Grand Teton National Park Temporarily Closes Busy Road For Ravenous Bears

Grizzly and black bears have been spotted on the side of a narrow, scenic road in Grand Teton National Park, so park rangers decided to temporarily close it.

“The northern section of the Moose-Wilson Road, between Murie Ranch Junction and Death Canyon Junction, is temporary closed to all visitors including motorists, cyclists, and hikers,” states National Park Service (NPS).

The bears are not there to welcome visitors but to devour the fresh berries along the road. Since it is impossible for people to keep the recommended 100 yard distance from bears, rangers closed a portion of the road.

It is for the safety of people and the bears.

“Because of its narrow surface lined with dense vegetation, hillsides, and wetlands, the Moose-Wilson Road does not allow for a safe distance between people and bears. These factors create situations where both visitors and bears may be at risk for injury, making it necessary to close the road whenever bears are foraging along the roadway,” wrote NPS.

Moose-Wilson Road will remain closed until the bears have moved on from the area, which park rangers believe will be a couple of days.

Bears are much more active at this time of year as they are constantly in search of food. They must consume 20,000 calories a day in preparation for winter and hibernation.

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Visitors are still swarming to national parks around the country in hopes of seeing wildlife, but getting too close to a bear is dangerous.

Photo: Pixabay/ArtTower

Rangers ask visitors to “Be Bear Aware.” All food and garbage must be stored in a bear-resistant locker or in a vehicle with the windows rolled up. The ravenous bears can smell food from miles away and have no problem entering unlocked vehicles or digging in the trash for scraps.

Follow the steps below from NPS to stay safe when hiking or traveling through bear country.

  • BE ALERT watch for bears, fresh tracks, or scat.
  • MAKE NOISE in areas with limited visibility.
  • CARRY BEAR SPRAY, know how to use it, and keep it readily available.
  • HIKE IN GROUPS of three or more people.
  • DO NOT RUN, back away slowly.
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