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bighorn sheep

Stellar View for Future Glacier Discovery Walk

Artists rendition of future Glacier Walk courtesy Brewster

Stop at the lookout where Brewster Canada is building its dramatic walkway just north of the Columbia Icefield. Here the Icefields Parkway rises to a mountain pass that bighorn sheep call home. Contemplate the architectural and engineering significance of the 400 m structure with glass-floor section as you admire Sunwapta Canyon, Mt Kitchener, Tangle Falls and Stutfield Glacier at three viewpoints minutes apart. Return next summer to experience the completed interpretive walk. By James Kallenbach

Where the Wild Things are in Winter

Elk in Winter; image courtesy Jasper Tourism

We often see elk along the Icefields Pkwy just south of Jasper and bighorn sheep along Hwy 16 just east of town. At other roadside venues we’ve spotted coyotes, moose and mountain goats, and on rare occasions cougars, wolves and woodland caribou. Joe Urie of SunDog Tours suggests that the best way to get a glimpse of Jasper wildlife is in the company of an experienced guide. “Many Jasper guides have their own wildlife ‘hot spots’, secret places they keep closely guarded. Guides provide insights on the animals and ecosystems, making sightings more than just a photo opportunity,” he says.—Alison Baird

Clash of Horns

Courtesy Travel Alberta

Courtesy Travel Alberta

The large, curled horns of the male Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep can weigh up to 14 kg (30 lbs), more than all its bones combined! Rams use their horns as a status symbol and weapon when fighting for dominance or mating rights. Combatants rear up and charge at up to 32 km (20 mi) an hour. The clash of horns echoes through the mountains as the encounter repeats (sometimes for hours) until one ram submits and walks away. Murray Morgan of Jasper Adventure Ctr suggests watching for bighorn sheep by the Athabasca River bridge where Maligne Rd meets Hwy 16. —RM

5 Best Places to Spot Wildlife

Wildlife of the Canadian Rockies: A Glimpse on the Wildside

Wildlife of the Canadian Rockies: A Glimpse on the Wildside

Canmore author John Marriott has photographed animals since he was six years old—find his Wildlife of the Canadian Rockies: A Glimpse on the Wildside at local bookstores. His top picks for wildlife viewing are:

1 Lake Minnewanka Loop: Bighorn sheep (especially at the Lake) and elk

2 Bow Valley Parkway between Banff and Castle Mountain: Deer, coyotes, bighorn sheep and elk

3 Bow Valley Parkway between Castle Mountain and Lake Louise: Black and grizzly bears

4 Vermilion Lakes: Bald eagles, waterfowl, elk and coyotes. Try sightseeing by canoe

5 Icefields Parkway between Weeping Wall and Columbia Icefield: Mountain goats and bighorn sheep