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Discover Grizzly Bears from Banff

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Banff, Canada
Discover Grizzly Bears from Banff
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icon10 hours  (approx.)
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English
Good for avoiding crowds

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Pursue the elusive Canadian Grizzly Bear on this 10-hour excursion through Banff and Yoho National Parks, perfect for animal- and nature-lovers alike. Head out for a gondola ride up to 7,700 feet for a mountain-top lunch at Canada’s highest restaurant, and then take a chairlift ride up to the world’s largest enclosed and protected grizzly bear habitat to see Boo the resident bear rescued as a cub. This full-day trip also includes round-trip transportation, professional guide, lunch and light refreshments.
  • Day trip to grizzly country from Banff
  • Visit Emerald Lake, Takakkaw Falls and the Spiral Tunnels
  • Take a gondola ride up to 7,700 feet with panoramic views of the Rocky Mountains
  • Meet Boo at the Grizzly Bear Refuge
  • Enjoy lunch at Canada’s highest restaurant
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Professional guide
Lunch at Eagle's Eye Restaurant, Canada's highest restaurant
Gondola ride at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort
Chairlift ride
Visit to a grizzly bear refuge
Return transport from Banff
Small group size (up to 24 guests per guide)
Pick up from the public bus parking located behind the Mount Royal Hotel
Optional gratuities
Mount Royal Hotel , 138 Banff Ave, Banff, AB T1L 1A7, Canada

All guests must wait at the public bus parking located behind the Mount Royal Hotel at 138 Banff Ave. You must be ready 15 minutes prior to the tour departure time. Our guide will be there within the 15 minute pick up window.

8:30 AM
This activity will end right where it started.
Get up close and personal with the world of the Grizzly bear on this 10-hour tour from Banff, created with animal lovers in mind. Explore the dramatic natural landscape the Grizzly Bear calls home with stops at gorgeous Takakkaw Falls (the second highest waterfall in Canada) and stunning Emerald Lake

You will head to the Grizzly’s home turf for a gondola ride to the summit of Kicking Horse Mountain. On the way up, be on the lookout for potential Grizzlies in the area below, and take in the fantastic scenery. At the top, enjoy an included gourmet lunch at Eagle's Eye Restaurant, the highest restaurant in Canada.

From there, your tour continues on a chairlift ride to the Grizzly Bear Refuge for an intimate encounter with Boo, an orphaned bear that calls the refuge home. Observe the behaviors of this magnificent animal at close range as it roams and plays in the refuge’s natural Grizzly habitat. 

The day also includes a chance to visit some of the Banff area’s most spectacular natural wonders, including Emerald Lake and Takkakaw Falls, offering more opportunities to further explore the Grizzly Bear’s one-of-a-kind habitat. End your trip with a return to Banff.

Please note: this tour is seasonal and only operates from June through September. Early and late season bookings may be subject to itinerary changes.
Stop At:  
Takakkaw Falls
Visit Takakkaw Falls in Yoho National Park (when access permits), to see Canada's second highest waterfall tumbling 254m (830 feet) in one stretch and 384m (1,260 feet) in total. The falls can be admired from the parking area or from an optional short 0.5km (¹⁄₃ mile) walk on a paved trail from the parking area to the base of the impressive falls.
Duration: 30 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
Kicking Horse Mountain Resort
At Kicking Horse Mountain Resort you will take an enclosed sightseeing gondola with glass windows up to 7,700 feet with panoramic views of the Rocky Mountains, the Columbia River Wetlands and the quaint town of Golden. At the top, you'll enjoy a gourmet lunch from your choice of menu items with a non-alcoholic beverage and dessert at Eagle's Eye restaurant, Canada's highest restaurant. After a leisurely lunch and enjoying the mountain top views, you'll descend back down the sightseeing gondola, and take a four-person open-chairlift chairlift partway up the mountain to the Grizzly Bear Refuge, the largest enclosed grizzly bear habitat in the world. At the refuge you'll meet Boo, a bear with paws the size of hubcaps, a mouth full of sharp teeth and enormous muscles moving beneath his shaggy fur, in his 20-acre habitat in the Rocky Mountain bush. You’ll hear his personal story and learn about grizzly bear behaviour from the knowledgeable guide while you watch him explore, hunt and forage just like his wild cousins. After the tour, you'll descend back down the open-air chairlift.
Duration: 3 hours 
Admission Ticket Included
Stop At:  
Emerald Lake
There will be a brief stop at Emerald Lake, famous for its jade-coloured waters and surrounded by the breathtaking Rocky Mountains.
Duration: 20 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Early and late season bookings may be subject to itinerary changes, the Takakkaw Falls Road typically opens late June. Alternative stops are usually the Spiral Tunnels and Natural Bridge..
  • Infant rates do not include food.
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Near public transportation
  • Most travelers can participate
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 24 travelers
  • OPERATED BY Discover Banff Tours
You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.
  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.

