Wildlife viewing

Glacier National Park

In general, you will see more animals if you drive or hike either very early or late in the day. Do not expect birds and mammals to be active during a hot August afternoon when the highway is clogged with traffic.


Mid-May through early June is the best time to view bears in the parks. They are just out of hibernation and often can be seen from the highway. Scan the avalanche slopes in Rogers Pass for both grizzlies and blacks. When the dandelions bloom, black bears often consume a floral salad at roadside. During July and August bears are harder to spot because of the dense vegetation. Try an early morning drive along the Trans-Canada keeping a sharp lookout for black bears. By this time, grizzlies have usually moved up slope into the upper subalpine/alpine tundra. Do not be surprised to see a cinnamon bear; about 10 per cent of our black bears are actually brown in colour. Treat all bears with great respect.
See also Safety in Bear Country.

"Cinnamon" black bear

Mountain Goats

Goats may be seen all year above the highway snowsheds on the eastern side of Rogers Pass. From the Tractor Sheds picnic area just east of the Rogers Pass Discovery Centre, look for off-white forms near rocky areas. (Binoculars are recommended). Many visitors to the parks mistake our mountain goats for sheep. Bighorn sheep are brown and white and are not found in these mountains because there is no suitable winter range.

Mountain goat
Mountain goat
© Parks Canada / Les Gyug

Beaver and muskrat

Both species are common along Skunk Cabbage Trail in Mount Revelstoke National Park and in the Beaver River Valley in Glacier .

Bird watching

May and June are the best months. Try the Beaver River Valley or check the Mount Revelstoke National Park website for birding hotspots in that park .

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