Bear Activity Report

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Bear Activity: July 13 to July 19


(Banff National Park East Gate to Bow Valley Provincial Park)

For the period: July 13 to July 19, 2018

Welcome to the weekly bear report!


You should continue to expect to see bears in many areas of the Bow Valley and especially in areas with high densities of buffaloberry, as there are numerous black and grizzly bears feeding on these berries! Be prepared and on the lookout for bears while you recreate, as many berry bushes are found along trails.


Please be aware of a Bear Warning for the south side of the Bow River in Canmore (see maps below), from Stewart Creek all the way up to and including the Canmore Nordic Centre due to numerous bears feeding on berries.

CanmoreWarning2018_20180718 CNCWarning2018_20180718

At this time of year, bears are so focused on eating that they may not be as aware of people. When bears are surprised they can respond defensively as they may feel threatened. When heading outdoors to recreate, please remember to make lots of noise – don’t surprise feeding bears, be aware of your surroundings, travel in groups, keep your dog on a leash and respect warnings and closures. Remember to carry bear spray in an easily accessible location and know how to use it.

Bikers should be especially loud when travelling quickly and in areas where their sight-lines are limited. A reminder that bears can be encountered on popular and well travelled trails, and bear spray should be carried while using these trails!

A great proactive positive step that you can take is to remove attractants such as berries and fruit from your yard. These berries and fruit attract bears and other wildlife into the residential areas, putting the wildlife and people at risk.

Shepherdia canadensis more commonly known as Buffaloberry

Shepherdia canadensis, more commonly known as Buffaloberry

If you have not already done so, please read the Human-Wildlife Coexistence (HWC) Technical Report and share your feedback and comments via email to: [email protected]

The Human-Wildlife Coexistence (HWC) Technical Report was created to provide recommendations to reduce conflict between wildlife and humans in the Bow Valley. Feedback received will help inform the implementation of the recommendations!

Current Warnings and Closures

-Bear Warning - South side of the Bow River in Canmore, including Quarry Lake Day Use, Peaks of Grassi, Canmore Nordic Centre and area trails due to numerous bears feeding on berries. Click here to view the map of the affected area.

-Bear Warning – Facility Zone in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park as grizzly bears with cubs have been frequenting campgrounds, day use areas, trailheads and trails.  Even if you are exercising all of the preventative behaviours (eg. being aware of bear signs, obeying closures, making noise on trail, dogs on leash), it is possible that you may have a bear encounter.

-Bear Warning – Troll Falls Trail and a portion of Stoney Trail due to a bear frequenting the area.

-Bear Warning – Heart Creek Day Use Area, Heart Creek Trail and surrounding area due to black bears in the area feeding on berries.

-Bear Warning – Canyon Campground due to multiple bears frequenting the area.

-Bear Closure – Rawson Lake Trail and Sarrail Ridge due to multiple grizzly bears feeding in the area.

-Bear Closure - Chester Lake Trail and Day Use Area due to a grizzly bear and cub frequenting the area. The High Rockies Trail remains open through the closure. No parking available at Chester Day Use Area.

-Bear Warning - Grassi Lakes Day Use Area Trails due to numerous black bears seen feeding on natural vegetation in close proximity to the trails.

-Bear Warning – Canmore Nordic Center Provincial Park due to numerous black bears seen feeding on natural vegetation.

-Bear Warning - Sandy McNabb Campground due to a black bear frequenting the campground.

Here is a list of some additional Annual Closures in Kananaskis Country. Note that most of these annual closures ended on June 15.

*Bears are not only found in closure and warning areas. You should always remain alert while walking, hiking, running and biking, and remember that bears can be encountered anytime, anywhere!

A complete list of all warnings and closures are available here for anyone visiting Kananaskis Country and Alberta Parks.

A complete list of all warnings and closures are available here for Banff National Park.

For more information on areas in the Bow Valley frequented by bears at this time of year visit our human-bear conflict summary map.

The information above is based upon a compilation of bear information provided by government agencies and unconfirmed sightings reported by the public over the last week. It is not intended to be used as a real time, complete record of where bears are in the valley.

And Now some Paws-itive News

The Volunteer Wildlife Ambassador Program has been running for over 11 years and is jointly managed by Alberta Parks and WildSmart. They are a well-trained group of dedicated volunteers concerned about the future of humans and wildlife in the Bow Valley and want to share the message of coexistence.



We were able to recruit and train over 20 new Volunteer Wildlife Ambassadors this year! That means that we now have over 30 Wildlife Ambassadors that will continue to have in-person conversations (not confrontations) with people at trailheads, on trails, at closure and warning areas, visitor info centres, and local community events. Their conversations focus on the needs of wildlife, conflict avoidance, and appropriate safety information. They sometimes use props such as pelts, skulls, and tracks to help facilitate conversations.

Some of our Wildlife Ambassadors out at Grassi Lakes having some great conversations about local wildlife.

Some of our Volunteer Wildlife Ambassadors out at Grassi Lakes Trailhead having some great conversations!

Wildlife Ambassadors are easy to recognize in their blue vests as seen in the pictures above. If you see them out on the trails this weekend or summer, please stop by for a chat and give them a big thank you for all their dedicated work! Thank you, Wildlife Ambassadors, and keep up the good work!


Important Note:

Please do not use the comment box to report sightings of wildlife.

Report any sightings of a bear, cougar, wolf or any aggressive wildlife in Kananaskis or the Bow Valley to Kananaskis Emergency Services 403.591.7755

For current postings of Bear Warnings, Wildlife Warnings and Closures please visit the following page:
Kananaskis Country - Advisories and Public Safety

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