Anyone in search of adventure this weekend in one of Canada’s most popular mountain playgrounds is being advised about some important hazards.
On almost every trailhead in the Banff area, there are animal warnings, including within the townsite.
On top of that, people in the Mineral Springs area are being warned about an aggressive coyote in the area.
There are also warnings at the Sulphur Mountain trailhead and elsewhere about aggressive elk, who are currently in calving season.
“Keep your distance. If you see an elk, there’s a good chance there could be a calf somewhere and they hid the calves on purpose. Back away from the area don’t go in between,” said Greg Danchuck with Parks Canada’s visitor safety team.
“The best thing is to make sure you are safe and you’re prepared – that you know what could happen and you’re prepared for that situation.”
There are also a couple of closures due to bears: along the Spray River East Trail and Minnewanka Lakeshore Trail.
While a fire ban isn’t currently in place in Banff National Park – as it is in nearby Jasper – officials are warning visitors the fire hazard is high.
“In the national park the only fires that are allowed are in a fire pit that is supplied by the national park, so that’s mostly in a campground or day use areas,” Danchuck said. “All other fires are illegal and not allowed.”
Park entry fees are back on again after free access last year. Park staff are set up around the park to check vehicles and remind visitors if they visit the park, they need to pay the entry fee.