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

WildSmart provides a weekly summary of bear activity in the Bow Valley between Banff Park Gate to Bow Valley Provincial Park. The summary is based upon a compilation of bear information provided by government agencies and unconfirmed sightings reported by the public each week.

Please join our Mailing list to receive bear and wildlife activity reports, and news & events by email.

Bear Activity: August 10 to August 16


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

For the period: August 10 to August 16, 2018

Welcome to the weekly bear report!


Multiple black bears have been seen throughout the Bow Valley (on both sides of the valley), in and around Canmore, in residential areas and in the nearby MD of Bighorn hamlets. At this time of year, bears are in search of buffaloberries and they have recently been seen along popular walking trails such as the engine bridge, along the river and up near Cougar Creek. People really need to be aware of and prepared for encounters with wildlife by carrying bear spray, even along these well travelled trails near town. This recent video from last weekend shows a black bear walking downtown near Main Street! Remember to carry bear spray in an easily accessible location, know how to use it and be prepared to use it! Close encounters with bears can happen in seconds so you need to be ready.

The Black Bear of Lake Louise

There have been several reports of bears in backyards, and berry bushes and fruit trees are the main attractants. A great proactive step that you can take is to remove these attractants from your yard. Berries and fruit attract bears and other wildlife into residential areas, putting wildlife and people at risk. 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.

Recently, a small herd of 12 elk were trapped in the river near Canmore while they were trying to swim across. The elk were not able to successfully cross the river as there were too many people standing along both sides of the river taking pictures. The elk did not have a safe place to get out of the river so they started swimming back and forth. They were visibly stressed out and tired. This serves as a reminder to give animals lots of space! If you must take pictures, take them from a distance and please don’t harass wildlife.

Off-leash dogs in and around town continue to be an issue, as is described in this recent video and article about an off-leash dog chasing a bear.

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

Please be prepared and on the lookout for bears while you recreate, as many berry bushes are found along trails. 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 (be consistent and constant), 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, do not wear headphones and pay attention to your surroundings). 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.

Current Warnings and Closures

-Bear Warning - Highwood River, upstream of Lineham Creek and between Lantern and Lineham Creek due to animals feeding on an elk carcass.

-Bear Warning – Mt. Kidd RV Park and staff residence loop due to a black bear frequenting the area.

-Bear Warning - Three Isle Lake Trail from North Interlakes Day Use Area to Forks Backcountry Campground due to multiple grizzly bears in the area, including sows with cubs.

-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 - The trail leading south from Mt Kidd RV Park F loop is closed 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 – 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

Every month the Grizzly Paw Brewing Company dedicates a cask to a local community organization, and this month they have chosen to dedicate it to WildSmart!

Come out tonight and join WildSmart and the rest of the Biosphere Institute`s staff and volunteers at the Grizzly Paw Pub (622 Main Street in Canmore) from 5-9pm on Friday, August 17 to enjoy some pints and great conversations. $2 from every cask pint will be donated to WildSmart.

The cask beer will be a Beavertail Raspberry Ale with added berries. A great way of reminding people to pick the fruits and berries off of their trees and bushes in their backyards! Berries and fruit attract bears and other wildlife into residential areas, putting wildlife and people at risk.

Here is the event listing on Facebook if you would like to share it:

We look forward to seeing you tonight!


Photo by Jamin Mulvey
Photo Courtesy of Katarina Ducaiova
Photo courtesy of Derek Ryder

© 2018 Bow Valley WildSmart Community Program  |  design & maintenance by Webmarks Design & Marketing  |  Terms of Use  |  Privacy Policy |