Bear Report - July 19, 2019

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(Banff National Park East Gate to Bow Valley Provincial Park)
For the period: July 12 to July 19, 2019


Several black bears have been seen in and around Canmore and throughout the entire Bow Valley. You should expect to continue to see bears especially in areas with high densities of buffaloberry. Be prepared and on the lookout for bears while you recreate, as many berry bushes are found along popular trails. As we are now in berry season, bears will be very focused on eating berries, so it is very important to remember to make lots of noise to alert them of your presence and to have good situational awareness. When bears are surprised they can respond defensively as they may feel threatened. Trail runners and bikers should not be wearing ear buds or headphones!

Shepherdia canadensis, more commonly known as Buffaloberry

Please be aware of a Bear Closure on the south side of the valley near Canmore to give a grizzly sow with two cubs space (see map below). On Wednesday, a female jogger was charged by the grizzly sow but the woman was able to deter the bear using bear spray. Read more in this article. The closure includes the Highline Trail, Riders of Rohan, East and West Connector Trails, and all access trails between Three Sisters Blvd and Peaks Drive and all land south and west of Three Sisters Parkway, including land within the Town of Canmore. The Rundle Forebay, Quarry Lake and the off-leash dog park are not in the closure area but people need to remember that bears are not only found in area with warnings and closures, they can be encountered anywhere, anytime in bear country.


A great proactive positive step that you can take is to remove attractants such as berries and fruit from your yard. These berries and fruit attract bears and other wildlife into the residential areas, putting the wildlife and people at risk.

Other proactive things you can do to help reduce the risk of wildlife encounters are:

  • 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-traveled trails, including the trails in and around town.

Photo courtesy of Derek Ryder


Bear Closure - Highline Trail and Surrounding Area near Canmore due to a grizzly bear sow with cubs in the area.

Bear Warning - Troll Falls, Hay Meadows, and Stoney Trail due to multiple bears frequenting the area.

Bear Closure - Rawson Lake Trail and Sarrail Ridge due to multiple bears frequenting the area.

Bear Closure - Nash meadow, East of Bighorn Lookout and South of Highway 546 due to a bear feeding on a carcass.

Bear Closure - Prairie Creek Trail between Prairie Link and Powderface Road due to a cow carcass alongside the trail.

Fox Warning - Sundance Lodges, campground and area due to a food conditioned red fox in the area. The fox has been approaching campers attempting to gain access to human food left in firepits, on picnic tables and in cooking areas.

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 Warning - Kananaskis Village hotels and staff housing areas including the Village Rim trail, baseball diamond, and nearby circulation trails due to multiple black bears with cubs frequenting 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.

*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 very paws-itive to hear that not only was the female jogger carrying bear spray (as discussed above), she was also able to successfully deploy the bear spray and deter the charging grizzly bear sow with two cubs! Everyone walked away from this encounter safely and hopefully this grizzly bear has learned that she needs to keep her distance from humans, and will hopefully teach her cubs to do the same.


Report any sightings of a bear, cougar, wolf or any aggressive wildlife in Kananaskis Country or the Bow Valley to Kananaskis Emergency Services at 403.591.7755