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How about September 9-12?

Orlando, Florida
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How about September 9-12?

I won a charity auction for a trip to Chateau Lake Louise. We are hoping for some colorful foliage and smaller crowds. September 9-12 would be an easy fit in our schedule. What will the Lake Louise and surrounding area be like at that time? Is that a good time to go?

Edmonton
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1. Re: How about September 9-12?

That would be a great time to go. Mid week after our Labor Day Long weekend, the crowds will be minimal. Weather "should" still be quite pleasant during the day, may cool off a bit in the evenings. Probably just a bit too early though to see much color in foliage.

Orlando, Florida
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2. Re: How about September 9-12?

Thanks for the info. Would one week later make any difference with foliage, or is it just too early?

Edmonton
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3. Re: How about September 9-12?

Hopefully one of the area experts can give an informed opinion but my guess is that's still a bit early, probably late September before too much color. In that area the foliage is primarily evergreen so even when the colors do start changing it may not be as dramatic/colorful as you are hoping for.

Of course, the later you come the weather starts to cool off. It wouldn't be unheard of to get snow in the mountains in late September

Jasper, Canada
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for Jasper, Jasper National Park, Canadian Rockies
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4. Re: How about September 9-12?

Lake Louise is at a subalpine elevation, so there are no deciduous trees there. There are, however, larch trees at even higher elevations (like Larch Valley, near Moraine Lake), whose needles turn bright yellow and fall. (I think the larch is part of the tamarack family.) They look very pretty up on the mountainsides, among all the dark green pines and firs. Lower elevations, like around Banff townsite, have some deciduous trees - mostly aspens and birches, so they too contribute some yellow to the fall foliage, but there are no trees in the Rockies that turn red, so the colours out here are not like in the east. It tends to peak around the very end of September, and into the first week of October. However, if you wait until that late to go, you risk snow and ice on some of the hiking trails... if you are planning to do any hiking at higher elevations when you visit, better to come in the middle of September rather than later.

Banff, Canada
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for Banff, Banff National Park
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5. Re: How about September 9-12?

If I were you, I'd be inclined to go with your Sept 9 - 12 dates, giving you a good chance of stellar weather and pleasant hiking. As krp points out, if you've seen fall colours in the east, our gorgeous yellow larches and poplars are a bit of a non-event by comparison (although we like them a lot) -- so I wouldn't plan your trip around foliage dates.

6. Re: How about September 9-12?

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