summits and dreamlike vista of Paradise Valley. Find the trailhead in the Moraine Lake Parking Lot.
This hike is not for the faint of heart! Spanning 55 km, you will journey through dramatic landscapes, with 25 km of the route above the trees. Be wary of wolves, mountain lions, and woodland caribou who make the area their home, and be ready to spot a grizzly bear off in a distant meadow! Make sure you book well in advance as this hike is very popular!
You're about to enter grizzly country. Starting at Lake Minnewanka, this moderate 22 km hike ventures through spruce and lodgepole pine trees, heading right into the heart of the furry monster's territory. Bear spray isn't optional on this trip, unless you're ready to become dinner for Yogi Bear. From the Aylmer Pass Junction, take the left trail toward Aylmer Pass. Follow the signs to Aylmer Lookout (once a forest fire lookout), where views of mounts Inglismaldie, Girouard, and Aylmer await.
Get ready to climb beside waterfalls, hop across rocks, and bushwack through fields with not much to guide you other than the occasional route marker. This challenging hike up the narrow Geraldine Valley is for advanced hikers only but well worth the effort. Keep an eye out for porcupines which have a habit of of nibbling on hiking boots left at rest sites.
Everyone says that the sequel is never as good as the original, so in order to beat part one of this blog series, here's a bonus hike for you to enjoy! Located in eastern Alberta, Dinosaur Provincial Park offers great views of the unique topography of the Canadian Badlands. Keep an eye out for fossils, rattlesnakes, and maybe even a disgruntled T-Rex! This is a short trail that can be completed in 20 minutes, so serious hikers need not apply.
Well friends, it's been great seeing you again. I hope my latest blog post has just enough wit, humour, and questionably useful information to inspire you to try some of these beautiful hikes. I'm not sure when you'll be graced with my blogger presence again as I graduate this year, so perhaps we'll have to stick to our yearly check-ins.