Jasper National Park and the surrounding Hinton area are two of the best places to view wildlife in all of Alberta. This makes the Overlander Mountain Lodge a great place to stay, as there are many places around it which are perfect for viewing wildlife. In fact, some of the wildlife may wonder right by the cabins at the lodge from time to time, which means it is a good idea to keep a camera ready at all times.
There are many different kinds of wildlife in Alberta including bears, caribou and elk. There are also many beautiful species of birds in the region as well, including the great horned owl, eagles and burrowing owls. Jasper National Park, which is less than 5 mins from the lodge, has wildlife tours for visitors that are available throughout the year. It is highly encouraged to go on a tour which has a guide, as they are experienced with the surrounding area and know the best places to view wildlife. Of course, travellers are always welcome to conduct their own personal tour as well. As a local who has travelled the park roads for 38 years I can tell you that the most wildlife I have see is between Jasper townsite and the Overlander plus the road up to the Miette Hot Springs.
The best time of day to see wildlife is early morning (dawn) or sunset (dusk) . Usually on rainy days the animals tend to stay more in the forest. It common as well to see people stopped on the side of the road taking pictures of mountain sheep, bears or if you're lucky a moose. Be careful as you make your way through the park not to hit an animal that has walked out onto the road. Sometimes it really can be like driving through a zoo. In order to get the best photographs, invest in a long telephoto lens. This lens will allow a safe working distance while still being able to get a great close-up shot of the animals.
Two types of bears also call Jasper National Park home; the black bear and grizzly bear. Though the bears are stunning to look at, it is best to stay at least 100 meters away from them as they can be very aggressive towards humans. Like other large mammals, keep back and use a telephoto lens for photos. If confronted by a bear on a hiking trail, do not run. Instead, make loud noises as this will frighten the bear, making it leave the area.
- If visiting for the first time, go along with a tour guide.
- Make sure camera batteries are charged. A DSLR and a good telephoto lens are recommended as well.
- The best time to visit Jasper National Park and the surrounding area is the summer, when animals are the most active.
- Tour routes, dates and times are posted at the lodge and hotels around the park.
- To see the most wildlife activity, go on a tour early in the morning when animals are feeding.
The Overlander Mountain Lodge
is an ideal spot to base yourself while visiting Jasper and the surrounding attractions. The Overlander offers a unique mountain log lodge experience, with award winning gourmet dining, friendly and attentive service, and comfortable and relaxing accommodation. We also have Jasper Park's only vacation home rentals to accommodate larger groups and families.