Bear Report - June 7, 2019

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(Banff National Park East Gate to Bow Valley Provincial Park)
For the period: May 31 to June 7, 2019


There continues to be lots of wildlife activity throughout the Bow Valley! Black bears have been seen on both sides of the valley, in residential areas in and around Canmore and along the river trails. A black bear sow with two small cubs continues to be seen in the vicinity of the Canmore Nordic Centre (see warning below) and Rundleview area.

Please make sure to give her and her cubs lots of space (at least 100 meters) and do not allow them to gain access to food sources such as garbage, recycling, bird-feeders, pet food and fruit bearing trees and shrubs. The future of these and other bears depend upon you acting responsibly. Once bears gain access to these types of food sources in your yards, they will most likely end up getting relocated or killed. Read more in this recent article.


Grizzly bear activity in Kananaskis Country remains steady and several females with cubs have been seen moving around the landscape (see warnings below). Mother bears can be extremely protective of their cubs so make sure to give family groups of bears lots of space, at least 100 meters.

There have been several recent close encounters with aggressive female elk protecting their calves on the trails along the Bow River in Canmore. Elk are calving around Canmore, including the river trails, and people need to be aware of their surroundings and stay at least 30 meters away from all elk. Calves are often hidden in dense vegetation along the trails so extra vigilance is required.

Wildlife can be encountered anywhere, anytime in the Bow Valley! Here are some reminders about how to be proactive and help reduce the risk of wildlife encounters:

  • Make lots of noise to alert animals of your presence

  • Travel in groups

  • Be aware of your surroundings (look and listen for wildlife and their signs, i.e. tracks and scat)

  • Keep dogs on-leash and remember to pick up after your dogs as their feces can act as an attractant for bears

  • Do not leave any garbage, remnants of food or items that have a smell outside as they may attract wildlife

  • Carry bear spray in an easily accessible location and know how to use it. Bear spray has also been shown to be effective at deterring other wildlife such as cougars, wolves, coyotes and elk, and it should be carried while walking on well travelled trails, including the trails in and around town.


Aggressive Elk Warning - The trails along the Bow River in Canmore due to recent close encounters with aggressive female elk protecting their calves.

Bear Warning - Grassi Lakes Day Use Area and surrounding trails due to a black bear sow with cubs frequenting the area.

Bear Warning - All trails and area at the Canmore Nordic Centre Provincial Park from highway 742 to the meadow due to a black bear sow with cubs in the area.

Bear Closure - Opal Ridge near Fortress Junction due to a female grizzly bear with two young of the year cubs in the area.

Bear Warning - Lower Lake Campground due to multiple grizzly bears in the area.

Bear Warning - The William Watson Lodge facility and surrounding trails due to a grizzly bear with two cubs frequenting the area.

Area Closure - Foran Grade Trail in the Sheep River Valley due to an animal carcass in the area.

Area Closure - Black Prince Trail and Drainage, including Warspite Tarn area due to a carcass in the area.

*Bears are not only found in closure or warning areas. You should always remain alert while walking, hiking, running and biking, and remember that bears can be encountered anytime, anywhere!

Here is a list of some Annual Closures in Kananaskis Country.

A complete list of all warnings and closures is available here for anyone visiting the Bow Valley, Kananaskis Country and Alberta Parks.

A complete list of all warnings and closures is available here for Banff National Park.

For more information on areas in the Bow Valley frequented by bears at this time of year visit our human-bear conflict summary map.

The information above is based upon a compilation of bear information provided by government agencies and unconfirmed sightings reported by the public over the last week. It is not intended to be used as a real-time, complete record of where bears are in the valley.


It is elk calving season and the grade 2 students at Elizabeth Rummel School would like to remind us to GIVE WILDLIFE SPACE! Leave at least 30 meters of space between yourself and all elk and make sure you keep your dog on a leash as mother elk can become very defensive if they feel threatened.