Public education about grizzly bears is the primary mission of the Kicking Horse Grizzly Bear Refuge. Interpretive tours are conducted by knowledgeable guides and focus on grizzly bear behavior and natural history.
As a blue-listed species, grizzly bears are sensitive to human activity and threatened by habitat loss and other factors. By observing Boo in his natural habitat, guests have the opportunity to see firsthand how beautiful and majestic grizzly bears really are. Raising awareness of these secretive and noble creatures helps to improve the plight of this embattled species.
In the early season, tours are held every hour on the hour, Monday through Thursday from 10am to 2pm and Friday through Sunday 10am to 4pm. There is no tour at 1pm because Boo is often out of sight, napping through the mid-day heat. Grizzly bears are more active during the cooler morning hours. For that reason, the 10am tour is highly recommended, providing a greater likelihood of seeing Boo active and up close. When he’s awake, Boo is rarely out of sight for more than a few minutes at a time and your patience will be rewarded once he reappears.
Tours follow where Boo goes, so be sure to wear comfortable walking shoes and don’t forget your camera, bug spray, and a light parka since mountain weather can change quickly. To avoid tempting Boo, please do not bring food during your visit. With his keen sense of smell you might get more attention than you’d like. The interpretive tours do not follow a script and each one is unique depending upon Boo’s activity. Guests are welcome to stay at the refuge as long as they wish and return to the village plaza via chairlift whenever they want.