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How to Spot Wildlife in Banff National Park

By Viator, December 2017

4 43 Reviews | Add your review

Visitors flock to Alberta’s Banff National Park year-round for rugged mountain scenery and fascinating wildlife—grizzly bears, elk, moose, bighorn sheep, and more. Here are some tips to get the most out of your wildlife viewing experience in the Canadian Rockies. 

  • Take a ride aboard the Lake Louise Gondola, a scenic alpine lift that provides the perfect vantage point to scout for Banff’s famous Grizzlies during the summer months. 
  • Drive the Lake Minnewanka Loop Road, a route that’s famous for frequent sightings of bighorn sheep and mountain goats. 
  • Explore the Bow Valley Parkway, a road near the Trans-Canada Highway that’s known for elk, black bear, grizzly bear, and moose encounters.
  • Plan a summer or winter wildlife safari tour, offering unique insight into how the behaviors and habitats of Banff’s animals change based on the time of year.
  • Get a closer look at Banff’s famous grizzly bears during an in-depth tour covering a gondola ride, park sightseeing, and a stop at a local grizzly bear refuge.
  • Search for wildlife from the water by taking a whitewater rafting trip on the Kicking Horse River.
  • Keep your distance when observing the animals: Officials from Parks Canada recommend staying back at least 660 feet (200 meters) from wolf or coyote dens, 330 feet (100 meters) from bears, and 100 feet (30 meters) from other large species.
  • Pick the right time of day. Wildlife sightings are most common in early morning and late evening, so plan your outings accordingly.
  • Stay quiet and go slowly, as loud noises and sudden movements can easily startle creatures.

Tours & Tickets

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Mountain Lakes and Waterfalls Day Trip from Banff, Banff, null
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Mountain Lakes and Waterfalls Day Trip from Banff

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 156 Reviews

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 ...  Read more

Location: Banff, Canada
Duration: 9 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $127.55
Kicking Horse River Whitewater Rafting, Banff, Day Trips
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Kicking Horse River Whitewater Rafting

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 24 Reviews

Whitewater rafting is the ultimate summer outdoor activity and the Kicking Horse River is the best river in the Canadian Rockies! With your transport ...  Read more

Location: Kicking Horse River, BC
Duration: 4 hours (approx.)

From USD $117.61
Evening Wildlife Safari, Banff, White Water Rafting
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Evening Wildlife Safari

4 star rating: Recommended 78 Reviews

Wildlife lovers and nature enthusiasts, this small-group safari in Banff is for you. On this 2-hour wildlife tour, explore a variety of Banff's beautiful ...  Read more

Location: Banff, Canada
Duration: 2 hours (approx.)

From USD $44.72
Discover Grizzly Bears from Banff, Banff, Nature & Wildlife
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Discover Grizzly Bears from Banff

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 39 Reviews

Animal lovers, don't miss your chance to discover the grizzly bear! Leaving Banff behind, you'll take a ride in a gondola for a great view of grizzly country, ...  Read more

Location: Banff, Canada
Duration: 10 hours (approx.)

From USD $173.93
Summer Tour: Banff and its Wildlife, Banff, Nature & Wildlife
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Summer Tour: Banff and its Wildlife

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 20 Reviews

Discover glorious Banff in the summertime on a 3-hour tour. Visit famous landmarks and historic places with your local guide. This small-group tour allows ...  Read more

Location: Banff, Canada
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $56.32
Winter Tour: Banff and its Wildlife, Banff, Half-day Tours
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Winter Tour: Banff and its Wildlife

3.5 star rating: Worth doing 3 Reviews

Join a personalized small-group tour and discover beautiful Banff in the winter! Over three hours, your local guide will take you to some of Banff's key ...  Read more

Location: Banff, Canada
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $55.49

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