Banff National Park is Canada'a first national park, and gave birth to the Nation Park system. At 6,641 square kilometres it is also one of the largest in Canada, if not the world. The park sees visits well into the millions annually.
Flora and Fauna
The most common wildlife seen in the park are Bighorn Sheep, Deer, Elk, and Caribou. More elusive are the Moose, who are on a decline in population, and Mountain Goats, who are virtually undetectable on the mountainsides without a good pair of binoculars. Although sightings are rare, it is important to keep in mind the park is also home to Black, and Grizzly Bears, Wolves, Coyotes, and Mountain Lions (Cougars).
On the warm and fuzzier side the park is home to many Squirrels and Marmots. The occasional Porcupine and Beaver may also be found. Bird lovers will want to watch for Grouse, Bald Eagles, and the ubiquitous Canada Goose.
In summer the climate is generally mild. July is the warmest month, with an average temperature of 22C. There is rarely snow at highway level in the summer, but the mountain tops will be snow covered year round. In winter the average temperature drops drastically. January is the coldest month with an average of -15C. Snow will be found at any elevation in the winter, and harsh winter conditions can be expected anywhere at any time. No matter the season, it is important to consider that the temperature will drop 1C for every 200m of elevation gained.
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