Bear Activity Report

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

For all public safety
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Bear Activity: September 2 to September 8

Photo by: Beth Spencer

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

For the Period: September 2 to September 8, 2016

Welcome to the ongoing weekly bear reports for 2016.


Bow Valley bears have generally been pretty quiet this week. Black bear(s) have been reported up near Silvertip and Eagle Heights on several occasions this week. We would like to remind people to keep their dogs on leashes. Off leash dogs have been known to bring bears back with them or to accidentally chase them towards people. Keeping your dog on a leash and under your control prevents a lot of uncertainty during an encounter.

There have been several unconfirmed reports of bears spotted in fruit trees around town. As the berry crop comes to an end bears are looking for additional food sources which draws them into town. Check for and remove any attractants from your backyard. Click on the photo below to see a video by Leanne Allison about some of the stuff going on in the Bow Valley to keep backyard fruit out of the paws of bears.

beer and bears2

There have also been two close encounters in Kananaskis Country with black bear sows with cubs. In both cases the mother bear was either deterred or ended her approach before contact was made. It is important to remember that even though the cubs aren’t the little munchkins we saw at the beginning of the summer, mom is still very defensive. If you see a young bear, you should assume its mother is not far away and leave the area.

Current Bow Valley Closures and Warnings

-Bear Closure: Lacs Des Arcs Campground and Day Use Area. The boat launch and access road to the boat launch are open.

-Bear Warning: Lacs Des Arcs Community

-Bear Warning: Camp Chief Hector, horse corrals, surrounding trails and areas east of the horse corral.

-Bear Warning: Area and trails south and west of the Canmore Nordic Centre, including Grassi Lakes trails and climbing area and areas near Quarry Lake

-Bear Warning: Canmore Nordic Centre Trails: Killer Bees, Backdoor Ziggys and Nector Noodles

-Bear Warning: Canmore Nordic Centre Provincial Park, Grassi Lakes Day Use area and surrounding land

-Bear Warning: Bow Valley Wildlands Provincial Park including Highline Trail, East and West Connector Trails

-Bear Warning: Lowline Trail from Peaks of Grassi to three sister subdivision, including powerline

-Bear Warning: Yamnuska day use area and mountain trail

-Bear Warning: “Quebexican” bike trail between Stewart Creek Golf Course and Wind Valley

-Bear Warning: Old Sisters Haul Road located below the Stewart Creek Golf Course

Additional bear warnings and closures available here for anyone visiting Kananaskis Country and Alberta Parks.

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

It’s past labour day weekend which means that Bow Valley towns and parks are feeling a little quieter and a little more relaxed. Interestingly enough a new study by Cheryl Hojnowski, a PhD student at Berkeley, University of California, found that it is not just humans who take actions to prevent surprise encounters with bears, but that bears also take precautions and change behaviour to avoid encountering us! Here is the Rocky Mountain Outlook article about her research and also a short clip of Yogi the Bear going to great lengths to avoid the crowds. Cheryl will also be our first speaker at the WildSmart Speaker Series this fall (stay tuned for more info), come out and hear about her research into how bears live with us in the front country!


Be aware of your surroundings, know how to reduce the likelihood of encounters and be prepared should an encounter take place. Always use caution by paying attention to signs of bear activity such as scats, tracks, and digging. Make lots of noise while hiking; hike in groups when possible; carry bear spray; know how to use it; and obey warnings and closures.


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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