Being Bear-Safe In Glacier National Park and Other Areas of the National Park System

Quicktime

Keeping safe in bear country. This video will help teach you how to do that. NPS photo.

Kurt Repanshek's picture

A prime concern, it seems, of folks who venture off into the backcountry of national parks in the Rocky Mountains and the high Sierra is bears. I know it took me several trips to get over that gnawing anxiety. It seemed that during my first backcountry trip into Yellowstone National Park that a grizzly was responsible for every swaying bush, twig snap, or rustle in the wind.

This video from Glacier National Park will help you prepare for your travels in bear country. And while the video is set in Glacier, it really can apply to Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks as well, and, for that matter, to any public lands setting in the northern Rockies where grizzlies roam.

Now, if you really want to prepare yourself through a more thorough education of bears and their behavior, I'd recommend either Backcountry Bear Basics: The Definitive Guide to Avoiding Unpleasant Encounters by Dave Smith, a naturalist who has worked in Yellowstone, Glacier, Denali, and Glacier Bay national parks, or Bear Attacks, Their Causes and Avoidance, by Stephen Herrero, a professor of environmental science at the University of Calgary. It's a riveting book that schools you in how to survive in bear country through the presentation and dissection of bear attacks.