photo above taken by Yellowstone Tour Guides March 14, 20013 near Fairy Falls trailhead
Yellowstone Park recently posted in a park news release that sleepy grizzly bears are waking up, venturing out of their dens, and have been spotted around the park. Hibernation usually ends around mid-March for grizzly’s and they start looking for food immediately after leaving their dens. Roads in the park have closed to motorized vehicles for snow removal until late April, but other visitors on foot or bike in the park are being advised to stay in groups of three or more, make noise on trails, and carry bear spray. Visitors in the Greater Yellowstone area should use caution as well.
Grizzly bears feed on carcasses of elk and bison that have perished over the long winter and can become aggressive and territorial if startled or approached while feeding.
The park implements seasonal bear management areas closures to reduce encounters between bears and humans in areas where elk and bison carcasses are in high density. A listing of these closures can be found HERE.
Visitors are also reminded to keep food, garbage, barbecue grills and other attractants stored in hard-sided vehicles or bear-proof food storage boxes. This helps keep bears from becoming conditioned to human foods, and helps keep park visitors and their property safe.
Bear sightings should be reported to the nearest visitor center or ranger station as soon as possible.