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I am thinking of going to Canada next July and hiring a car ,with the aim of doing some day hikes (5-6 hours ) around the rockies. Are there any places I should try and see? "She who must be obeyed " is a bit concerned about bears etc.
 

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Bears are a genuine concern whenever you are hiking in the wilderness,
There are black bears, brown bears and grizzly bears in the Canadian Rockies,
each one listed more dangerous than the one before with grizzlies being the most aggresive.

always make certain you do not 'startle" the bear
and never get anywhere near a bear cub, the mother is not far away.

like most wild animals they will avoid contact with humans
and will run away if they hear you coming.

Because of this many hikers will attach little bells to their hiking shoes so the bears hear them coming.

Whenever you are hiking always be aware of your surroundings and keep your eyes and ears open.

Keep a lookout for bear "signs"
scratch marks on trees is one way they mark their territory,
also look for bear scat and leave the area if you find it.

Black bear and brown bear scat looks about the same

grizzly bear scat can be easily identified because it often has little bells in it. ;)
 

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Yes, you don't need to be able to outrun the bear. Just be able to outrun someone.

Not knowing what type of hiking you're talking about, I expect you'll want to see at least some of the major sites. There are 5 National Parks (Banff, Jasper, Yoho, Glacier & Mount Revelstoke) that are reasonably close or straddle the Great Divide (that line which marks the division from which rivers travel to the west or the east). Towards the south, that line is AKA the BC/Alberta border.

https://www.google.ca/maps/@51.7612631,-116.5007608,8z?hl=en

Banff is the most well known, and most populated by tourists, so you might want to start there and find your comfort level. You might get a feel for the how populated a trail is by the vehicles in the parking lot. Just be extra alert if traveling with just the 2 of you. Carry bear spray, and make a lot of noise as you hike. Bells and whistles travel further than voices.

Some sites you might want to hit. The first few will tend to be very busy. As you get away from the main areas, you'll find the number of tourists diminishes.

Cave & Basin
Sulpher Mountain
Spiral tunnels - no hiking, just an overlook of the circular tunnels used by trains to drop elevation (going westbound on #1 highway).
Lake Louise
Columbia Icefields
Johston Canyon
Morranie Lake

http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/pn-np/ab/banff/index.aspx
 

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Because of this many hikers will attach little bells to their hiking shoes so the bears hear them coming.



grizzly bear scat can be easily identified because it often has little bells in it. ;)
LOL, they also call them dinner bells and the bear spray is considered a condiment by grizzlies.

The closest contact I have had with a bear in the wild was last summer in Jasper, it was a young grizzly feeding at the side of the road and we, as well as other tourists, stopped to take pictures. We saw quite a few black bears all through BC but mostly just their back ends as they ran back into the forest. Elk, mountain sheep and coyotes seemed to be the most common wild life.

Gerhard
 
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