Learn more about cancellations.

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Traveler Tips

  • "Warning, it is a 10+ hour tour, that includes a total of 3 additional stops to and from the Grizzly Bear Sanctuary in Golden." See review


93 Reviews

Reviews by Viator travelers

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Showing 1-10 of 93 reviews
Great trip
, Jun 2022
Jeff the guide was awesome. Lots of knowledge and engaging stories. Scenery was spectacular. Saw lots of wildlife. Highly recommend this
Must do !
, Aug 2021
Great experience and totally worth it !! You must plan this in your next trip to Banff !! Lots to see and discover ..
1 traveler found this review helpful
Fantastic day.
, Jul 2021
What a great day from start to finish. Jeff our tour guide was fantastic. Lots of info and great stories. From the waterfalls to the restaurant and boo the bear. Lunch was really good and the views were unbelievable. Boo put on a great show for us. Would highly recommend this tour. Picked us up at the hotel and when we were dropped off we were greeted by some white tailed deer. 😊
Great tour
, Aug 2019
Great tour, staff were friendly and knowledgeable ,very clean bus. In all it was a fantastic day. Would recommend this to everyone
1 traveler found this review helpful
Exceeded our expectations
, Jul 2019
Two of us experienced the Discover Grizzly Bear Tour from Banff on July 22, 2019 with Ronnie as our excellent guide. Warning, it is a 10+ hour tour, that includes a total of 3 additional stops to and from the Grizzly Bear Sanctuary in Golden. We were fortunate to travel on a beautiful sunny day and saw many wildlife such as a Black Bear, Marmot and a mama Grizzly Bear along with her two cubs. At Golden, we took the Gondola to the top of the mountain for a fantastic view and delicious lunch. Then rode up a chairlift to observe Boo the rescued Grizzly Bear. He was very active that day and we got many up close pictures. The amazing scenic stops were at Takaka Falls, Emerald Lake and Natural Bridges. Ronnie took good care of us and entertained/educated us with stories and facts throughout the day. Overall a great experience. Highly recommend.
Great discovery
, Jun 2019
Besides the fact that we actually have seen Boo, in refuge, we saw quite a lot other wildlife during our trip from Banff to Golden as well. Great guidance from Becca who was very enthousiastic and customer friendly. The fact that we actually left Banff and went all the way to Golden was disappointing.
1 traveler found this review helpful
Thumbs up!
, Sep 2018
We joined this tour to meet and spend time with Boo, the Grizzly bear, which we accomplished successfully, Our tour guide, Niel, was very knowledgeable and engaged us throughout the tour; the tour guide at the Bear’s Refuge area was very informative too, We learned a lot about bear and Banff surroundings. The view of Emerald Lake took our breaths away, Lunch was delicious, overall thumbs up for this tour! We are glad we took it.
1 traveler found this review helpful
Grizzly Bear Refuge, Golden, British Columbia
, Aug 2018
The purpose of the trip was to see a grizzly bear in a 20 acre refuge on Kicking Horse Resort in Golden, BC, Canada. Our guide Hugh picked us up at our hotel in Banff in a comfortable air conditioned bus, which filled up with 24 guests from various parts of the world. This was a 10 hour day which included scenic spots along the way. Hugh is very knowledgeable about bears, so he gave us excellent commentary while enroute. Upon arriving at Kicking Horse Resort we boarded a gondola which took us up the mountain to a ski resort restaurant for a good lunch. After lunch we rode the gondola back to base and then road a chair lift back up the mountain to the bear refuge to see Boo, a 600 lb Grizzly. The refuge is forested, so there is a chance the bear may not appear in the open, but this was a very hot day, so Boo gave us a good show by cooling off in a natural pool of water in his fenced in enclosure. The price of gondola tickets, lunch and chair lift tickets is included in the package. Long day but an excellent trip worth the money. Bob
A grizzly bear at close range! How...
Jennifer E
, Oct 2017
