Grizzly Bear Stops Our Hike to Gross Ventre Falls

Back in 2004, my wife Yumi and I had set up camp at Cosley Lake and decided to hike over to Gros Ventre Falls, since we were headed over to Elizabeth Lake the next day and wouldn’t be heading near Gros Ventre Falls.

Just past the Cosley Cable Crossing, we found ourselves in a fairly open area, which gave us clear views of the immediate vicinity. Walking ahead of my wife, I was looking around and saw a rather large male grizzly on his hind quarters, nose in the air, trying to identify us.

I put my arm out to stop my wife and whispered “bear” back to her. The grizzly was no more than the length of a basketball court away and looked a bit imposing.

Immediately, I did the first thing I thought of and quietly went about getting my camera out of its case while I could hear Yumi pulling her pepper spray from the holster. By the time we were each ready to shoot the bear was gone.

Needless to say, we never made it up to the falls, but got a great story to tell.

There was one other episode, which I cannot confirm was indeed a grizzly encounter, but I’ll tell you about it anyway.

In 2005, my pal Andy and I were hiking up to Gunsight Pass from Gunsight Lake. We were just across the suspension bridge and starting to climb when the trail passed through some very thick brush. I was taking the lead when I heard a low sounding “Grrrrrrrr” only a few feet off the trail to my left.

I didn’t panic and didn’t want to make any sudden moves, so I did the logical thing and asked Andy if he’d heard that noise. His reply was in the affirmative and suggested that we should probably keep moving along.

Like I said, I can’t know for sure what it was that “spoke” to us, but I do know it wasn’t a marmot or Ptarmigan.

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Aug 05, 2009



Growling in the bushes


by: Orly

I have also thought I heard growling while on a trail in Glacier Park. I was coming back from Iceberg Lake, had encountered an indifferent lone black bear on the trail, just bumbling along on the trail for a few minutes and ignoring all the startled hikers, and maybe because I was paranoid thought I heard a low, ominous growl from foliage above me about a mile later. Do bears do that? A rumor was circulating that an hour later some hikers ran into a grizzly and cubs on the trail.


Mar 12, 2009



Noises From the Woods



by: Anonymous

Hi Dorf,

I, too, had a mystical encounter once around the Many Glacier area.

The girl I was seeing at the time and myself were hiking after a long backpacking trip and I heard a grunting/growling noise from the woods. I picked up my pace a little, and then turned and asked, “Did you hear that?”

She fearfully shook her head and we just continued hiking–well, a little faster than normal, that is!

Great stories & thanks for sharing!


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