Bison in Banff

Photo by Dan Rafla_Parks CanadaBison have returned to Banff National Park, but they're far away from the Town of Banff – so far. The animals have been reintroduced to a remote part of the landscape of the park in the Panther and Dormer valleys.

Experienced backcountry users may encounter them, but it's never guaranteed.

If you do encounter free-roaming bison:

  • Maintain a safe distance of 100 metres from bison when traveling by foot or by horseback.
  • Use binoculars or a telephoto lens to get a closer look.
  • If you encounter bison, do not approach. Choose an alternate route. Watch their movements and give them space (100 metres).
  • If a bison approaches you, remain calm and do not run. Back away slowly and try to maintain a physical barrier, such as a tree, between you and the animal.
  • Be especially wary of female bison with young calves (spring) and male bison during rutting season (July/August).
  • Dogs must be on leash and under control at all times.
  • Respect all warnings, area closures, and travel restrictions.
  • If you encounter an aggressive bison, please notify Banff Dispatch at 403.762.1470 when safe to do so.

Parks Canada regularly posts updates about the Banff bison herd on their Bison blog. Also, follow the path of bison reintroduction to Banff National Park through these videos.

(Photo credit: Parks Canada / Dan Rafla)