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9 Best Wildlife Tours in Banff National Park

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Banff National Park, located in the Canadian Rockies, is known for its breathtaking scenery, abundant wildlife, and adventure activities. It is an ideal destination for a wildlife tour where you can experience nature up close. Continue reading to find the best wildlife tours in Banff Canada. 

Best Banff wildlife tours pin
Best Banff wildlife tours

A wildlife tour in Banff promises an unforgettable experience in the heart of nature. You’ll be able to observe wildlife from close quarters and take in the breathtaking scenery all around you. 

So come explore Banff, Canada’s most spectacular national park!

9 Best Wildlife Tours in Banff National Park Canada

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No time to read the entire article? Our top pick is the small group Banff highlights and wildlife tour because it takes you to the finest locations in the national park while spotting wildlife. Plus it is a small group tour offering a very personalized experience.

1. Banff Highlights and Wildlife Tour (3 hours)

BOOK this Banff Highlights and Wildlife Tour

Tour Highlights

3 hour small group tour

☑ Spot wildlife 

☑ Explore Lake Minnewanka and Two Jack Lake

☑ Personalised experience

☑ Meeting point in Banff 

Why choose this tour?

This is one of the best-rated wildlife tours in Banff National Park. It is operated by Discover Banff Tours, and it includes round-trip transportation from a central location in Banff town. 

On this small group tour, you will explore Lake Minnewaka and Two Jack Lake and stop at Bow Falls, Vermillion Lakes, Surprise Corner, Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, and beyond. 

Wildlife experience takes you to see bears, coyotes, elk, bighorn sheep, foxes, and more. The local guide will share stories and information on the ecology and wildlife of the Rockies. 

Guest Review:” I took my 11 yr. Old son. We are from Edmonton and have been to Banff many times. But we’ve never seen it like this! Our guide Jeff was AMAZING! Friendly and courteous, and he shared so much information about the town, and it’s history. He recommended places to eat and shop and visit after the tour on our own. He spoke about the wildlife in the area, resident wolves and bears, and have us things to look up after about those animals. The bus was warm and clean, we really enjoyed it. Just the right length as well. I liked that Jeff didn’t try too hard in making cheesy jokes to entertain everyone. He was very knowledgeable, professional, and friendly, and made everyone quite comfortable. I would request him as a guide again!.” – GetYourGuide Traveler

2. Discover Grizzly Bears tour in Banff (10 hours)

Grizzly bear in Banff

BOOK this Banff Grizzly Bears Tour

♡ RATING: 4.5 out of 5 stars 

Tour Highlights

10 hour small group tour

☑ Spot wildlife 

☑ Explore Yoho National Park highlights

☑ Visit a grizzly bear refuge

☑ Gondola ride at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort

☑ Chairlift ride

☑ Entry fees included 

☑ Meeting point in Banff and return

Why choose this tour?

Embark on a day-long (10 hour) tour from Banff to Yoho National Park to see grizzly bears and other wildlife. This small-group tour is perfect for animal and nature enthusiasts. 

This is an all-inclusive tour that covers round-trip transportation, national park entry fees, lunch at Canada’s highest restaurant, and a local guide taking you along. 

You will love exploring the attractions of Yoho National Park, including a gondola ride up to 7,700 feet, to the world’s largest enclosed and protected grizzly bear habitat to see Boo – the resident bear.

Day trip also includes stops at Emerald Lake, Takakkaw Falls, and the Spiral Tunnels.

Guest Review:” What a great day from start to finish. Jeff our tour guide was fantastic. Lots of info and great stories. From the waterfalls to the restaurant and boo the bear. Lunch was really good and the views were unbelievable. Boo put on a great show for us. Would highly recommend this tour. Picked us up at the hotel and when we were dropped off we were greeted by some white tailed deer. 😊” – Viator Traveler

3. Wildlife Safari and Nature Walk (4 hours)

Wildlife and scenic views Yoho Valley Road
Wildlife and scenic views

BOOK this Banff Wildlife Safari and Nature walk

Tour Highlights

4 hour small group tour

☑ Spot wildlife on a semi-private jeep safari

☑ Explore popular and hidden gems in the Banff National Park

☑ Park entry fees are included

☑ Meeting point in Canmore

Why choose this tour?

