The wildlife that inhabits this area is one of the great tourist attractions of Banff National Park. More than fifty species of mammals can be found in the national parks of this rocky region. Large wild animals are most likely to be spotted in the early morning and the evening. Elk are more often seen in the damp meadows of the valleys, while caribou and deer frequent the thicker woods and meadows. Mountain goats and bighorn sheep are found on the higher mountain slopes.
The park is also home to grizzly bears. Hiking trails are sometimes closed due to grizzlies in the area. Normally, they do not come near roads and towns. When walking in the "backcountry," it is wise to keep an eye open for them and for the more common black bear. The latter prefer wooded areas and thick undergrowth on the flat valley floors and sunny south-facing slopes, while grizzlies keep to the alpine regions in summer but seek food lower down in spring and autumn. While it's rare, grizzlies have been known to come right down to Moraine Lake, on one of the busiest walking paths in the middle of the day, with large groups of people around. These animals have poor sight but can smell or hear approaching humans long before they see them. Bears can be surprisingly quick, so hikers should never approach one.