Grizzly bear warning triggers camping changes in part of Glacier National Park

Posted at 10:12 PM, Jun 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-01 00:12:39-04

(GREAT FALLS) Effective immediately, the Many Glacier Campground will temporarily be limited to hard-sided camping, according to a press release from Glacier National Park.

This means that tents and soft-sided campers will not be permitted until further notice. Camper vehicles such as VW buses and pickup trucks with small canvas pop-ups are allowed as long as the canvas is not exposed.

On Friday at 10:30 am, a small grizzly bear weighing approximately 150 pounds, entered the Many Glacier Campground. It crossed a stream, entered a campsite, and compelled two campers to move away from a picnic table where they were cleaning two recently caught Brook Trout. One of the campers sprayed the bear with bear spray from a distance of 15 feet. The spray was unsuccessful in deterring the bear’s approach, and it proceeded to climb on top of the picnic table and consume the fish. It also sniffed, pawed, and bit two nearby backpacks.

Park rangers responded and used hazing techniques to encourage the bear to move out of the campground. Prior to its departure, it dug into two fire pits, sniffed picnic tables, a tent, and an RV with visitors inside.

The park is attempting to trap the grizzly bear for further management action. The bear exhibits numerous signs of food-conditioning and meets the definition of a conditioned bear in Glacier National Park’s Bear Management Guidelines. A non-conditioned bear would typically not enter a campsite with people present and resist human attempts to scare it away. Conditioned bears are usually removed from the population by being placed in zoos or euthanized.

Once bears have successfully obtained unnatural food from people or become accustomed to foraging in developed areas, it is very difficult to change their behavior to return to wild areas and natural food sources. Once they have received a human food reward, they often become a safety hazard as they become increasingly aggressive seeking out and obtaining subsequent food rewards.  In 1976, a conditioned grizzly bear dragged a camper from her tent in the Many Glacier Campground and killed her.

FWP maintains a page on Facebook to keep people aware of recent grizzly bear sightings and incidents along and east of the Rocky Mountain Front. The page is called the Montana FWP Prairie Bear Monitor at


  • div[data-mml-type=”relatedcategory”]{border: thin solid #e7e7e7;} .categories-right-icon{display: none;} .stories-area > hr{margin: 0px;} .stories-area > iframe {border: white;} div[data-mml-type]{ overflow: hidden; } div[data-mml-status=”draft”] {display: none !important;} div.fb-post span, div.fb-post span iframe{max-width: 100%;} div[data-mml-type=”twitter”].left, div[data-mml-type=”instagram”].left, div[data-mml-type=”facebook”].left{ float: left; position: relative; overflow:hidden; max-width:100%;}div[data-mml-type=”twitter”].right,div[data-mml-type=”instagram”].right,div[data-mml-type=”facebook”].right{ float: right; position: relative; overflow:hidden; max-width:100%;}div[data-mml-type=”twitter”].center,div[data-mml-type=”instagram”].center,div[data-mml-type=”facebook”].center{ width: 100% !important; overflow:hidden; text-align: center;}div[data-mml-type=”twitter”].center iframe,div[data-mml-type=”twitter”].center twitterwidget,div[data-mml-type=”instagram”].center iframe,div[data-mml-type=”facebook”].center iframe{ margin: auto !important;}div[data-mml-type=”facebook”].center > span{ margin: auto !important; display: block !important;} .mml-display-none{display: none !important;} div[data-mml-type=”gmaps”], div[data-mml-type=”youtube”] {position:relative; width:100%; padding-bottom:56.25%;} div[data-mml-type=”gmaps”] iframe, div[data-mml-type=”youtube”] iframe {position:absolute; left:0; top:0;} div[data-embed-type=”clip”],div[data-mml-type=”clip”]{position: relative;padding-bottom: 56.25%;width: 100%;box-sizing: border-box;} div[data-embed-type=”clip”] iframe { position: absolute;} div[data-embed-type=”social”] {position: relative;padding-bottom: 56.25%;width: 100%;box-sizing: border-box;} div[data-embed-type=”social”] iframe,div[data-mml-type=”clip”] iframe { position: absolute;}.frankly-img{max-width:100%;}.mce-item-table{word-break: break-all;}