GREAT FALLS — Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks has temporarily closed the Muddy Creek Falls Trail in the Blackleaf Wildlife Management Area due to grizzly bear activity.
The Blackleaf WMA is about 85 miles northwest of Great Falls in Teton County. The Muddy Creek Falls Trail is on the northwestern edge of the WMA.
A hiker in the area contacted FWP about a moose carcass found on the trail. The trail, which is on the west-central edge of the WMA, goes into a narrow canyon and dead ends in rough, rocky terrain. The Blackleaf WMA is utilized by grizzly bears from March through November.
FWP is not able to remove the carcass, due to its remote and inaccessible location, and it is likely to attract grizzly bears to the trail. So the trail is closed until further notice.
FWP reminds people to be cautious and prepared for a bear encounter when recreating in Montana. All bears — especially grizzlies — can be protective of food sources like animal carcasses. Some recommended precautions for avoiding negative encounters with bears include:
- Be aware of your surroundings and look for bear sign.
- Carry and know how to use bear spray.
- Stay away from animal carcasses.
- Travel in groups whenever possible.
- Follow U.S. Forest Service food storage regulations.
- If you encounter a bear, never approach it. Back away slowly and leave the area.
For more information on staying safe in bear country, visit the FWP "Bear Aware" page.