If you follow some of the social media sites on Glacier, you’re probably seeing a lot of posts about visitors seeing bears. It’s fantastic to see wildlife in their natural setting and doing what they do best…being wild. And, we want to see them stay that way. That means visitors need to be smart and responsible. Respect the fact that these are wild animals, they are unpredictable and the harms bears can cause can be fatal. That isn’t Winnie-the-Pooh or Paddington you may see so never approach a bear.
We have multiple orange bottles of bear spray at Glacier Bear Cabin. Take them every time you go hiking or biking. The activity this Spring and Summer has been very active. The worst thing you can do is surprise a bear. Even worse than that is surprising a mother bear with cubs nearby. So make noise as you are out. Many people just randomly shout “Hey Bear! Hey Bear!”
Stay on the trails! Sure, bears do use them. Notice if you see scat or even a fresh carcass around. Bear will guard their food, savagely so move away immediately from fresh carcass and report to the rangers were you found it. This will help reduce a potential bear encounter with others.
If you encounter a bear on a trail. Do not run! Stand still but make noise and make yourself as big as possible with your arms stretched out overhead. Bears can run up to 35 mph and they will chase their prey. Don’t make that you. Do not climb a tree unless you expect to make it to the top. While Grizzlies aren’t the best climbers (Black bears are) they will start up after you and with up to 4” claws, even a swipe or a bite can inflict heavy damage.
Do not leave food lying around on a hike. Bears are resourceful and food is a welcoming invitation. Although we have an enclosed porch, please use our bear proof trash can when disposing of your trash. We have not had any encounters of bear at our cabin and we’d like to keep it that way. There’s a lot of activity around Apgar and Lake McDonald but it doesn’t mean a bear won’t venture in the area so please be respectful of our rules.
Aggressive or nuisance bears may be removed or worse, euthanized. Please follow the Park’s rules on bears. We love seeing bears and hope you get to see them too… but at a distance!
To learn more about bear spray and how to use it, please watch this very well made short video from the National Park Service. It’s designed to keep you safe and the bear:
To learn more about Grizzly’s habitat, biology and behaviors, please visit
For Information on Black Bears, visit:
GOING HIKING? DON’T FORGET THE BEAR SPRAY!