My family and I recently camped in Banff national park at the Two-Jack main campsite. Banff is an amazingly beautiful place and we are very lucky to have it so close to us. We really try to take advantage of that as often as we can, but it never feels like we get there enough. Two-Jack Lake is our preferred campsite, but unfortunately everyone else prefers it too. Two-Jack Main is much larger and we ended up staying there instead. Although it does not have a lakefront view, it has plenty of campsites and it is a very nice place to stay.
Two-Jack Main is in the middle of the Minnewanka loop and it provides easy access to the town of Banff, Johnson Lake, Lake Minnewanka, and of course Two-Jack Lake. The loop is pretty much a sure-fire location to find Bighorn Sheep; I’ve only driven the loop (or hiked at Lake Minnewanka) once without seeing them, and they usually show up in large groups of a dozen or more.
After finishing a short hike around Johnson Lake without seeing any birds or animals (there were far too many people enjoying the lake), we decided to take the longer drive around around the loop on our way back to the campsite. It was an amazing blue-sky day and the wildflowers were in full bloom. We saw several groups of sheep and a few of them even stopped to pose for us!
I went for a drive along the old Highway 1A between Canmore and Cochrane in Alberta the other day. This is one of those very rare “can’t miss” locations where you are bound to see some big animals. I have seen many Coyotes, Deer, and Bighorn Sheep along this highway, and Elk are also common. When you see a sign warning about Bighorn Sheep on the highway ahead, you better be prepared to slow down. Not only are you very likely to see some of them, but they are also very likely to literally be on the highway.
I saw several very large herds in a short 5 km stretch near Exshaw, and in total I saw at least 200 of these beautiful animals. While most of them were grazing, a few were simply wandering around or lying on the ground. I saw an unusually large number of juveniles, including a few that were very young. Here are a few of the images I made.
There are lots of large animals that are easily found in the Rocky Mountains (and the foothills). One of the most beautiful, and one of my personal favorites, is the Bighorn Sheep. These animals are usually very easy to find in the same places over and over again, and so I’ve been able to observe them many times.
I recently took a drive west of Calgary along a route that I had never taken before. In two different places along the highway (near Exshaw) I saw large herds of sheep shortly after passing warning signs for sheep in the area. It’s funny how often you can see warning signs for animals but then never actually see any of animals. That is definitely not the case with Bighorn Sheep!
Although there was one memorable time when I was gently reminded by a rather large sheep that they really are wild animals, they are generally very passive and aren’t very concerned by human interaction. These two herds almost completely ignored me and they barely bothered to glance up while continuing to eat their morning meal.