Grasslands National Park

Early and late in the day is usually the best time for photography and nature watching. Please treat the landscape and its inhabitants with respect; stay on established trails to avoid trampling vegetation and always give wildlife plenty of space.

Important guidelines for safe and respectful wildlife viewing

Photographers who travel the park in search of good photo opportunities have a special responsibility to wildlife and fellow visitors. Be a good park steward.

Average viewing distances

  • 100 metres from bison (unless you are inside a vehicle);
  • 30 metres from all other large species;

It is your responsibility to watch for defensive warning signals and react accordingly by pulling back or leaving the area entirely. In general, stay back.

If you spot the following defensive warning signals, pull back even more or leave the area:

  • Bison is shaking his head, short charges towards you, loud snorting, raising of the tail;
  • If you see or hear a rattlesnake.

If you cause an animal to move, you are too close.

Additional guidelines
  • Do not surround, crowd or follow an animal.
  • If you don’t have a telephoto lens (at least 300-400 mm), show the animal in its natural surroundings. Note: The best way to safely photograph wildlife is from a vehicle or observation area.
  • Never put people (especially children) at risk by posing them with wildlife.
  • Do not stalk or pursue wildlife.
  • Never follow an animal into the bush.
  • Do not try to entice wildlife by feeding or by simulating animal calls (i.e. elk bugling).
  • Do not trample vegetated areas
  • Wild life viewing blinds are allowed. Parks Canada Staff needs to be informed for protection of yourself/ others/wildlife.
  • Commercial photographers and film makers with a predetermined project should complete an application and pay the required fee. Contact the Visitor Center

Traffic and parking

Use roadside pull-offs and parking areas to help avoid traffic congestion around wildlife. 

  • If you MUST stop on the road: pull vehicles well onto the shoulder;
  • Avoid stopping along roadways during periods of high traffic volume;
  • Do not stop at or near hill crests, corners or sharp curves and intersections;

If you see violations, please report them to the Visitor Centre at 1-877-345-2257. Take note of vehicle type and colour, license plate number and other relevant information.

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