The Canadian Rockies in September, and, of course, dogs

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Dogs and weather seem to be the subject of most Frequently Asked Question about the Canadian Rockies. The weather, well now that’s just practical, and smart. The weather in the Canadian Rockies is constantly changing, and, especially at high elevations, it’s been known to snow for almost no good reason, any time of year.

Wild wolf in Banff National Park

That's not your dog! That's a wild wolf, just one reason to keep your dog on-leash. Photo by John Marriott.

Dogs of course, are man’s best friend. Nothing reminds me of this more than the number of emails we get asking us questions about dogs, or all the times I get woken up by my dog at 5 am on a Saturday, and don’t get mad. Anyway, here are this week’s dog and weather questions:

From M. Rogers:

What are the rules for traveling and camping with pet dogs in the parks.

and B. Fread asks:

What is the weather like in Mid September in this area?
Are most of the attractions of this area still opened?

Regarding the first question, the first thing you need to know is: Bring a leash. The second? Bring a spare leash. Except for a couple dog parks, there aren’t many places in the Canadian Rockies parks, such as Jasper or Banff, where you’re dogs are allowed to roam without being tethered to their owner. This isn’t so bad if you consider that just south of the border, in Glacier National Park, dogs are hardly even allowed on leash… Anyway, you can get more from this Canadian Rockies dog FAQ.

As far as the weather in September, I’ll start out with the facts: In September, the highs in the Canadian Rockies (very generally) are around 16 C (60 F), with lows around 3 C (37 F). Beyond the facts: as I mentioned, the weather here is famously unpredictable, with snow storms dumping on you out of nowhere, especially in the high elevations.

But what does this mean to you? Mainly, be prepared. Most likely, the trails will be hike-able, especially in lower elevations. But they might not be if all you brought were flip flops, shorts and a T-shirt. Even if the worst weather does come, you can find plenty to do here. The Banff Gondola, for instance, is open year-round. And if nothing else, you’ll find some of the world’s best restaurants and shopping in the Canadian Rockies towns.

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