Looking for the best things to see and do in Banff in September?
September is a month to remember in the Canadian Rockies – continuing warm summer weather with crisp morning air creates a perfect (and slightly less crowded) environment for exploring as the leaves and weather starts to change.
1. See fall colours on a hike
As fall sets in, it’s the perfect weather for hiking. Our Lake Louise and Banff guided hikes explore the best accessible hikes in the area, showing guests the wild and rugged environments of Banff and Kootenay National Parks. Each of the hikes offers something different but seeing the larch trees change to a bright golden yellow around mid to late September on the Larch Valley hike is truly a special experience and one of our favourites at this time of year.
2. See golden larch trees on an ATV tour
Another option for seeing the larch trees is on an ATV tour! While ATVs aren’t permitted in Banff National Park, there are fully guided ATV tours located just two hours from Banff on the edge of the Canadian Rockies. Our pick? Take the full-day ATV tour for free transport from Banff and lunch at an alpine cabin.
3. Visit Moraine Lake before the road closes
While many lakes in the Canadian Rockies are accessible year round, the access road to Moraine Lake closes in early October every year. September is the perfect time to visit this famous lake! Parking is extremely limited and so if you’re not planning on driving in at the crack of dawn, you can see this iconic lake on the Discover Lake Louise and Moraine Lake Tour. Or, to get the best photos at Moraine Lake and other Instagram worthy locations, join the daily small-group InstaBanff Tour.
4. See bull elk fight in rutting season
Every fall, the rut happens during breeding season as mature bulls gather cows and their calves into harems. During this time of year it’s common to see the elk bulls fighting over the cows, and also to hear their unique ‘bugle’ noise (sounds like a high pitched roar). Our daily Evening Wildlife Safari is a great tour to spot elk during this important time of year.
5. Explore Banff on a Clue Solving Adventure
A local teacher needs your help in a race against time – can you find the treasure before it falls into the wrong hands? Combining the fun of a scavenger hunt with the clue-solving challenge of an escape room and the added excitement of a race against the clock, this clue solving adventure is the perfect way to explore Banff. All you need is a charged smartphone and a fun-loving group of friends or family, and you’re set.
6. Meet a grizzly bear
As the fall weather begins to cool, it’s a great time to see Boo the grizzly bear as he prepares for hibernation. The full-day Discover Grizzly Bears Tour takes you to Kicking Horse Mountain Resort in Golden to meet Boo, and includes a sightseeing Gondola ride up to Eagle’s Eye Restaurant, for lunch at Canada’s highest restaurant.