Hikers encounter grizzly bear @ Glacier National Park
Hikers encounter grizzly bear @ Glacier National Park

This family of three came upon a lone hiker from France in a dire situation on Grinnell Glacier trail in Glacier National Park. The man was without bear spray and face to face with an advancing grizzly bear. Luckily the dad had a can of bear spray and the mom remained calm while issuing verbal commands that kept the group moving backwards while maintaining a visual on the grizzly. Great reminder that if your hiking around an area where you might come across a grizzly to always carry bear spray and be absolutely sure you know how to properly use it.

“While hiking on the Grinnell Glacier trail in Glacier National Park, Montana, I, my husband, and our daughter encountered a young man who was face-to-face with a large bear. The young man had no bear spray and was hiking alone. We yelled at the bear to try and get him to leave.

With no clearing on either side to step off the trail, the bear continued toward us as we slowly backed away to give him room. Eventually, the bear found a clearing in the brush and went up and around the trail. We immediately cleared the area. The young man was shaken and very thankful that we came along. We learned that he was visiting from France and I asked him if he had bear spray and he said he had left it in the car. We then offered to let him finish the rest of the hike with us, which he did.

In hindsight, we have considered if we should have deployed our bear spray but we were concerned that we might have enraged the bear or accidentally sprayed the young man causing him to stumble or move rapidly, which in turn would have very likely ended in tragedy. It was a very scary situation but one that we hope will also be used to educate others on the importance of hiking in groups, making noise, and carrying bear spray anytime you are in bear country.”

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