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Bear Watching?

London, United...
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Bear Watching?

Hello,

Myself and my husband will be doing a two week driving holiday around the Rockies/BC from 6th July. We very much want to try and see some bears whilst we are on our trip, and I was wondering where our best bet would be? We have three nights in Banff, 2 in Jasper and 3 in tofino which I assume will be the best locations, but not sure which of those and if booking a specific tour is best or whether we can hope to see some whilst driving the icefields p/way or walking around the national parks? We don't want to waste money on a tour if we don't need one as we'll be paying to go on a whale watching tour, an ice walk and also a hot springs tour at some point.

Any advice would be much appreciated!

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Banff
Banff
Banff National Park, Canada
Banff National Park
National Parks, Nature & Wildlife Areas, Hiking Trails
Temple Mountain
Mountains, National Parks, Nature & Wildlife Areas
Jasper, Canada
Destination Expert
for Jasper, Jasper National Park, Canadian Rockies
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20,713 posts
124 reviews
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1. Re: Bear Watching?

Here in the Rockies, there are no specific bear watching tours because, unlike coastal bears where there is the annual salmon run, there is no predictable spot where tour companies can reasonably expect to find bears on a regular basis. What is offered are wildlife tours. Those tours take you on the same roads where you can drive yourself; the only difference is that the guides keep in touch with others (and some also have contacts within the parks service) and they know where animals have been recently spotted. Bears, both black and grizzly, are often seen along the Icefields Parkway but it's really a matter of luck - being in the right place at the right time. Other, quieter roads are also a good bet, and your odds are better if you are out early in the morning, or later in the day around dusk - wildlife of various kinds is often seen along the Maligne Road here in Jasper NP, and the Pyramid Lake Road from the town of Jasper up to Pyramid Lake is a good bet for elk, deer, and sometimes bears. I have also seen wildlife almost every time I have driven the Bow Valley Parkway between Lake Louise and Banff townsite.

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Lake Louise
Lake Louise
Banff National Park, Canada
Banff
Banff
Banff National Park, Canada
Greater Sydney...
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19,478 posts
93 reviews
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2. Re: Bear Watching?

As krp said, there are no guaranteed spots to sight bears, but we had three separate sightings just on the Icefields Parkway near Jasper.

I understand that there are areas to the far north of Vancouver Island where viewing is almost guaranteed when the salmon are running, but you would need to check on one of the BC forums as to when that might be as early July might be iffy.

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Vancouver Island
Vancouver Island
British Columbia, Canada
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
315 posts
825 reviews
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3. Re: Bear Watching?

I haves 100% success rate on the old road between Banff and Louise nearer Louise but the best and most humorous sighting was just outside Waterton township last summer where we watched a 'pair' going at it for about 20 mins - they were definitely an old couple as he was 'giving it' whereas she was wandering off eating grass, I watch the video on my phone occasionally when I need cheering up, very immature but very funny.

:-))))))))))

Rob

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Banff
Banff
Banff National Park, Canada
London, United...
13 posts
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4. Re: Bear Watching?

thanks very much everyone - we might just go for the chance sightings in the Rockies rather than book a tailor made tour whilst on VI.

5. Re: Bear Watching?

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