ASO Report #003 – Between Banff and Jasper near highway


→ Type of Encounter:

Visual Sighting

→ Reported by:


→ Location of Encounter:

Remote lake, 1KM off of Hwy between Banff and Jasper

→ Date & Time of Encounter:

Late Fall, 1991

→ Details of the Event:

My encounter  in the fall of 1991 I believe it was, anyways the year I was out west, I never mention it or reported it outside of my own family here before. , Anyways no biggy, no pics or evidence to offer up to science. I got scared and left.

To the best of my memory 18or so yrs later this was my encounter.

On my way back up to my job @ Jasper Park Lodge from Banff by myself on the nw route (not the main Trans Canada hwy) less travelled by tourist. I seen a small dirt road (on north side of highway) that lead to a small lake away from the highway about 1 km distance? to the end. It must have been a service drop for the highway crews because their was a big mound of sand at the end. I started hiking the perimeter of the lake when at about one third to  half of the way around I smelled what I took for a (dump feeding) bear near by or? and started to hear the usually snapping of twigs and leaf crunching sounds that come with a late autumn afternoon. Which is unusual since bears can move quietly if they want to (they sort of slid their feet not stomp like us). I continued on my course and the sounds followed me all the rest of the way around the lake 20 minute hike or so and right up back to the dirt mound and my car. I got in my Honda which then seemed very small at the time  and preceded to turn my head and back out, and then I seen  the top a black/brown matted hairy head peeping over that ten ft of piled sand for a second. I was a little startled being stalked already and then this head that was so close. I was on my own and with out a weapon for self defense so I just left and never returned.  I have  family that live in the mountains of BC and I lived near Muskoka. So I am use to the outdoors and we deem ourselves to be tough, brave etc, etc. I was kind of scared and then ashamed of myself afterwards and didn’t want to be embarrased further by reporting it. Also I became a lot more respectful of the woods after too. Humans are pretty small and defenceless when compared to other creatures in the wild. It could of been a black bear but I didn’t see a snout. Just the round top part of a hairy black brown  head. My guess is it took a quick look and a I caught  quick glimps of it as it ducked down or something.(very creepy). I still have dreams  on occassion  19 years later. Anyways I didn’t go back and I don’t need proof that their out there. Rangers would of said it was a bear any ways. They didn’t need the extra work from a resident hiker when considering  the overwhelming tourist population concerns out there.   I am use to hiking in remote rugged areas with animals about .And I have to say I’ve never had that kind of strong  feeling of being watched or spooked from being followed ever before or ever since. I’ ve had  close encounters with a bears ,moose,  BH sheep and chased by elk (rut) etc. They go about their business most of the time if you leave them alone. I think it was  currious since perhaps I show no interest in it, so the fear factor was not mutual, just on my end. So it followed me. I could feel it’s eyes on me. I got the sense it was trying to outflank me to the road?

The difference is when you know your being watched is (if you have other experience to compare with) is you can sense something with intelligence is watching you other than just a deer or what ever. That’s when you start getting that intimidated or unnerving feeling. Also the smell didn’t help and the sounds and  being unarmed and alone contribute to this effect.  Anyways thats what happened to me one afternoon in Alberta aprox 30-40 minutes outside of the town of Jasper in Jasper National Park. just off the hwy.

Also I wasn’t suppost to stop with out a park pass($fine) so I mostly kept it to myself because of the riddiclule factor and it was only a glimps. Then afterwards I wanted to forget about it so I could still enjoy my hikes and mt’s climbs.