Wildlife at the Kicking Horse River – Alberta, Canada

ALBERTA – Canada – Whether you are on a gentle scenic float or taking on the challenge of higher class rapids, there are numerous opportunities to view native wildlife along the banks of the Kicking Horse River. Black bears, elk, bighorn mountain sheep and mountain goat are some of the animals that populate this region of Alberta, Canada.

Best Places to Spot Wildlife in Alberta, Canada

Found along the banks of the Kicking Horse River, Banff’s robust elk population can also be spotted elsewhere. The best places to spy elk are Vermilion Lakes Drive, the Buffalo Paddock, the Banff Springs golf course and the Bow Valley Parkway. Elk even frequent the town of Banff itself, intent on eating the greenery found in local yards to escape predators found elsewhere in the park.

Moose are on the decline, due to a number of factors, including deadly liver fluke, the return of wolves after a long absence, and an unnaturally high number of railway and highway mortalities. However, you still have a good chance of spotting a moose along the banks of the Kicking Horse River.

Bighorn sheep are abundant throughout the area, and are most commonly seen along the Bow Valley Parkway at Backswamp, on the Mount Norquay and Lake Minnewanka roads, and at the top of the gondola ride on Sulphur Mountain.

Banff has a healthy population of mountain goats, but has very few good places to view them from roads or short trails. Watch for them high on the cliffs above the Kicking Horse River.

“Keep your eyes open and look up at the river banks and the cliff edges,” said John Arbol, expert white water rafting guide at the Kicking Horse River. “It’s always a treat to see one of Canada’s spectacular specimens of wildlife in their natural habitat.”

Take a Wildlife Tour in Banff, Alberta

Team up with an experienced guide for the best in wildlife viewing with Banff Travel. Let us safely lead you through the wilderness in search of bears, moose, elk, wolves and even loons, eagles and osprey.  Get a front row seat to wildlife in the Canadian Rockies with Banff Travel. Planning your visit during the cooler months? Check out our Winter Wildlife Tour.