Fall is a great time to undertake the long hike to Aylmer Pass in Banff National Park. Next time we'll do the Lake Minnewanka Trail portion on mountain bikes so that we have the time/energy to make the side trip to Aylmer Lookout.
Most of the hiking guidebooks we own strongly recommend the trail to Sunset Pass. But the trailhead is a two hour drive from Canmore (three hours from Calgary). That's a pretty big investment of time and gas money. So this one stayed on the "someday" list for years before we finally got around to it in mid-September. Too bad we put it off for so long!
With four mountain lakes and extensive larch forest, the hike to Gibbon Pass from the Vista Lake parking lot is a good choice for strong hikers on a golden larch pilgrimage.
During peak wildflower or larch season, with the impressive Giant Steps as your turnaround point, this is a great choice for those wanting to avoid the crowds that swarm the trails at Lake Louise and Moraine Lake.
What makes the summit of Mount Allan an attractive goal for day hikers? Wildflowers! There's an extended ridge walk with great views of the surrounding landscape. The Rock Garden at the 5.5 km mark is unlike anything we've seen in the Canadian Rockies. While it's steep, there's no vertigo-inducing exposure. Centennial Ridge to Mount Allan …