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Wildlife while visiting Banff

Lakeland, Florida
Level Contributor
19 posts
86 reviews
Wildlife while visiting Banff

It is a rainy day in Banff and we would like drive and see wildlife. Obviously, dusk is the best time and the highway being fenced off isn't ideal but what are some suggestions

10 replies to this topic
Jasper, Canada
Destination Expert
for Jasper, Jasper National Park, Canadian Rockies
Level Contributor
21,993 posts
130 reviews
1. Re: Wildlife while visiting Banff

The TransCanada highway is fenced to keep wildlife off the road (to reduce highway mortality). The quieter secondary roads are a better option for wildlife - the Bow Valley Parkway, the Lake Minnewanka loop etc.

Penticton, Canada
Level Contributor
20,260 posts
28 reviews
2. Re: Wildlife while visiting Banff

From March 1 to June 25, travel will not be permitted on Highway 1Abetween 8 p.m. and 8 a.m. on the 17-kilometre section of the highway, also known as the Bow Valley Parkway, from Johnston Canyon Campground to the Fireside Picnic Area.

Lakeland, Florida
Level Contributor
19 posts
86 reviews
3. Re: Wildlife while visiting Banff

Will you be able to see some wildlife during the day? Especially since it's rainy.

Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
86 posts
3 reviews
4. Re: Wildlife while visiting Banff

I mean, you might. There's definitely no guarantees.

Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
6,328 posts
22 reviews
5. Re: Wildlife while visiting Banff

Only if they decide to show themselves! Take a drive and see how lucky you are.

Oshawa, Canada
Level Contributor
7,057 posts
34 reviews
6. Re: Wildlife while visiting Banff

The wildlife typically take no notice of rain. But are more apt to move at dusk to feed.

Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
32,683 posts
62 reviews
7. Re: Wildlife while visiting Banff

I can't tell you how many times I've been in a park somewhere and said "Oh, look, there's a ....xxx" and the people around me saw nothing until I pointed at it. Seeing wildlife isn't about driving around and trying to improve your luck by being in more places, its about being truly present in the space you are in, paying attention to the ambient sounds and being curious enough to *look* when you hear something - a rustling, a crunch, a bird calling. They are out there, but very very good at being hidden to anyone who is waiting for the Hollywood version to appear.

Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
395 posts
8. Re: Wildlife while visiting Banff

At 6PM-8Pm tonight, drive in the middle of Banff Springs Golf Course or head up to the Banff Centre up the hill and drive the Tunnel Mountain Road loop. Do this again early in the morning say 6-7AM.

If you have you time today. Go to Highway 40 in Kananaskis and drive it all the way to the end gate. It is only 2 hours return trip from Banff.

Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
2,646 posts
112 reviews
9. Re: Wildlife while visiting Banff

There are also usually a family of sheep up the Mount Norquay road, no guarantee...but I'd say I've seen them 50% of the time I've been up there. Elk are always in the area as well, you just need to keep your eyes peeled for them, especially around the Vermillion Lakes area and local airport.

Newmarket, Canada
Level Contributor
2,822 posts
59 reviews
10. Re: Wildlife while visiting Banff

I often see sheep when driving the Lake Minnewanka loop, which I suppose starts by the "airport" (more like an unsigned strip of grass with a windsock on a post) that @littlechilds mentioned.

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