I love the mountains. I’m an east coast girl who fell hard for the mountains. Originally from Montreal I was offered an incredible work opportunity and found myself packing bags & heading to Canada’s Rocky Mountains, to a small town of a few thousand, Jasper, Alberta. I had never visited before, and no real idea what I was getting into. Needless to say it wasn’t long before I fell head over heels for this little town and spent 3.5 years living there. I no longer call Jasper home, but am here to share my top 5 must see spots in September. Why September you may ask? Well that leads me into # 1..
- Less crowds
Yep, that’s right. A big draw for September, and even into early October is how much the large crowding of tourists dissipates during the month. Summer is full on, restaurants full, patios full, trails over run, and you’re left feeling a little rushed sometimes. But September means back to school for a lot of people, and slightly cooler temps in the morning make for perfect ways to start your day with a local coffee in hand & sunshine on your face.
- Pyramid Lake
This was one of my favorite places to escape off to in the summer & even in the winter (as long as you’re bundled up properly) but in September it seems that the leaves have just a little more color and the peacefulness of this place is really amplified. There is a trail from the town site that takes you up along a ridge and across to Pyramid Lake where there is a hotel and you can rent canoes & kayaks or just walk along the trails. And if you make it after September, say come winter you’ll be able to skate around on the frozen lake!
- Valley of the 5 lakes
This trail is 4.5 km return (in a loop) and offers some of the most beautiful lake views I’ve ever experienced. Whether you’re hiking or mountain biking this trail has something for everyone. From beautiful forests to creeks and valleys along the trail that will leave you speechless, this trail is a must do, and with less crowds it’s a sure fire way to spend a relaxing afternoon taking in the views
- Icefield Parkway
If you’re driving to Jasper from the West (Banff/Calgary direction) you’ll be happy you did because you’ll be able to say you drive this insanely beautiful stretch of highway. In the winter it can become quite dangerous as there is limited reception and conditions can be quite harsh (it is Canada after all) but in September you’ll be gifted with just the right amount of snow along the way which leaves you with stunning views. There are spots designated along the highway for stopping and photo opportunities. Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife as well!
- It’s a Dark Sky Preserve
In 2011, the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada designated Jasper National Park as a dark sky preserve, an area where almost no artificial lighting is visible at night. Which as the days grow shorter at the end of summer is something I cannot recommend more to people. Growing up in a city I saw the stars, but never really experienced something like this until I moved to Jasper. The sky is beyond bright & should you be lucky enough you may even catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights.
Psst. Do(n’t) tell!
About the author
Laura Oxley aka She Who Wanders is a self-proclaimed and avid wanderluster extraordinaire who has spent the last 6 years exploring the world & her own backyard.