Seven Fall Hikes in Washington State

Growing up I never understood the allure of autumn - it simply marked the end of my favourite season. The days grow shorter at an alarming rate, the foliage is dying and falling off of the trees and, if you’re like me and live in the Canadian Rockies, the first snowfall of the year can come before summer is even over. It was not until I moved to the east coast when I was 18 that I had my first real autumn. I watched as the leaves ever so slowly shifted from their summer green to vibrant reds, oranges and yellows. I was invited on a weekend of apple picking in the valley with good friends and we carved pumpkins a warm evening under a harvest moon. I know this sounds too idyllic to be true - but isn’t that how all first loves are remembered?

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Bear 101

Born and raised in the Foothills of the Canadian Rockies, I always believed that bear safety was as engrained in my life as if it were a pamphlet stapled to the back of my birth certificate. It has seemed second nature, intuitive to coexist with wildlife in the wilderness with a deep sense of both respect and reverence, and just enough fear you keep you alert.

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Mount Robson Provincial Park

This provincial park is home to, and named after, Mount Robson - the tallest peak in the Canadian Rockies with nearly 3,000 metres (10,000 ft) of steep vertical ascent from the Kinney Lake shoreline – something that few mountains anywhere in the world can claim to offer. Mount Robson is also considered one of the most challenging mountains to climb.

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Banff National Park

Banff is the oldest national park in Canada. Established in 1885, the park is located in the Alberta Rocky Mountains. Calgary is the nearest city, and the main commercial center of the park is in the town of Banff, in the Bow River valley. Known for mountainous terrain and alpine landscapes — including more than a thousand glaciers, ice fields, forests, valleys, meadows, and rivers — the park is part of UNESCO’s Canadian Rocky Mountain World Heritage site. Natural sites around the park include Canada’s largest cave system, Castleguard Caves, numerous glacier-fed lakes such as Lake Louise, and the Legacy Trail — a trail for walking, cycling, and in-line skating. 

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Jasper National Park

Extending over 11,000 square kilometres, it is the largest national park in the Canadian Rockies and part of UNESCO's Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks World Heritage Site. The townsite now known as Jasper was originally named Fitzhugh after an individual who was at the time the Vice-President of the Grand Trunk Railway. It was changed to Jasper in 1913 and the National Park was established as a National Forest in 1907 and gained its National Park status in 1930. The most recent numbers note that Jasper has approximately 4,500 permanent residents. 

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