Skip to Content

Skiers spot Yellowstone’s first grizzly bear of 2024

Grizzly boar walks along the edge of Blacktail Ponds
NPS / Jacob W. Frank
Grizzly boar walks along the edge of Blacktail Ponds

MAMMOTH HOT SPRINGS, Wyo. (KIFI) - On March 3, visitors skiing on the Specimen Ridge Trail in the north-central part of the park observed the first grizzly bear of 2024.

The first bear sighting of 2023 occurred on March 7.  

Yellowstone officials say male grizzlies come out of hibernation in early March, and females with cubs emerge in April and early May. When bears emerge from hibernation, they look for food and often feed on elk and bison that died over the winter. Bears will react aggressively to encounters with people when feeding on carcasses.  

All of Yellowstone National Park is bear country: from the deepest backcountry to the boardwalks around Old Faithful. Protect yourself and the bears people come here to enjoy by following these guidelines:

  • Prepare for a bear encounter by carrying bear spray, knowing how to use it and making sure it’s accessible.
  • Stay alert.
  • Hike or ski in groups of three or more, stay on maintained trails and make noise. Avoid hiking at dusk, dawn or at night.
  • Do not run if you encounter a bear.
  • Stay 100 yards (91 m) away from black and grizzly bears. Approaching bears within 100 yards is prohibited. Use binoculars, a telescope or telephoto lens to get a closer look.
  • Store food, garbage, barbecue grills and other attractants in hard-sided vehicles or bear-proof food storage boxes.
  • Report bear sightings and encounters to a park ranger immediately.
  • Learn more about bear safety.

Bear spray has proven effective in deterring bears defending cubs and food sources. It can also reduce the number of bears killed by people in self-defense. While firearms are allowed in the park, the discharge of a firearm by visitors is a violation of park regulations.

Article Topic Follows: Wyoming

Jump to comments ↓

Author Profile Photo

News Team


KIFI Local News 8 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content