Pictures Added Scary Moose, Bear Encounter Glacier 6/21

There is only one Wonderland, but let's also talk about and share photos of other national parks.

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karenandbill
Posts: 140
Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2020 10:55 am

Pictures Added Scary Moose, Bear Encounter Glacier 6/21

Post by karenandbill »

We decided to take a quick trip to Glacier to celebrate our anniversary. We wanted to hike and also see wildlife. The hikes were beautiful.

ImageDSCF9938 by William Reinke, on Flickr

ImageDSCF9932 by William Reinke, on Flickr

The wildlife, while not numerous, was up close and personal. It started with a short hike to a waterfall where a red fox was heading right towards us on the trail. Initially, it turned around but then it came back. We had no where to get off the trail but the fox decided it could get off and go around us, coming back down to the trail behind us. Then as we were going back, it reappeared as it apparently ran into more people. We backed up to a place where we could allow it to pass. It quickly ran by about five feet away from us. Then slowed to a trot as it continued on the trail.

Fox going around us after it left the trail
ImageDSCF9953 by William Reinke, on Flickr

Fox trotting off after it ran by us
ImageDSCF9954 by William Reinke, on Flickr


The next morning we headed out for a 3 1/2 mile loop hike before heading home. Early on we detoured down to look at the lake.

ImageDSCF9961 by William Reinke, on Flickr

As we got back near the main trail, Karen, who was leading, stopped as she spotted a moose coming out of the willows. She said, "I don't like the way it is staring at us." Then, "Oh boy, he is not happy!" as it began shaking its head and stomping its front hooves. We pulled our bear spray out as the moose started moving in a zigzag fashion, but coming nearer to us. Bill had moved in front as Karen started backing away. The moose kept coming, still clearly agitated. At about 30 feet away Bill decided that was close enough and fired a quick squirt of bear spray. This caused the moose to turn and head off towards some willows on the other side of the trail. We thought that would be it, but not quite. It then reversed and came back across the trail. Fortunately, it did not come towards us but just crossed the trail and headed back to where it had come from initially.

It all happened so fast, Karen did not get a photo. We quickly got to the main trail and continued our hike away from the moose. With Karen in the lead she gasped and jumped about a foot in the air as a red squirrel ran across the trail in front of her. Bill had a laugh as she still had her bear spray drawn with the safety off ready to blast the squirrel :lol: . A few minutes later Karen stopped again and said she heard something. Bill was thinking she was still just hyper over the moose adventure. But then he heard it too. Karen then spotted something black moving through the trees. A black bear! Bill caught a glimpse as well. Out came his bear spray as Karen mentioned, "It's heading this way." There was quite a bit of brush hiding its movements but it soon popped its head out about 20 feet away. Fortunately, when it saw us, it turned and made its way back into the trees heading away from us. Wow! Two close encounters within about 10 minutes of each other.

We saw two fresh scat piles as we made our way around the loop. Karen had the bear spray out with the safety off the rest of the hike. When Bill saw the second pile of scat in a place of limited visibility, his bear spray came out too! The rest of the hike was uneventful though we did get a great look at a western tanager.

Upon reflection, we have seen at least a dozen moose while hiking and never had we seen one behave this way. They either just stared or moved away. We can only speculate what had this one so upset. Perhaps we had unknowingly passed him and then he felt threatened when we came back towards the main trail. We had heard people say that the moose were unpredictable but didn't take it all that seriously because we had never seen one show any alarm or aggression. Very glad we had the bear spray along. We always each carry a can when we hike, but this was the first time we ever used it. Didn't think it would be for a moose, but we will definitely be more wary of moose from now on!
Last edited by karenandbill on Mon Jul 05, 2021 2:27 pm, edited 2 times in total.



RikWriter
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Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2017 8:36 pm

Re: Glacier Hike Scary Moose, Bear Encounter June 21

Post by RikWriter »

Wow! That's some hike!



Dorothy
Posts: 184
Joined: Sat Jul 29, 2017 7:45 pm

Re: Glacier Hike Scary Moose, Bear Encounter June 21

Post by Dorothy »

What a hike! Glad you had the bear spray. We watched one moose once walk along the ridge near the Gros Ventre campground. There was a tripod along the way that a photog had left set up and as it walked past, the moose hooked the tripod with its antlers, then stomped on it a few times before moving on. Obviously, just was feeling cranky and didn't like the thing being there. We've been extra careful around moose ever since (well, always were, but this just demonstrated that moose are not to be messed with). Glad you were safe and had some memorable wildlife encounters! Thanks for sharing.

Oh -- and was it pretty crowded? We've been thinking of taking a day or two out of our usual Yellowstone/GT trip to go up to Glacier, but keep getting reports of how crowded it is, that parking lots are full, the Going to the Sun road is now resevation only and you wait long periods of time just to get anywhere. So, any info on how the crowds are or how to get away from crowds and still see things would be greatly appreciated!

