Monthly Archives: September 2015

Larch Valley Hike: On the Busiest Day of the Year

Although the hiking season is generally spent trying to avoid the crowds,  today we headed up to do the Larch Valley Hike on what is surely the busiest day of the year. This was due to a combination of factors: late September (with larch trees at their golden best), a favourable weather report, and a Sunday. The free shuttle set up by Parks Canada to transport hikers from the Lake Louise Overflow Campground to Moraine Lake has been running […]

Golden larches gild the Rockies

Just like Halloween and Christmas, alpine larches (Larix lyallii) are providing an annual celebration in the Rockies’ high country. And despite rather grim weather last weekend, hundreds of larch enthusiasts hiked through mud and rain to pay homage to this unique tree that paints mountain ridges and passes gold every September. Larix lyallii is one of three species of larch in Canada that are deciduous conifers—unlike true conifers, needles turn gold […]

Waterton’s Red Rock closed

The Red Rock Parkway in Waterton Lakes National Park was closed early this season (Sept 8), which cuts off access to several popular hikes in the park’s northwest sector. The closure will facilitate major reconstruction of the roadway, the lower parking lot at Red Rock Canyon, and viewing platforms at Blakiston Falls. Access to the following trails will be affected. (All trail numbers referenced to the Canadian Rockies Trail Guide): 191—Tamarack Trail […]

Johnston Canyon trail closure

Banff National Park’s Johnston Canyon trail will close on Tuesday, September 15, so Parks Canada can tend to restoration and infrastructure upgrades on the 2.7-km trail leading through the heart of the canyon to Upper Falls. Johnston Canyon is easily the busiest trail in the Canadian Rockies, traversed by hundreds every day during the summer months. Infrastructure in the canyon includes numerous catwalks, or artificial walkways, that hang from the […]

Hiking with headlamps

“I have been one acquainted with the night. / I have walked out in rain—and back in rain. / I have outwalked the furthest city light.”—Robert Frost Every day-hiking checklist tells you to pack a headlamp or flashlight and extra batteries. I must admit, I don’t always follow the rules and seldom have all the “10 essentials”, especially a headlamp or flashlight. However, I’ve been lucky and always tossed some sort of battery-powered […]