Viewing Wildlife In Banff National Park

viewing-wildlife-in-banff-national-park-cropBanff National Park is a great place to do some wildlife watching. The best times to see wildlife are the early morning and evening when animals are out the most, however in Banff even during the day you’re sure to see plenty of wildlife to keep you entertained.

Some more commonly sighted wildlife in Banff include:

Elk and Deer

There is a large population of these large ungulates that can be seen everywhere in the Park.

Top Spots To See Elk

1. The golf course.

2. They commonly frequent the town site although park officials have made efforts to relocate them.

3. The Bow Valley Parkway at dawn or dusk.

Bighorn Sheep

It is often unknown that the Bighorn Sheep is Alberta’s Provincial Mammal.

Top Spots To see Bighorn Sheep

1.Take the Lake Minnewanka Trail and you’re likely to see bighorn sheep along the road.


Grizzly and Black Bears are elusive and seeing them is left a lot to chance but there are many in the Mountain Parks. There are more Grizzly Bears in Banff than Black Bears.

Top Spots To See Bears

1. Driving along hwy 1 into BC, as the highway comes close to the train tracks you’ll often see Black and Grizzly Bears, especially in the spring.

2. Lake Louis Ski Lift (in the summer)

3. Anywhere more remote in the backcountry.


Besides large mammals, the wildlife in Banff includes a variety of freshwater fish including Cutthroat Trout, Bull Trout, Brown Trout and Arctic Grayling.

Top Spots To See Fish

1. For some places to view fish go along the Bow River and you’re likely to see Brown or Cutthroat Trout jumping.

2. Find the most scenic hiking trails up along Johnston Canyon along the Bow Valley Parkway. If you follow the trail (especially all the way to the Ink Pots) the water is so clear you’ll be able to see full sized Trout in the creek (it’s a long way down though). Its beautiful scenery and very satisfying seeing the fish beneath the water. There is hardly any fishing done on the creek because of the steep cliffs.


The wildlife in Banff includes over 260 species of bird seen in the park including the gorgeous Harlequin duck. Top Spots For Bird Watching

1. Vermillion Lakes just outside the townsite for wetland species.

2. The Cave and Basin.

Keep a look out for mammals, bird species and get some underwater fish pictures. Banff and the wildlife that inhabit it are a gem of the Canadian Rockies. Many people fall in love with the wildlife in Banff and leave with a renewed sense of connection with nature.