Search entire travel group

5 Tips for Wildlife Watching in the Canadian Rockies

Elk encounter in the heart of the Canadian Rockies

Posted by on 07 Feb 2020 , in North America

Save for the overwhelming natural landscapes of the Canadian Rockies, the wildlife that calls this area home is another reason why it is desired by so many Rocky Mountaineer guests! Spotting a mama bear with her cubs and hearing an elk bugling during mating season—there are few things more exciting than seeing these animals in their own habitat, living wild and free. Canada’s pristine wilderness is teeming with amazing fauna, although sightings are never guaranteed—but this just makes wildlife watching even more enlivening! Check out the following tips to increase your chances of spotting some of the amazing wild animals on your next holiday in the Rockies.

1. Book a spring or fall vacation

Spring and fall are the best seasons for wildlife viewing, whether from the comfort of Rocky Mountaineer, or out in the national parks. Around April and May, bears start coming out of hibernation at lower altitudes and some animals are seen with their young taking tentative first steps. August is the start of the elk rut, while fall months signal the salmon run, which bring bears and eagles to the river to feast.

2. Take a day tour

Rocky Mountaineer works with local tour operators in the resort towns of Banff and Jasper to arrange packages that feature remarkable tours and activities. Taking a tour with professionals increases your odds of discovering animals while exploring. Not only will they be able to help you spot wildlife, they’ll also be able to explain animal behaviours and teach you about their natural environment.

3. Know what to look for

The national parks are where most of the wildlife roams and if you are heading out on your own, it is highly recommended that you familiarise yourself first with the faunae resident to the area, signs that they have been around (such as droppings and prints), and any behaviour that you should be careful of.

4. Plan your day around the animals

In general, animals are most active early in the morning and late in the afternoon. Plan ahead and be aware of the best times for photography!

5. Stay safe

Observing wild creatures sure is fun but don’t forget that they are still wild—and unpredictable. When you’re in the parks, respect the animals by giving them plenty of space. Avoid staying close when taking a selfie with an animal. Always be on the alert and watch for any sign that they might feel threatened. Never ever get between an animal and its young! Make sure you never mimic any of their calls and do not tempt them with food.


Breathtaking mountain views, gorgeous alpine towns and unique experiences await you in Canada. Feel free to contact us online or call 1300 380 992 to plan an amazing holiday with our highly experienced destination specialists. 

Some popular tours from Canada

Get deals, travel articles, and holiday inspiration