Bear Activity Report

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Bear Activity: June 8 to June 14


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

For the period: June 8 to June 14, 2018

Welcome to the weekly bear report!


Grizzly and black bears have been seen on both sides of the Bow Valley, 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 and elk (including calves) continue to be seen along the river trails in and around the Town of Canmore. Although there have not been any more recent close encounters with aggressive cow elk protecting their calves, elk are calving around Canmore, including the Bow River Trails, 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 Jamin Mulvey

Photo courtesy of Jamin Mulvey

There was an incident this week where a bear got into garbage at a trail head on the north side of the valley near Canmore. This article discusses the aggressive coyote in Banff and the closure of a campground along the Spray River East trail after a black bear got into unsecured food and garbage. 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!

The vegetation is greening up so the bears will be moving away from the valley bottoms. Wildlife may still be seen along the highways, so motorists should obey speed limits, constantly scan for wildlife feeding in ditches and be aware that the likelihood of encountering wildlife on or close to the road is increased during the spring season.

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.

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 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.

-June 15 is the last day of the Seasonal Wildlife Closure 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 will be ending 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 Human-Wildlife Coexistence (HWC) Technical Report was created to provide recommendations to reduce conflict between wildlife and humans in the Bow Valley. The report was created based on input from technical experts from across Alberta in wildlife management. The report will be used by the management organizations in the Bow Valley as a guide to enhance human-wildlife coexistence. A total of 28 recommendations were developed in six key areas to improve human-wildlife coexistence in the Bow Valley. You can read the full report by clicking on the image below:

hwc page

Please read the report and share your feedback and comments via email to: [email protected]

Feedback received will help inform the implementation of the recommendations!

For more details please visit:


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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