Banff National Park Hiking
The readily visible presence of wildlife is among the chief attractions of Banff National Park hiking.
Here, it's surprisingly easy to see where you stand in the food chain. Discovering you're several rungs down—by encountering a bear, for example—is both humbling and exhilarating.
It's also a healthy experience, given our species has the arrogant and harmful habit of erroneously thinking of itself as top dog.
But bears—grizzlies as well as blacks—are just one of many kinds of animals that Banff National Park hiking might allow you to observe. Other creatures big and small are more frequently visible.
Watch for bats, owls, eagles (bald and golden), red-tailed hawks, osprey, falcons, jays, woodpeckers, bluebirds, Clark's nutcrackers, ptarmigan, loons, herons, and mallards.
Also be on the lookout for chipmunks, squirrels, weasels, otter, raccoons, skunks, deer, lynx, coyotes, mountain goats, bighorn sheep, caribou, and moose.
It's possible any these animals—although certainly not all at once—will be part of your Banff National Park hiking experience.
Elk frequent Banff townsite. In the evening, watch for porcupines waddling out of the forest and beavers cruising ponds. On most Banff National Park hiking trails, you'll likely see pikas and marmots.
It's a rare and fortunate hiker who glimpses a wolf, wolverine, or cougar.
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