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Staying bear safe on your elopement in the Canadian Rockies

How to ensure you stay safe from bears on your elopement wedding

So you’ve decided to elope in Banff National Park, Canmore, Kananaskis or another part of the Canadian Rockies. Now you’re panicking about being attacked by a bear. Here are some tips for avoiding bear interaction when hiking and eloping in Banff. 

Be loud

The best tool you have is your voice. Bears don’t want to come into contact with you any more than you do them. Sing, talk, laugh – all these things will reduce the chances of a bear ending up on your path.

Bear Spray

Carry bear spray, or travel with a photographer who is carrying bear spray. I always carry bear spray on all elopements in Banff National Park and the rest of bear country. Also, keep your spray where it is easily accessible on your person & not buried in your backpack.

Follow signs

Pick a different route if signs warn of bears in the area or route closures. They are there to keep you & the animals safe. As a local photographer living in Canmore, I keep a keen eye on bear activity and will help you plan your elopement in the best and safest areas. 

Keep dogs on a leash

Whilst humans are not seen as a food source, this isn’t true of dogs. If your dog runs off and sees a bear, when the dog runs back to you, there’s a fair chance the bear is coming, too. Please always keep your dog on a leash; it is also against the law to have a dog off the leash in provincial and national parks. 

Leave no trace

Don’t leave any food lying around, ensure you clean up after yourselves and keep all food secure. This is for your safety and the animals. Animals that gain food from humans leaving things may be more likely to approach picnic areas and encounter humans. This can lead to them being located or even euthanised. 

Do not approach bears

Never attempt to approach bears or any other wildlife – it seems like common sense, but always admire wildlife from a distance. Parks Canada recommends a minimum of 30m for Elk, Moose, and Deer and 100m for carnivores such as bears, wolves & cougars. 

Be Aware

Stay aware of your surroundings at all times. Wildlife can approach from any angle.


Other places where you can gain tips and see recent wildlife activity

  • Rec safe with wildlife – A great resource covering bear and other wildlife safety.
  • Wild Smart – Real-time resources such as a bear report, trail closures, and warnings. Also, tips on how to use bear spray.
  • Parks Canada – Bear safety.

People Also Ask

  1.  How do you avoid bears in Banff? Look out for recent signs of bears, tracks, poo etc. Make lots of noise. 
  2. How likely am I to see bears in Banff? You’ll likely see them along the Bow Valley Parkway & Icefield Parkway.
  3. Is Banff safe from bears? Many bears live in Banff National Park, but they will, by choice, keep their distance. Follow the steps above to maintain your distance. 
  4. Do I need bear spray? Yes, absolutely. Even for a short hike, you should carry bear spray. This can be purchased once you arrive in Canada, as it cannot be brought over on planes. 

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