BANFF NATIONAL PARK
Because the event is taking place in Banff National Park, we are sharing the Park with wildlife and it is important to respect their needs for space and wildness.
Here are some helpful tips from "The Mountain Guide", the official visitors guide to the mountain parks, on the Banff National Park website.
Be sure to follow @BanffNP on Twitter to keep up-to-date on all the happenings in Banff National Park!
All Participants Require a Park Pass
Park passes can be purchased online through Banff & Lake Louise Tourism, at the entry gates, or visitor centres throughout the park
- Purchase a Park Pass HERE
All participants should be aware of, and prepared to deal safely with, the following potential hazards in Banff National Park:
- Please travel on road shoulders where possible, unless otherwise instructed
- Note that drivers may stop and/or pull over with little warning to watch wildlife or photograph scenery
- Banff National Park is a popular place; other cyclists / runners may be using the same roadway
- There may be pavement irregularities, and gravel, rocks, trees, or other debris on road surface
- You may encounter wild animals along mountain park roads, including: grizzly and black bears, elk, bighorn sheep, deer, moose, wolves, cougars, coyotes, mountain goats, caribou, wolverine, and lynx
- Freezing temperatures are possible at any time of the year, so it is possible (although rare) to have snow or ice on the road even in the summer months; the likelihood of this increases with elevation
Respect the Wild
One of the amazing attractions of the mountain national parks is the chance of seeing wild animals living free in their natural world. With millions of visitors a year, it takes a conscious effort from each one of us to make sure we don't harm the very thing that makes these parks special: their wild nature.
Observe From a Safe Distance
To keep wildlife (and people) healthy and safe, respect these viewing
distances: 100 metres (10 bus lengths) for bears, wolves and cougars, and 30 metres (3 bus lengths) for elk, deer, moose, bighorn sheep, mountain goats and other mammals.
Nature at Work, Do Not Disturb
Life is hard here in the mountains; wild animals need to focus their time and energies on meeting their basic needs. If you disrupt their natural feeding, travelling, or mating behaviours, you threaten their survival.
Don't be Fooled by Our Elk (or Deer, Moose or Sheep)
When they become used to living near people, these placid-looking plant-eaters may look 'tame'. But beware: they have attacked people who get too close, and can do a lot of damage with their hefty hooves, antlers or horns. Elk are particularly aggressive during spring calving season (May, June) and the fall rut (September, October). Stay at least 30m away!
Never Feed Them - Accidentally or on Purpose
Allowing wildlife access to human food or garbage can have deadly consequences for animals and people.
Prevent Surprise Encounters with Predators
Most wild animals will try to avoid you if they can hear or see you coming:
that's the "flight" response we want to encourage. But they are likely to see a surprise encounter as a threat, and react defensively with a "fight" response.
If an Animal Approaches You Aggressively
Resist the urge to run: running usually provokes a chase. If an attack appears imminent, use your bear spray according to manufacturer's directions. Bunch up with other people, pick up small children. Back up slowly, facing the animal. Make sure it has an escape route. Leave the area when you can do so safely, and report the incident to park staff.
Wildlife attacks are rare, but have occurred here. Prevention is your best defense.