A grizzly bear at close range! How could this trip be anything less than 5 stars? So amazing. The tour guide at the refuge was fantastic, and Neal Neil? E. was a wonderful guide for the day with a lot of knowledge. Several stops to and from the refuge were beautiful, and the gondola ride/chair lift ride were added bonuses.
This was a really enjoyable tour...
, Sep 2017
This was a really enjoyable tour with a very informative guide. The stops at Takakka falls and emerald lake were wonderful. Also really liked the gondola ride to the top of the kicking horse mountain and had a very nice lunch at the eagles eye restaurant. Then we rode the chair lift to the grizzly bear refuge which was a very lovely experience but sadly we didn't see Boo as he was hiding that day but that can't be helped. We had to meet at the parking lot behind the mount royal hotel and it would have been good if we had been told before hand that parking was not in the lot but had to find a space on the street
This was an excellent day tour...
Bette G
, Sep 2017
This was an excellent day tour! Chris was a fun, knowledgable and caring guide. He was a pretty amazing driver too. My sister and I enjoyed the smaller bus. Our noon meal and restaurant were a nice additon.
Ed our tour guide was great . The...
Nicola D
, Aug 2017
Ed our tour guide was great . The tour was well organised and he was very informative . We had a great view if boo the grizzly and takkakaw falls was amazing !
This was a great tour. The tour...
Mary T
, Sep 2016
This was a great tour. The tour guide was wonderful and very informative. The scenery was beautiful and Boo the grizzly bear was very cooperative. I would definitely recommend taking this tour!
Marvelous trip with tour guide Mike who...
Qinghua L
, Aug 2016
Marvelous trip with tour guide Mike who is humorous and knowledgeable and from Australia!
Pam was an excellent tour guide. She...
Irma S
, Aug 2016
Pam was an excellent tour guide. She was very informative and had a great personality. The scenery was beautiful. It was one of best tours I have been on.
Out tour director Pam was very...
Kathleen M
, Aug 2016
Out tour director Pam was very informative and friendly...she made the trip fun wish there were more bears to see otherwise scienery and trip was great
This tour was beautiful, informative...
Patricia B
, Jul 2016
This tour was beautiful, informative and fun. Emma our tour guide was an excellent. During the time between stops she kept us entertained with information and thoughtful questions and stories. The falls were great. Boo the bear and his story was fantastic. The care takers there were caring and responsible. Boo is allowed to be as wild as non-dependent on people as he can be. Lunch was fabulous at Kicking Horse. This tour was heartwarming. The scenery amazing!
Pleasant enough but a lot of time...
, Jul 2016
Pleasant enough but a lot of time driving in the bus. Cannot blame driver for bad weather though. Only 1 Grizzly Bear at the refuge which gives the lie to the name of the tour..... Overall enjoyable, but be prepared for several hours on the bus...
This experience is the No.1 priority...
, Jul 2016
This experience is the No.1 priority on any trip to Banff . From the early morning start the day was filled with awe-aspiring scenery of the Rockies. Sights of waterfalls/mountains to live long in the memory.The part of the day everybody was eagerly awaiting was the visit to the Grizzly Bear sanctuary to see Boo.On arrival the knowledgeable staff member explained the story of Grizzly Boo,after waiting about an hour the majestic animal strolled out of the undergrowth. Unforgettable !!
I got a great video of Bou the bear...
Catherine R
, Jul 2016
I got a great video of Bou the bear. We had a delicious lunch at the top of Kicking Horse ski area. We saw all kinds of wild animals, gushing falls and lakes in all different jewelled colors. But the highlight of the trip was Emma. Our driver was patient, funny, informative and upbeat. Her navigation of those hair-pin turns was amazing. After I booked this trip, I was uncertain that it would be worth it. I was so wrong and am thrilled I didn't miss this tour.

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