Wildlife is plentiful in the region but don't expect to see animals all the time and anywhere – this is not the Serengeti, even though some guide books make it seem that way.

Best chances for wildlife viewing are from October to May, when many animals move to lower elevations. For bears, the best time of year is June to early August. There are no poisonous animals to worry about and encounters with bears, cougars or wolves on the trails are extremely rare and no reason for concern if you take the basic precautions. If you are unsure, ask us for advice.

Elk (wapiti). Photo taken in Banff National Park.

Of the larger mammals, you are most likely to see deer, elk (wapiti), mountain sheep, and coyote. Rabbits, ground squirrels and chipmunks as well as squirrels are common. Depending on the location, time of year and day, a reasonable chance exists for spotting moose, bears, mountain goats, pine marten, beaver whereas sightings of wolves, cougar, wolverine or otters are very rare. Birds can be observed at any time of the year. Fishing in lakes and streams is possible, including ice fishing in winter.