As we roll into October, splashes of orange, red, and yellow are dotting the tree lines across British Columbia. The crisp autumn air only adds to the excitement of the season and the anticipation of holiday gatherings and newly fallen snow.
Although seasonal color decorates the landscape around Vancouver from mid-September to early November, the peak of this annual display occurs in October. That means it’s time to plan your leaf-peeping trips to witness the spectacular fall color the Vancouver area has to offer.
But, first, a little science to make your road trip conversations even more entertaining.
Why do leaves change color in the fall?
The initial impetus for autumn color is the changing photoperiod, or length of daylight, in the area. Daylight hours shorten, triggering the deciduous trees of Canada to begin shutting down for their winter dormancy.
During this waning process, a cork-like layer forms where the stem of the leaf meets a branch, stopping water and nutrients from reaching the leaf itself. In turn, the green chlorophyll in the leaf dies, revealing underlying pigments.
Road trip fun fact: Red Maple leaves are so vibrantly red due to sugars reacting with proteins to make anthocyanin, a purplish red pigment that turns grapes purple and apples red. The more sugar the leaf is storing, the redder it is.
Now, here are some of the best places to be awe-inspired by fall foliage in and around Vancouver, along with more road trip conversation starters.
Venturing 99 miles from Vancouver and driving through the Pemberton Valley, you’ll find Mt. Currie, which provides fantastic views of mountains, rivers, and valleys cutting through the wilderness. Yellow is the showstopper here, and the Mt. Currie Trail offers even better views on foot.
Road trip fun fact: The Pemberton Valley is well-known for its seed potatoes, and the valley is potato virus free.
Merritt to Ashcroft
The 270-kilometer stretch between Merritt and Ashcroft takes you through the interior of British Columbia and offers many opportunities for stops along the way, like Logan Lake for a picnic or the Highland Valley Copper Mine not far from Ashcroft.
Uplifting fun fact: Over 18,000 hectares of mined land in British Columbia have been returned to their natural state.
Tofino is a small fishing town located on the west side of Vancouver Island. Located about 180 miles from Vancouver, it’s a great overnight or weekend trip any time of year, however, the area shines in autumn with magnificent fall color.
Now’s the time to plan your road trip to see the amazing fall foliage in British Columbia before the leaves fall and Old Man Winter has you shoveling snow.
Cold, hard fact: With winter comes a greater risk of slips and falls.
So, stair safety first! Installing GripStrips non-slip treads on your outside stairs, ramps, and wooden walkways will help protect you and your family from injury. If you’re searching for what to put on outside steps to prevent slipping, GripStrips for stairs are the ultimate in slip and fall prevention.