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Bear watching

London, United...
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120 posts
7 reviews
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Bear watching

Hello we normally visit Canada in September but this time will be in August, we will be in Jasper mis August do we have any chance to bear watch

Many thanks

Jasper, Canada
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for Jasper, Jasper National Park, Canadian Rockies
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1. Re: Bear watching

Spotting wildlife is really just luck - being in the right place at the right time. The last three times I have been out hiking, driving to trailheads on roads here in Jasper National Park, I have seen bears - two grizzly bears about 10 km west of town on highway 16, 4 black bears on the Maligne Road including a sow and wee cub, and a black bear on the Miette Road. Here in the Rockies, there are "wildlife watching" tours offered, but not "bear watching" tours like they have out on the coast. There, they have the coastal salmon runs that attract them to a specific spot, and because food is abundant where the salmon are running, bears will tolerate other bears; here, there are no predictable places to view bears, and they are mainly solitary creatures that wander far and wide over a large territory. But they are frequently seen along roadsides - the verges along the roads usually have good grazing for them. (Despite their reputation, bears are mainly vegetarian.)

London, United...
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120 posts
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2. Re: Bear watching

Thank you so much for the information,do you think we will have as much chance spotting in August as we have done in September in the past.

Edmonton
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178 posts
26 reviews
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3. Re: Bear watching

Hard to predict but August can be good if the buffalo berries are ripe and plentiful. If they are, the bears will be very active and relatively easy to find. If not, the bears may be harder to find.

Best time to see bears is likely late May through mid June.

London
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15 posts
43 reviews
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4. Re: Bear watching

June was good for us . Seven in total including mother and three cubs. All seen around Maligne Lake

Edmonton, AB
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5. Re: Bear watching

I would take an evening drive up to Maligne Lake Road. We usually always see plenty of wildlife up there.

Ottawa, Canada
4 posts
1 review
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6. Re: Bear watching

Once more place you are sure to see bears are at Wells Gray Provincial Park. Going west from Jasper, it may take a few hours. The park is near Clearwater, BC, and it has a bunch of beautiful waterfalls. Also on the way from Jasper you could see Mt. Robson, the highest point in the Canadian Rocikes.

Jasper, Canada
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for Jasper, Jasper National Park, Canadian Rockies
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18,647 posts
107 reviews
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7. Re: Bear watching

Wells Gray Provincial Park is a four hour drive from Jasper - not a viable day trip. The only time I have seen a bear in Wells Gray was when I was on a hiking trail (black bear and cub); I have never seen a bear while driving through the park (have done this a few times). At Wells Gray, just like Jasper NP or Banff NP, or anywhere else, seeing a bear is a matter of luck - being in the right place at the right time.

Edmonton, AB Canada
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10 posts
15 reviews
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8. Re: Bear watching

Now, how about those of us who do NOT want to see a bear? I will be going to Jasper in a week with my husband and our 3-year-old son. Sometimes he will be walking or he may be in the chid carrier, but I am NOT interested in seeing any bears on a trail.

Firstly, are there some trails that are closed currently or are fairly common to see bears on that I should perhaps avoid? Secondly, do you actually recommend I purchase bear spray for peace of mind? I know, I'm an oddity. I'm fine seeing them from a car, but have no interest in seeing one on a hike. Saw lots as a kid, and the trauma is still present ;) Thanks in advance!

Jasper, Canada
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for Jasper, Jasper National Park, Canadian Rockies
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107 reviews
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9. Re: Bear watching

I don't want to meet bears on a trail either, especially grizzly bears! I have had many encounters with black bears, but almost all at a fair distance. The standard advice is to be noisy when you hike, so that any critters in the area know you are there - the premise being that they want to avoid you even more than you want to avoid them.

Are you planning on doing hikes, or just shorter walks? You are less likely to see wildlife on busier trails, so the Cavell Meadows hike is one you might consider, or Wilcox Pass. A shorter hike, and even busier, is the Valley of the Five Lakes. There was a bear warning already for the Opal Hills area (grizzly in area) although I don't know if the warning is still on, but that is a trail that is usually a griz "hot spot" in summer, so you will probably want to avoid that trail.

Bear spray is really a matter of your personal preference. Yes, it can give you peace of mind that you do have some kind of defence, as a last resort. However, you also have to consider that in order to use it in an emergency, you will need to quickly assess wind direction etc. to be certain you won't put yourselves or your little one in a situation where the spray blows at any of you.

Jasper, Canada
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10. Re: Bear watching

Hin There having grown up here in Jasper I am aware that the month of June is the best month to spot bears as they are feeding on the grass and dandelions beside the road. the last week of June we spotted 11 bears on the Maligne Lake road. Lots of moms with cubs one momma had 3 tiny little cubs with her DANGEROUS but cute.