Bear Activity Report

Living with Wildlife - Watch the Movie

How to Donate

Bow Valley WildSmart is a program of the Biosphere Institute of the Bow Valley and relies entirely on donations and sponsors.
How to Donate
Receive weekly bear activity reports, news & events by email.
Sign up

Report any sightings of bears, cougars or wolves
403.591.7755 (Local)

For all public safety
emergencies call 9-1-1

Bear Activity: June 15 to June 21

Photo courtesy of Derek Ryder


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

For the period: June 15 to June 21, 2018

Welcome to the weekly bear report!


Grizzly and black bears continue to be seen on both sides of the Bow Valley, in the nearby MD of Bighorn hamlets, in and around the Canmore Nordic Centre, in residential areas around Canmore and along the river trails. A wolf was seen in the Stewart Creek/Three Sisters Area chasing a deer and elk continue to be seen along the river trails in and around Canmore. Although there have not been any more recent close encounters with aggressive cow elk protecting their calves, elk are still calving around Canmore, and people need to be aware of their surroundings and stay at least 30 meters away from all elk. Calves are often hidden in dense vegetation along the trails so extra vigilance is required.

Photo courtesy of Derek Ryder

Photo courtesy of Derek Ryder

A reminder to hikers, campers and all people recreating to properly secure garbage and attractants. Bears that gain access to these unnatural food sources can lose their natural fear of people, which increases the possibility of human-wildlife conflict. These bears can cause injury to people and pets, and destruction of property, resulting in bears being relocated or destroyed.

Wildlife can be encountered anywhere, anytime! Here are some reminders about how to be proactive and help reduce the risk of wildlife encounters:

  • make lots of noise to alert animals of your presence
  • travel in groups
  • be aware of your surroundings (look and listen for wildlife and their signs)
  • keep dogs on-leash
  • remember to pick up after your dogs as their feces can act as an attractant for bears
  • do not leave any garbage, remnants of food or items that have a smell outside as they may attract wildlife
  • carry bear spray in an easily accessible location and know how to use it. Bear spray should be carried while walking on the trails in and around town!

If you must stop on roadways to view wildlife, take your picture from a distance and move on. Do not linger at the location and never exit your vehicle to take a picture. Never feed wildlife or encourage wildlife to come closer to you or your vehicle.

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

-There continues to be an Elk Warning for the trails along the Bow River in Canmore due to close encounters with aggressive cow elk protecting their calves.

Elk Warning for the trails along the Bow River in Canmore.

Elk Warning for the trails along the Bow River in Canmore.

-Bear Closure - Lower Lakes Day Use, Lower Lakes Group Camp and Portion of the Peter Lougheed Paved trail that leads into the Lower Lake Campground due to multiple grizzly bears with cubs frequenting the area.

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

-Bear Warning - Ribbon Creek Trail, Hidden Trail and Terrace Trail between the Ribbon Day Use and Kananaskis Village due to a black bear frequenting the area.

-Bear Warning – Boulton Creek Campground due to multiple grizzly bears with cubs frequenting the area.

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

-Bear Warning – Indian Oils and Sheep River Trail due to a black bear sow with cub bluff charging a hiker and leashed dog.

-Bear Warning - Spray River/Goat Creek trails from the Banff Springs Hotel/Sulphur Mountain area to the boundary of Banff National Park at Goat Creek due to a black bear that is frequenting the area and has obtained unsecured garbage at campsites.

-The Seasonal Wildlife Closure has ended on the trails within the designated wildlife corridor in Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Park adjacent to the Canmore Nordic Centre.

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

In case you were not aware, the mating season for bears runs from June to early July. The courting rituals involve a very persistent male bear following a female, then they will remain together for several days before going their separate ways. The bears may have a very low tolerance for the presence of humans and can display aggressive behaviour. Be aware of mating pairs and please give them extra space and the privacy they deserve! Male bears may travel long distances in search of a female mate. A great example of this is a marked male grizzly bear from the West Kootenays in BC that has recently shown up in Kananaskis Country!


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

© 2019 Bow Valley WildSmart Community Program  |  design & maintenance by Webmarks Design & Marketing  |  Terms of Use  |  Privacy Policy |