Join a small group tour on a semi-private safari! The tour takes off from Canmore, and it includes round-trip transportation and Banff National Park entry fees. 

On this 4-hour tour, you will spot wildlife with a knowledgeable local guide. The experience also takes you through well-known and hidden gems of the Canadian Rockies. 

Don’t forget to grab your camera to take amazing shots of wildlife along the way!

4. Summer Tour: Banff and its Wildlife (3 hours)

Rocky Mountain Elk (lat. Cervus canadensis) in the woods of Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

BOOK this Banff Wildlife summer tour

Tour Highlights

3 hour small group tour

☑ Spot wildlife on a semi-private jeep safari

☑ Explore popular and hidden gems in the Banff National Park

☑ Hotel pick and drop-off are included

☑ Meeting point in Banff

Discover the best of Banff and wildlife on a 3-hour tour.

Why choose this tour?

With a guide in tow, you will explore Bow Falls, the surreal Hoodoos rock formation, beautiful Lake Minnewanka, Vermillion Lakes, and more. 

This guided tour includes hotel pickup and drop-off in Banff, a professional guide, and light refreshments. 

Guest Review: “Jake and Tim did a GREAT job on our adventure. I learned so much about wildlife, mountain peaks, and lakes. Definitely a MUST on your list.” – Viator Reviewer

5. Winter Tour: Banff and its Wildlife (3 hours)

Wildlife in Banff winter

BOOK this Banff Wildlife winter tour

Tour Highlights

3 hour small group tour

☑ This is an afternoon tour that takes place at 2:00 pm

☑ Explore attractions in the Banff National Park

☑ Hotel pick and drop-off can be requested

☑ Meeting point in Banff

Why choose this tour?

Imagine the landscape of Banff all sprinkled with snow dust and white grounds. Pretty right? 

We love Banff in the winter, and with a local guide and a comfortable minibus, you don’t have to worry about driving on icy roads or braving the cold!

In a small group tour, you can take in stunning views from lookout points, walk on frozen lakes and see amazing mountain vistas. 

As far as wildlife goes, you will encounter bears (from May to October), elk, deer, coyotes, foxes, bighorn sheep, and more. 

The tour also includes an entry to the Cave and Basin National Historic Site where you can learn about the history of Banff town and hot springs!

Guest Review: “Mitch took us to many beautiful viewpoints of interest around Banff. Beautiful scenery and lookouts with spectacular views. He was very friendly and accommodating. A good communicator.” – Viator Reviewer

6. Private Sunset Tour in Banff (2 hours 30 minutes)

BOOK this private Banff sunset tour

Tour Highlights

2.50-hour small group tour

☑ Spot wildlife on a private sunset tour

☑ Explore popular and hidden gems in the Banff National Park

☑ Hotel pick and drop-off are included

☑ Meeting point in Banff

Why choose this tour?

This is an evening wildlife safari tour that is completely customized for you and your gang. 

You can enjoy Banff with a local guide and check off various sightseeing spots. As you explore you will find wildlife in their natural habitat and get to take in the view. 

The best part of this tour is that it is private and it allows you to spend a lovely evening in Banff surrounded by natural beauty and gorgeous sunset!

Guest Review: “Our guide, Stormm was absolutely wonderful. We had the best time. We were able to see elk, deer, and beautiful scenery that we hadn’t seen before, We also appreciated Stormm giving us unique insights Banff area and wildlife.” – Viator Reviewer

7. Canmore Wildlife Walking Tour (3 hours)

BOOK this Canmore wildlife walking tour

Tour Highlights

3 hour small group tour

☑ Spot wildlife on a hike

☑ Explore Canmore along the way

☑ Entry fee to Banff

☑ Professional Guide, Hiking poles, and Bear spray included

☑ Meeting point in Canmore

Why choose this tour?

Explore the best of nature and wildlife on this 3-hour hiking experience

You will have the expertise of a local guide who will share stories and insights about the Banff National Park trails and landscapes. 

Entry fee to the park is included along with hiking poles. Plus round trip transportation is provided!

