The Mount Brown Lookout Trail at Glacier National Park is a tough, demanding path, climbing more than 4,200 feet from Lake McDonald Lodge in just about five miles. And, as is most of Glacier, it rambles through bear country, a fact one hiker discovered when a bear charged him and he responded first with a blast from his canister of bear spray, and then with a shot from his handgun that rangers believe hit the bear.
Rangers closed the trail after the incident Saturday morning, and spent the weekend searching for the bear, which they said probably was wounded. The hiker, a 57-year-old Texan, was hiking alone Saturday morning when the bear charged him, according to a park release.
"The hiker deployed his canister of bear spray and then discharged one round of his handgun. It is believed the bear was wounded, and ran away," park spokeswoman Denise Germann said in a release. "The hiker then turned around and quickly hiked back to the trailhead, warning other hikers on the trail of the incident."
The hiker, whose name was not released, was not able to say for sure whether the bear was a grizzly or a black bear, according to the park.
"The investigation and search for the bear will continue, and the trail will remain closed until further notice," Ms. Germann said.
Park officials were not immediately available Sunday to say what type of firearm the hiker had, or how close the bear had approached the hiker before being shot.
The following video of the hike, filmed by Jake Bramante, the first person to hike every trail mile in Glacier, touches on the beauty, and the tough nature, of the Mount Brown Lookout Trail. To learn more about Glacier's trail system, be sure to check out Jake's website.