Hike at Bow Summit, Banff-Jasper Highway

Submitted by Vaxvick on Fri, 07/25/2014 - 13:17

On July 7 we did a short hike above the Peyto Lake viewpoint.  Up there at over 7500 ft elevation there were some of the earlier-blooming species of wildflowers.  I'll add photos of Erythronium grandiflorum,

Sibbaldia procumbens,


a couple of tiny Salix ssp,  




and a very polite bear.   


Submitted by Lori S. on Fri, 07/25/2014 - 16:05

Hi, Linda!  And that's the best kind of bear, isn't it?  smiley   

We're seeing rather a lot of grizzlies lately too... 3 the other day, and one today (probably one of the same bears, given the same general area.)

Thanks for posting!  

Sight of a grizzlie would be enough to keep me indoors for ever! Apart from keeping well away from them how do you "manage" them and still get to wild places?

LOL!  Well, I felt that way when I first starting going fishing with DH in the boreal forest in Saskatchewan... after a while, you see so many bears (black bears, there) that it becomes clear that death by bear is not necessarily imminent.  ;-)

I imagine there are more bears in the vicinity than we actually see... they're probably good at staying out of sight and would generally prefer to avoid encounters normally, as most wildlife would.   I read from a study in the national parks that bears actually "get" the concept of weekends, and make efforts to accommodate the influx of hikers by staying out of the way!   

So, other than normal precautions (stay away from ones you see, make some noise when walking along rushing rivers,  stay out of areas that are closed due to bear activity, etc.), there's not really much managing to be done, and not usually any great inconvenience for us.  (We cut short a recent hike due to seeing Mama Grizzly and young cub in the distance, but no problem - it was great to see them... at a safe distance!)

What??  No, the very notion of "packing a gun" is so far from the imagining of most hikers and nature enthusiasts as to be entirely off the scale - it's sort of at the opposite, radically-opposed end of the entire concept of enjoying the outdoors.   Guns aren't even allowed in the backcountry in national parks, or anywhere in provincial parks.   (Thank heavens - there are far too many crazoids who get their hands on them elsewhere.)

The mention of this topic caused me to look up some stats... apparently, there are only a little over 8000 permits to carry handguns in all of Canada, and these are issued primarily for "protection of life" purposes (e.g. armoured car drivers/attendants) and for those working in remote areas.  

The most dangerous part of any hike in bear country is the drive to and from the trail head, by an astronomically higher margin.    (And frankly, I'd much rather take my chances with any bears... with the minutely slim chances of a life-threatening encounter... than with the majority of the human race, the most dangerous and unpredictable species!!  LOL!)

Well said, Lori!

Like Lori, we've met bears several times in our hiking,  no ill effects at all, except usually regret at not getting photos.  The idea is to avoid surprising them, so we make noise and stay alert.   Nowadays we carry bear spray (a capsicum powder in a pressurized can) but hope to never use it.  And we certainly have turned around or avoided some areas that appear to be populated by mothers with cubs.  One could go on, but there is good bear information on the Parks Canada website and also a recent book, "Bears without Fear" by Kevin van Tighem (a former superintendant of Banff National Park).

Submitted by Toole on Mon, 07/28/2014 - 01:40

In reply to by Vaxvick

Linda lovely to see Erythronium grandiflorum in the wild.

E.grandiflorum with pale anthers grows well here in our conditions and seeds around moderately however I'm having no luck in raising forms with yellow/red anthers........frown