Glacier Park trails reopen following bear activity

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Glacier National Park reopened the Highline Trail, Loop and the closed portion of the Swiftcurrent Pass Trail Tuesday morning after a day of patrol on Monday and a night of observation yielded no further bear sightings.

The Granite Park backcountry campground remains closed and likely will be closed through at least Wednesday night, park officials said.

The trails remain posted for “bear frequenting”, meaning that recent repeated observations or confirmed reports of bear sign in short intervals exist in those areas. Visitors should exercise heightened situational awareness and watch for signs of bears on trails posted for bear frequenting.

Glacier National Park rangers and a wildlife biologist spent the day Monday patrolling the trails and developed area around Granite Park Chalet and the Granite Park backcountry campground in the wake of trail closures Sunday in the Granite Park area due to unusual grizzly bear activity. On Sunday, the park received three separate reports in quick succession of grizzly bears huffing, drooling, shaking heads, and walking visitors back off of trails. It is uncertain whether it was one bear or more.

On Monday rangers did not have any bear sightings, but did see significant evidence of bears foraging in multiple locations. Foraging indicators include things like scat, disturbed hillsides, and overturned rocks. The signs of foraging were dispersed over a wide area and no evidence was found of a specific carcass or other food source that the bears were protecting.

A park wildlife biologist remained overnight at Granite Park Chalet Monday to continue observing the area.

The public should continue to monitor the park’s trail status webpage at https://www.nps.gov/applications/glac/infobull/closures.cfm for the most current information about trail closures.

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