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How to Spot Wildlife in Banff National Park

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How to Spot Wildlife in Banff National Park
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.
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Banff Tours & Activities (4)
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Evening Wildlife SafariNature and Wildlife

Evening Wildlife Safari

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Join an animal-spotting bus tour in Banff National Park, observing the park’s amazing wildlife at dusk on this 2-hour, small-group tour that’s perfect for nature enthusiasts. Enjoy Banff’s beautiful landscapes in the evening searching for elk, deer, bears and more because each tour has a 95% success rate of viewing animals in their natural environment. You'll also hear about the park's efforts to protect animals and their habitat from your expert guide.
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  • 2 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From  
$45.30 
From  
$45.30 
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  • 2 hours
  • Taking safety measures

Summer Tour: Banff and its WildlifeNature and Wildlife

Summer Tour: Banff and its Wildlife

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Explore the historic landmarks and natural wonders near the town of Banff on this half-day, small-group tour. Admire the unparalleled beauty of natural sights including Bow Falls, the surreal Hoodoos rock formation, and beautiful Lake Minnewanka, among others. This guided tour includes hotel pickup and drop-off in Banff, a professional guide, and light refreshments.
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  • 3 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From  
$59.86 
From  
$59.86 
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  • 3 hours
  • Taking safety measures

Winter Tour: Banff and Its WildlifeNature and Wildlife

Winter Tour: Banff and Its Wildlife

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Take an unexpected winter excursion through the landscape of Banff as you search for the park’s famous wildlife on this tour. Head out on a nature-spotting tour to observe animals and learn about their ability to survive the cold winter months. Your morning tour includes round-trip transportation, a professional guide, a light snack and hot chocolate.
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  • 3 hours
From  
$58.24 
From  
$58.24 
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  • 3 hours

Discover Grizzly Bears from BanffDay Trips

Discover Grizzly Bears from Banff

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Pursue the elusive Canadian Grizzly Bear on this 10-hour excursion through Banff and Yoho National Parks, perfect for animal- and nature-lovers alike. Head out for a gondola ride up to 7,700 feet for a mountain-top lunch at Canada’s highest restaurant, and then take a chairlift ride up to the world’s largest enclosed and protected grizzly bear habitat to see Boo the resident bear rescued as a cub. This full-day trip also includes round-trip transportation, professional guide, lunch and light refreshments.
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  • 10 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From  
$186.06 
From  
$186.06 
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  • 10 hours
  • Taking safety measures