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Wildlife Watching in Banff National Park

With 6641-square kilometres of protected wilderness, Banff National Park is a haven for wildlife. While the likelihood of an encounter with an animal is unpredictable, when it does happen – and the animal is viewed from a safe distance – it can be a magical experience. Watching a herd of elk in a field, a mountain goat scaling a cliff or a grizzly bear fishing in a creek is something unique to the natural world and the “big backyard” of Banff National Park.

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  • Join a wildlife viewing tour with a local operator (ask us for a recommendation)
  • Take the Bow Valley Parkway from Banff to Lake Louise instead of the TransCanada to increase your chances of viewing wildlife near the road
  • For the birders out there, spectacular locations for bird-watching near the Town of Banff include Vermilion Lakes and the Marsh Loop
  • Go for a backcountry hike for the opportunity to see wildlife away from human settlements

Preservation vs. Playground – How Banff Finds a Balance

Banff National Park was declared a park for the people when it was first established in 1885. But, humans share the park with wildlife and a delicate ecosystem – one that needs to be preserved if we are going to enjoy it for years to come. Park managers must find a way to balance the visitor experience with conservation and preservation efforts.

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