Lake Louise’s Autumn Love of Larch Trees

The deciduous-conifer novelty of soft green needles that turn brilliant yellow before falling

Be immersed in the beauty of our golden larches this fall while observing some of our wildlife in their natural habitat. From changing trees to autumn breezes, September in the Rockies offers its own unique and magical allure.

Larches are large deciduous trees with short needles and cones. While the needles are only an inch or so long, they sprout in little clusters along the length of the stem. Each cluster has 30 to 40 needles. Tucked in among the needles are pink flowers that blossom into cones which start out red or yellow, turning brown as they mature.

There are several types of larch trees native to North America. Those commonly found in the Lake Louise area are Larix lyalli, or the alpine larch. Suited perfectly for a cold, snowy environment, the alpine larch has a fine wooly hair that shelters buds and twigs from harsh weather and helps to control slope erosion.

The peak season to view the spectacular colours is from mid to late September. Banff National Park is ground zero for the awe-inducing beauty of the larch trees. Often sought after as a special pilgrimage to view these beauties, there is a large influx of both locals and visitors this magical time of year. If you are interested in local spots that offer the best viewing opportunities, check out these day hikes.

Please remember that trails can get busy, so our insider tip is to go early in the day. If you’re up for a memorable autumn experience, partner with a ride up up up for front-row seats to the show. Book our Gondola and Grizzlies package to get the best of all possible worlds; safe viewing of the grizzlies and breathtaking views of the larch trees. Two gondola tickets are included in this offer.