All of Glacier National Park’s wilderness is grizzly bear habitat. It’s an aspect of Montana’s beauty that both entices and frightens park visitors.
Although the likelihood of encountering a grizzly on a trail in Glacier National Park is slim, and chances of a grizzly bear attack are even slimmer, you must take the proper precautions, including knowing how to survive a grizzly bear attack while hiking Montana’s Glacier National Park.
Remember, this is the grizzly bear’s habitat–we’re only visiting.
Precautions in Grizzly Bear Habitat
First and foremost, do NOT hike alone.
Glacier National Park Rangers recommend hiking in groups of three or more. Bears are solitary creatures with an incredible sense of hearing; simple conversation on the trail is enough to deter a distant bear from your path.
If you do choose to hike alone, which I highly discourage, stay alert. Don’t hike with your IPOD on (personally, I cannot fathom why anyone would to begin with), clap or holler as you turn corners, keep your eyes peeled for bear scat or tracks.
Simply keeping your wits about you while hiking in Glacier National Park can prevent most grizzly bear encounters
A quick note on bells… many hikers will buy walking sticks with bells attached to them or string bells to their backpack.
Besides being audibly unpleasant to fellow hikers, the fact is they fail in deterring a grizzly bear as the sound barely carries. Don’t waste your money when your vocal chords or hands can do a better job.
You’re in Glacier National Park to enjoy the outdoors, right? So, let’s get a little rustic and avoid perfume, cologne or other body lotions.
In addition to hearing, grizzly bears have an amazing sense of smell. Just like Calvin Klein smells yummy to us humans, it smells just as good to bears.
Be aware of where you’re hiking
Are you on the Grinnel Glacier Trail; trekking out to Iceberg Lake; trudging the Highline Trail; meandering to Gunsight Lake? All these massively popular trails are prime grizzly bear habitats, so you’re more likely to encounter one.
Have you seen a grizzly bear while hiking? Share your story!
Be sure to check out my Glacier National Park Hiking guide for more details as to what hikes are best for wildlife viewing opportunities.
More Grizzly Bear Information
Surviving a Grizzly Bear Attack: Learn life saving techniques for surviving a Grizzly Bear Attack
Grizzly Bear Attacks FAQ: Learn more by reading Grizzly Bear Attacks FAQ
Glacier National Park Gun Laws: Think a handgun will protect you against a grizzly bear? Think again.
Bear Repellent: Only bear repellent successfully deters an aggressive grizzly bear 90% of the time. Learn why and find cheap bear spray to protect your family.
Grizzly Bear Info: All the grizzly bear facts you would ever need to know.
Grizzly Bear Knife: Is there such thing as a grizzly bear knife, which can successfully save your life?