Bear Activity Report

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Bear Activity: July 27 to August 2

Photo by Jamin Mulvey


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

For the period: July 27 to August 2, 2018

Welcome to the weekly bear report!


Both grizzly and black bears have been seen on both sides of the valley near Canmore feeding on berries (see warning maps below) so you should continue to expect to see bears, especially in areas with high densities of buffaloberries. Please be prepared and on the lookout for bears while you recreate, as many berry bushes are found along trails.

Photo by Jamin Mulvey

Photo by Jamin Mulvey

Be vigilant and take extra precautions so as not to surprise bears focused on eating berries. When bears are surprised they can respond defensively as they may feel threatened. Try to avoid surprising bears by remembering to make lots of noise, travel in groups, keep your dog on a leash, respect warnings and closures and be aware of your surroundings (look and listen for signs of wildlife). Bear scat can be an indication of bear activity in the area. During berry season bear scat looks a lot like strawberry jam! Keep an eye out for it on the trails and try to avoid areas with fresh scat.

Berry season scat

Berry season bear scat

More...berry season scat

More…berry season bear scat

Remember to carry bear spray in an easily accessible location, know how to use it and be prepared to use it! Two hikers in the Banff area, as described in this article, were recently bluff charged by a bear. Close encounters with bears can happen in seconds so you need to be ready.

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!

At this time of year people are so focused on bears that they forget about some of the other wildlife that they need to keep an eye out for. There were two recent reports of elk that closed distance on people walking along popular trails around Canmore. This serves as a reminder to keep pets on leash and to give elk lots of space (more than 30 meters). If an elk does charge, prepare to use your bear spray and place a large object between you and the elk. Remember that bear spray may be used to deter wildlife such as elk, wolves, cougars and coyotes.

There continues to be 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

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 Closure - Paddy’s Flat Interpretive Trail due to a black bear in the area feeding on buffaloberry bushes along the trail.

-Bear Warning - Paddy’s Flat Campground due to multiple sightings of black bears and grizzly bears feeding on berries.

-Bear Closure - Gorge Creek Road due to animals on a carcass within close proximity to the road.

-Bear Closure - Tom Snow Trail from Mountain Road to Moose Loop due to bears feeding on a carcass.

-Bear Closure - Centennial Ridge Trail from Ribbon Creek Trailhead to the summit of Mount Allan and Coal Mine Trail due to a black bear that bluff charged hikers and grizzly and black bears that are frequenting the area to feed on buffaloberries.

-Bear Closure - The trail leading south from Mt Kidd F loop is closed from the loop to where it meets Highway 40 due to bears feeding in the area.

-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.

-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 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

A great proactive 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 wildlife and people at risk.

Shepherdia canadensis more commonly known as Buffaloberry

Shepherdia canadensis, more commonly known as Buffaloberry


If you need to borrow pruners and/or fruit pickers to help remove these attractants from your yard, please drop by WildSmart at the Biosphere Resource Centre in Canmore.


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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