Few experiences can top the awe-inspiring thrill of observing a grizzly in the wild or a massive bull elk during mating season. Alberta is home to a vast array of wildlife, but most visitors come to see the big six: elk, moose, bear, bison, cougar and wolf. In our national and provincial parks, visitors can head out at dusk or dawn to capture the photo of a lifetime and professional guides and wildlife photographers can teach them how.
The Grizzly King
In the Canadian Rockies, the grizzly is the king of bears. The Lake Louise Gondola
in Banff is one of the best spots in Alberta for bear watching. From the safety of the ski lift or the gondola platform, visitors observe wild bears on almost any summer day. If that’s too close for comfort, the closest and safest look of all can be found at the Calgary Zoo’s Canadian Wilds Exhibit
Where the Buffalo Roam
Less than an hour east of Edmonton, Elk Island National Park
is home to free-roaming plains bison, wood bison, moose, deer, elk and more than 250 species of birds. Park interpreters show visitors how 100 years of conservation brought the bison back from the brink of extinction. The park also protects the aspen parkland, one of Canada’s most endangered habitats. There are 80 km (50 mi) of trails to explore and visitors can camp at Astotin Lake
or spend the night in a real tipi or trapper’s cabin at Elk Island Retreat