The best way to spot wildlife in Banff is with the expert guides at Discover Banff Tours.
We know the places they like to hang out, we know how to safely see them, and we know some pretty cool facts that will provide a lot of context to the experience for you and your family.
Wildlife in Banff National Park
Wildlife is just that – wild. Spotting the residents of Banff National Park isn’t always guaranteed, but with us, you have a pretty darn good chance of seeing something! Common sightings in our warmer months include black bears, grizzly bears, elk, deer, bighorn sheep, little rodents, and birdlife. From the safety of a vehicle, a favourite sighting among guests are definitely the bears. So, when can you see them, where, and how? Well, let us tell you!
Banff National Park is a wild place – it’s a protected part of Canada that is a national treasure and an area we are proud to operate within. The park nurtures, protects, conserves, and enhances the natural environment so that wildlife and humans can live cohesively together. How we do this is an interesting story of education, adaptation, and conservation, and we will explain this to you throughout our tours.
See wildlife (including bears!) in Spring
Visiting in the spring provides an excellent chance of spotting all kinds of animals including bears – why? Well, the food is down low. There is still a lot of snow and colder temperatures higher up in the mountains so berries have yet to grow and flowers have yet to bloom. These can, however, be found in the valley bottom which is close to where we run our popular Evening Wildlife Safari. This daily tour runs from spring to fall, and has a 95% success rate for spotting wildlife!
Not only do you get the knowledge and experience of our professional guides, but you get the local’s take on where to find our furry residents. Additionally, we bring along sample hides, antlers, facts, and stories to provide further interpretation to our experiences.
Meet a grizzly bear up close
Coming later in the summer when temperatures are hotter? We still have options! Most of our tours provide a great chance to see wildlife no matter the season, but bears can be a bit harder to spot as the season gets hotter. The berries and flowers have bloomed up high, and they love to hang out in the alpine areas.
But not to worry, we have a tour for you – and his name is Boo!
Kicking Horse Mountain Resort in neighbouring British Columbia is home to one of the world’s largest grizzly bear refuges and you can meet its resident, Boo, on the full-day Discover Grizzly Bears Tour. Boo was tragically orphaned at a very young age and given a second chance at life in this refuge built purposefully for him. On this tour, we also include stops at Takakkaw Falls (Canada’s second highest waterfall!) and the famous Emerald Lake.
And if you don’t see Boo, you can go back again for free! Just like in our Wildlife Safari tour, this trip also includes the education and interpretation you’ve come to expect from Discover Banff Tours.
For another unique animal experience, meet wolfdogs up close at the Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary! Just 45 minutes from Banff, this not-for-profit sanctuary gives visitors the chance to get a better understanding of wild wolves by interacting with the wolfdogs at the sanctuary. The most popular tour is the interactive tour – this semi-private guided sanctuary experience books out weeks in advance and takes you in to a wolfdog enclosure where you will learn about these amazing creatures from a knowledgeable staff member.
Leaving Banff with having some type of positive wildlife encounter brings them closer to nature and an unknown perspective of the wild places that remain. The best way to guarantee this is will happen is with one of our trips at Discover Banff Tours. Book today to avoid as peak visiting periods are in summer and tours often fill up.