Again, glad you're all right and had a great experience.



karenandbill
Posts: 140
Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2020 10:55 am

Re: Glacier Hike Scary Moose, Bear Encounter June 21

Post by karenandbill »

Dorothy wrote:
Sun Jun 27, 2021 9:34 pm
Oh -- and was it pretty crowded? We've been thinking of taking a day or two out of our usual Yellowstone/GT trip to go up to Glacier, but keep getting reports of how crowded it is, that parking lots are full, the Going to the Sun road is now resevation only and you wait long periods of time just to get anywhere. So, any info on how the crowds are or how to get away from crowds and still see things would be greatly appreciated!
It was quite crowded, but no worse than Yellowstone and Grand Teton. We were on the East side of the park. The road was only open part way, but the reservation system was still in place. We didn't have reservations so it meant going in before 6 AM or after 5PM. The reservation system has now made those times more crowded. When we went last year, early morning was wide open. Now it's fairly busy. I assume it will only be worse now that the road is open all the way through. The road to Many Glacier and Two Medicine Lake is not on the reservation system. So those roads are open any time. Many Glacier Road is under repair so there are delays similar to what was done in Yellowstone. The western side of the park off Camas Road and Polebridge is less crowded. It is scenic, but not as dramatic as the Sun Rd or Eastern side. So early or late is still your best way to avoid the crowds, but not as good as before the reservation system.

--Bill



Dorothy
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Joined: Sat Jul 29, 2017 7:45 pm

Re: Glacier Hike Scary Moose, Bear Encounter June 21

Post by Dorothy »

Thanks! We may be spending a little time up there in October. I'd love to see it again.



Nikon_nerd
Posts: 87
Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2017 4:06 pm

Re: Glacier Hike Scary Moose, Bear Encounter June 21

Post by Nikon_nerd »

Wow, what a hike! We've been to Glacier a few times, but never saw too much wildlife, a few goats, bighorn sheep, elk and deer. I can't believe you ran into such a friendly fox. Did you get pictures of it?

Wow, all the moose I've ever encountered in Tetons were always very docile. I guess we just got lucky. I've been around some surly bull elk before and it wasn't fun.

When did they implement a reservation system for Going to the Sun Road? (We haven't been to Glacier in the last 10 years, even though we consider it as one of the most beautiful parks in the U.S.). Do you have to take buses now like in Zion National Park, or can you still drive your own vehicle?

Glad you guys avoided a serious encounter with the moose. Thanks for the report.



karenandbill
Posts: 140
Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2020 10:55 am

Re: Glacier Hike Scary Moose, Bear Encounter June 21

Post by karenandbill »

Nikon_nerd wrote:
Sun Jul 04, 2021 1:29 pm
When did they implement a reservation system for Going to the Sun Road? (We haven't been to Glacier in the last 10 years, even though we consider it as one of the most beautiful parks in the U.S.). Do you have to take buses now like in Zion National Park, or can you still drive your own vehicle?
This is the first year that they implemented the reservation system for driving your own vehicle on Going-to-the-Sun Rd. You can go online and try to get a reservation, which is hard to do because so many others are trying to do the same thing. If you are fortunate enough to get one, it is good for seven days. If you are staying inside the park at one of the hotels or buy a ticket with one of the concessioners you automatically get a pass for the road. No reservation is needed if you drive in before 6AM or after 5PM which is what we decided to do. The first afternoon there was a traffic backup through the St. Mary area and onto the main hwy at 5:00 PM with people waiting to get in. We decided to wait and went in about 6 PM. By then there were only about 10 cars in front of us. The next morning we went in at 5:20 with no wait, but there were a lot of people like us already on the road.

This disappoints us because we went in early last year and there was hardly anyone on the road. Now it will be crowded at any time after daylight since people without reservations are being forced to go in early (or late).

Karen did get a picture of the fox which I haven't had the chance to upload yet. I will add it to the report in the next day or so.

Thanks for posting the Tom Mangleson video. It's sad what is happening to the bears and wolves in the three states.

--Bill



Nikon_nerd
Posts: 87
Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2017 4:06 pm

Re: Pictures Added Scary Moose, Bear Encounter Glacier 6/21

Post by Nikon_nerd »

Thanks for posting the pictures. I need to go back again. So much beauty there!!



Mike W.
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Location: Far, far north edge of SF Bay Area

Re: Pictures Added Scary Moose, Bear Encounter Glacier 6/21

Post by Mike W. »

Interesting. I've heard people say Moose are more dangerous than bears, I do keep it in mind just in case, but this is the first time I've heard of a threatening encounter. Good to know about Bear spray working on them. Foxes are funny, usually super shy, but once in a while they only avoid you. First one I ever saw was on a paved road, rural, but not way out there, and the fox in the headlights was so scared it literally pi**** all over itself.



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