Glacier National Park has closed some popular trail routes as of Aug. 18 after potentially aggressive grizzly behavior was reported in the Granite Park area.
A release from the park says the Granite Park backcountry campsite is closed, as well as the Highline, Loop and Swiftcurrent Trail. Rangers say they've received troubling reports of visitors encountering a bear that seemed disturbed and potentially aggressive.
From the park's release on Monday:
West Glacier, MT – Today park rangers and a wildlife biologist spent the day patrolling the trails and developed area around Granite Park Chalet and the Granite Park Backcountry Campground.
They did not have any bear sightings, but did see significant evidence of bears foraging in multiple locations. Foraging indicators include things like scat, disturbed hillsides, and overturned rocks. The signs of foraging were dispersed over a wide area and no evidence was found of a specific carcass or other food source that the bears were protecting.
A park wildlife biologist will remain overnight at Granite Park Chalet to continue observing the area.
Following observations tonight, the park will reassess the temporary trail closure early Tuesday morning.
The public should continue to monitor the park's trail status webpage for the most current information about trail closures.
The Granite Park Backcountry Campground will likely remain closed at least through Wednesday night.
Guests planning to hike to Granite Park Chalet with reservations for tomorrow night should call the Granite Park Chalet Office at 888-345-2649 for more information and updates.
On Sunday, the park received three separate reports in quick succession of grizzly bears huffing, drooling, shaking heads, and walking visitors back off of trails. It is uncertain whether it was one bear or more.
Glacier National Park is home to both black and grizzly bears. Visitors should be prepared to encounter bears at all times, make noise along the trail, and always carry bear spray and know how to use it.
At this time of year, bears increase foraging activity in preparation for winter hibernation.