Guest Review: “Jacob was an awesome guide full of info. He accommodated the hike to our ability, always had safety in mind. Highly recommend getting in touch with him.” – Viator Reviewer

8. Wildlife on the Bow Canoe (1.5 hours)

BOOK this Wildlife Tour on a Canoe

Tour Highlights

3 hour small group tour

☑ Spot wildlife 

☑ Explore Lake Minnewanka and Two Jack Lake

☑ Personalised experience

☑ Meeting point in Banff 

Why choose this tour?

Enjoy a canoe ride on the Bow River. This is an evening tour where you will get to learn about wildlife, their habitats and behaviors, local history, and landscape from your guide. 

And all this without a strenuous hike. 

As you enjoy the sunset keep your eyes peeled out for bald eagles, elk, muskrats, and maybe even “Barry” the resident beaver. 

While traveling up the scenic river, you can also effortlessly take photographs of wild animals. 

This tour is family-friendly, and it is a perfect way to take in the stunning views of Banff National Park from the comfort of your canoe.

Guest Review:” Visited this Thanksgiving weekend, it was actually the last tour of the season. We lucked out with the perfect day to be on the water. The sun was out and the weather was very warm for a fall day. We had a terrific guide in Mitch. He was very knowledgeable and had a great sense of humor. If you are in the area I recommend this wonderful experience.” – GetYourGuide Traveler

9. Cochrane: Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary Tour (.5 hours)

BOOK this guided tour of Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary

Tour Highlights

30 minute presentation 

☑ Visit the largest sanctuaries in Canada

☑ Wolfdog sanctuary self-guided walk

☑ Meeting point in Cochrane

Why choose this tour?

Unlike the Banff wildlife tours listed above, this is more of a presentation and knowledge-sharing session of 30 minutes at one of the largest sanctuaries in Canada.

You will learn about wolfdogs during this session and then check out wolfdog enclosures behind a short barrier. An experienced staff member will lead you through the enclosure during the tour. 

You will then enjoy a self-guided sanctuary walk (which can be done either before or after your tour). 

You will also have the opportunity to take photos of one of the packs of wolfdogs from inside their enclosure and ask the wolfdog experts any questions you may have.

Guest Review:” Excellent, meaningful, fun with dedicated staff. I would go again!.” – GetYourGuide Traveler

Banff Wildlife Tours and experience 

A wildlife tour is a great way to learn about the natural landscape and habitat of the Canadian Rockies. 

A typical wildlife tour in Banff begins with a guided hike through scenic trails and mountains. You’ll have the opportunity to observe a variety of wildlife, such as elk, deer, black bears, and bighorn sheep. 

Wildlife in Jasper National Park Icefields Parkway Drive
Wildlife in Canadian Rockies

Your guide will also point out smaller creatures like marmots and pikas.

In addition to enjoying nature from the trails, your tour may include a boat cruise on Lake Minnewanka or along the Bow River. Both offer picturesque views, as well as an opportunity to spot wildlife like ospreys, eagles, and beavers.

Some tours also take you to the nearby Kicking Horse River with a whitewater rafting wildlife experience. These water activities last 1 to 1.50 hours, followed by sightseeing

There are tours that also include a visit to the Banff Gondola for spectacular views of the Canadian Rockies. From here you’ll be able to view iconic mountain peaks, glaciers, and a variety of birds from a distance. 

Bow Falls and a stop at the Fairmont Banff Springs hotel are also popular. These sites provide an opportunity to learn about the area’s history and its unique flora and fauna.

Johnston canyon winter hike
Johnston Canyon winter hike

These wildlife tours in Banff are operational even in the winter. It may include ice skating or walks on frozen lakes. A typical full-day winter bus tour includes a stop in Lake Louise. Ice walks are also popular at the Johnston Canyon inside the Banff National Park. 

You can enjoy guided hikes through scenic trails and more, as Banff offers an abundance of activities and opportunities to encounter wildlife up close. 

From majestic mountain peaks to alpine meadows, a wildlife tour in Banff is an unforgettable experience. So come explore the wild side of Canada’s most stunning national park!

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Wildlife Tours Banff

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