A group of hikers lived to tell the tale after a harrowing encounter with a grizzly bear in Missoula, Montana. The event happened inside the Glacier National Park on August 30, 2020.
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Do you know what to do if you see a bear? ? Having the opportunity to see a black or grizzly bear in Glacier National Park is an amazing experience, but it’s important to remember a few safety precautions while exploring in bear country. Many bear encounters occur along park roadways. ? If you see a bear while driving around Glacier National Park and want to take a closer look ?, pull over into a nearby roadside pull-off or parking area. Avoid creating a bear jam! Remember to keep a safe distance from bears, at least 100 yards, even if you are in a vehicle, to prevent bears from becoming habituated to vehicles and humans. ? If you’re hitting the trails, there are a few other considerations to keep in mind. If you can’t see the trail ahead of you, it’s important to make your presence known by making human sounds like shouting or clapping loudly. Additionally, hiking in a group allows bears to see, hear, and smell you better, reducing your risk of a surprise encounter. If you do happen to see a bear on the trail, ensure you maintain at least 100 yards of distance and slowly back away from it. Carrying bear spray (and knowing how to use it!) is recommended on all trails in the park. You never know when you may see a bear! By following these precautions, we can work together to protect ourselves and also keep the park’s bears safe. For more information about staying safe in bear country, visit the park website. [Image description: grizzly bear walking near small trees.]
Here is the story submitted to NBC Montana by Dulé Krivdich who captured the whole event on camera. According to him, both he and his wife had spent the day hiking and were heading back from visiting Hidden Lake. From a high vantage point they were able to witness the grizzly coming up on the unsuspecting hikers.
“I’d say a 500+ pound grizzly, came through a treeline, down a meadow and swiftly on to the trail itself to get to wherever he wanted to go. Now hikers just below on the same trail are totally unaware of what’s heading their way as we from above start yelling that there is a bear barreling down the same trail. As one yells back, “what do we do?” “Just start making a lot of noise!!! Don’t run!””
As soon as the warning was shouted, the bear made a bluff charge towards the hikers. You can hear a woman in the video draw a panicked breath as the bear closes in on the group. Once the bear has a direct line of sight to what could’ve been his next meal, he stops and turns away.
“Thank goodness that it all went well afterwards.” Krivdich wrote, “Other than that it was a beautiful day for a hike down to Hidden Lake.”
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Interested in hiking in Glacier National Park??⛰️? Glacier is a great place to hit the trails! WIth over 700 miles of trail, visitors can enjoy beautiful views of mountains, waterfalls, and alpine glaciers. However, not all trails may be open or accessible at the time of your visit. Trails may close for a variety of reasons including bear activity, hazardous snowfields, and road closures. This summer, all trails in the Many Glacier and Two Medicine Valleys, including the Grinnell Glacier and Iceberg Lake Trails, are not open due to the closures of the park’s east entrances. ?❄️⛔ Although most of the east side of the park is inaccessible this season, there are still many hiking trails available on the west side of the park and along Going-to-the-Sun Road between West Glacier and Rising Sun. Before setting out for a hike, familiarize yourself with the trail and trail conditions by checking the park website for current conditions or stopping by the Apgar or Logan Pass Visitor Centers. ?ℹ️ For more information on current trail conditions and area closures, visit the park website. [Image description: hikers on a trail surrounded by mountains in 2012.]
It is estimated that nearly 300 grizzly bears live in Glacier National Park and the odds of coming across one while hiking is fairly common according to wildlife resource, Big Sky Fishing. Other animals that are common encounters are moose, elk, black bears, bighorn sheep, mountain goats, and mule deer, all of which call Glacier Park their home.
Watch the video below to see the grizzly encounter.