Wildlife in Banff National Park
By Viator, October 2013
An evening wildlife safari in Banff is the surefire way to discover wildlife. Not only do the guides know where to look, but they’re also well versed about animal behaviors and Parks Canada’s conservation efforts. For visitors determined to see wildlife on their own, follow this roadmap to wildlife in Banff National Park:
Lake Minnewanka Loop Road – According to Mary Morrison, from Banff Lake Louise Tourism, the Lake Minnewanka Loop Road is a safe bet for big horn sheep and mountain goats.
It’s also close to town, requiring as little as 30 minutes – without wildlife stops - to complete the entire loop.
Vermillion Lakes Road – Another location close to town, the Vermillion Lakes Road is Banff’s best place to see elk. As the largest species of deer, bull elk are easily identified by their massive antlers.
Bow Valley Parkway – Stretching 30 miles (48 kms) between Banff and Lake Louise, the Bow Valley parkway seems a lifetime away from the TransCanada highway it parallels.
Both Black and Grizzly bears are spotted along this roadway, but it’s also common to see elk and moose.
Lake Louise Gondola – Throughout the summer, Lake Louise Ski Area becomes prime Grizzly habitat and there is no better – or safer – place to discover Grizzly Bears in the Canadian Rockies. Sightings occur almost daily, but anyone who misses out on bears won’t be disappointed. The views from the Lake Louise Gondola alone are worth the trip.
For visitors eager to see or photography wildlife, it’s important to remember a few ground rules:
- Never feed or approach wildlife.
- Never follow animals into the forest.
- If stopping in a vehicle, pull onto the shoulder of the road before stopping.
- Animals are most commonly seen during early mornings and late evenings.
- When hiking, carry bear spray at all times and know how to use it.
- Parks Canada suggest staying 330 feet (100 m) from bears, 660 feet (200 m) from wolf or coyote dens, and 100 feet (30 m) from other large species.
Tours & Tickets
Experience the beauty of the Canadian Rockies with its backdrop of the glistening Victoria Glacier on a full day guided coach tour from Banff. Marvel at Lake ... Read more
Duration: 9 hours 30 minutes (approx.)
Explore the breathtaking Canadian Rockies on this horseback-riding tour in Banff. Following your cowboy guide, journey into the Spray River Valley and past Mt ... Read more