Hikers near Canmore ignore trail closures, risk bear encounter

Wildlife officers say they're having a hard time keeping hikers out of a high-risk area near Canmore.

Quarry Lake and Grassi Peaks were closed last month after a grizzly attacked a tourist

A bear closure at the Peaks of Grassi near Quarry Lake was put in place on July 20. (albertaparks.ca)

Wildlife officers say they are having a hard time keeping hikers out of a high-risk area near Canmore.

The hiking trail at Quarry Lake and Grassi Peaks was closed in mid-July after a tourist was attacked in the area by a grizzly. The Danish man suffered minor injuries.

Cameras were set up to try to track bear activity in the area.

Instead, the cameras photographed at least 60 hikers ignoring the warning signs and heading in to the area, said district wildlife officer Mark Hoskin.

“We closed off all the major accesses with closure tape. As well as signs that indicate why the area is closed, so in this case that there is a bear in the area, and why we are attempting to trap it,” said Hoskin.

Not only are violators at risk of encountering a bear — they could also face fines of $50,000 or a year in jail, he said.

Officials are trying to determine the identity of the people who entered the trail.

A bear expert said last month there was a cinnamon-coloured bear with two cubs in the area and it might have been a defensive attack by the mother bear.

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