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suggestions for Glacier NP Solo Day Hiker

Hi, I’m going around Memorial Day for a week & will stick to open, more trafficked areas. @AnthonyJ (couldn’t reply to your 2020 post) & anyone else what was ur experience re animal encounters & safety precautions? I’ve been reading/watching everything I can on NPS etc, but I’d appreciate your thoughts on safety as well as any Spring experiences/recs. Thanks!!

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We were in Glacier about 5 years ago and so lots of animals some fairly close up. These included marmots, big horn, dahls, black bears, and grizzlies. The only one we had true encounters with were the black bears.  We had one wander into camp while fixing supper but it ran off when I started sneezing. The next day one was walking down the same trail we were but moving toward us.  We stopped and it stopped and we looked at each other and I raised my poles and were getting ready to move into the thick woods when it loped off into  woods. We were there in the fall.  With you being there in the spring the bear cubs are going to be really young so mama bears will be especially water. But if you stay in well traveled areas it shouldn't be as much of an issue.

@Luv2Kayak thank you for sharing! I am going at the end of May and plan to stick to well traveled routes in the West. A lot of the iconic trails will still be closed.  I found a group hike in the East that im planning to join so I won’t be in the peak Grizz area alone. Given the timing I’ve been trying to figure out how populated even the well traveled routes will be in late May/early June. 


I plan on going in 2023.  Would love to hear about your adventure when you return.  Have a great trip!  


Lake McDonald to Avalanche Creek is fun and right off of going to the sun road.  The lake entrance is open even in the winter time.  Bring bear mace and make lots of noise on the trails by talking to your group (no silent ear bud listening hikes) to avoid cougars and bears.  Most any animal will avoid you there if it hears you coming.  Hiking with a dog can also help.

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I second making noise!  After we met the bear on trail we started making more noise.  We backpacked for 5 days singing a jingle of "hey bear, hey bear bear".  If you are going away from the well hiked areas I would have bear spray with you.  You can rent that at some of the visitor's centers or pick some up in town as you drive up to glacier.  Hiking poles are also good as you can wave them in the air to make yourself look bigger.  The rangers also offer a bear awareness movie that you can watch with suggestions on how to deal with bears.

Thank you @Luv2Kayak  and @Diesseldorf !! I’ll make sure to check out the video and work on my bear jingles. There may a lot of a Yogi and Pooh Bear impressions. I’m sure it’ll be obvious when I rent the bear spray but do you have any suggestions for rigging it for easy access? I was thinking of a Velcro strap or using a water bottle holder. 
 I just found a guided nature trip over two days that’ll help me get acclimated, so to speak. 

Any easy access point on a backpack or use the mesh water bottle holder on the backpack.  Just don't confuse it for your actual water bottle and mace your face!  You won't want to use a cargo pocket or kangaroo pouch because it will just be too awkward to hike in.

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.

@NYCWanderer, the cans we've always had came with holsters with belt loops so you just hang it on your belt, pants or backpack.  That way it is really handy should you need it.  You don't want to have to dig for it or fiddle to find it.  Its usually a bottle about the size of shaving cream and has a spray top.