Wednesday, July 13

Wildlife in the Sunshine Meadows

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Jul 13, 2022

Wildlife in the Sunshine Meadows

The Canadian Rockies are home to such a wide array of captivating wildlife that come in all different shapes and sizes. Our alpine lakes and surrounding area create a serene environment for these animals to inhabit. Sunshine Meadows can be the perfect place to see all these wonderful creatures in their natural habitats—It is in fact the place they call home sweet home.


Why do bears have fur coats? Because they would look funny in ski jackets!


This summer, discover the wildlife of the Sunshine Meadows. Our gondola runs daily from 8:00AM – 6:00PM until September 11th, 2022. While there are no guarantees, here are some of our furry friends you might find on your next trip to Banff Sunshine Meadows:

-          Black Bears

The smaller of the bears that call Banff Sunshine Meadows and the Canadian Rockies home—black bears range in color from black to light brown. To identify a black bear, take a look at their ears and snouts, their ears are taller and more prominent, and their snouts are elongated. 

-          Grizzly Bears

Grizzly Bears are the larger of the bears that can be found in Sunshine Meadows. Have you ever heard of “The Boss”? He’s a Grizzly, and he’s been nicknamed The Boss for good reason—he is known to be the largest bear in the Banff area. Not sure if you have spotted a grizzly? Grizzlies have large heads with smaller, rounder ears.

While you are at the Standish Viewpoint see if you can spot a grizzly in one of our alpine lakes, they have been known to splash around.

-          Rocky Mountain Marmots

The Marmot is classified as one of the largest rodents in the Rocky Mountains (don’t let the rodent title deter you, these little friends are so cute they will make your heart melt).

You can find this furry creature in the parking lot as you pull up to Sunshine as well as up in the alpine meadows. Marmots prefer to live in rocky terrain so if you see a mound of rocks while exploring Sunshine Meadows, there may be Marmot poking around!

-          Pine Martins

The Pine Marten is part of the weasel family, commonly seen throughout the heavily forested areas of Banff Sunshine Meadows. A group of Pine Martens are called a ‘Richness’ but you’ll usually only see one climbing the tall pine trees so keep your eyes up to spot the cute critter above.

-          Ground Squirrel

The first thing you’ll hear as you enter Banff Sunshine Meadows, this larger and chunkier member of the squirrel family of rodents chirp when frightened or startled. Burrowed everywhere around Sunshine Meadows you’re bound to see a little head poke out as you walk our trails.


We are so lucky to be able to share such an incredible place with all these wonderful animals. Don’t forget that it is against the law to feed the animals. Please remember that we are entering their home, so please be mindful and always pack out what you pack in.

“Wilderness without wildlife is just scenery.” – Lois Crisler