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Camping/Hiking Safety

Dallas, Texas
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2 posts
12 reviews
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Camping/Hiking Safety

We are planning to camp and hike in the Island Lake Campground area this August. While we know this is grizzly country, and we will take all the necessary precautions with regard to bear spray, noise while hiking, not hiking alone, food prep/storage, etc, does anyone have a feel for these questions?

How safe is it to tent camp here? (vs RV)

How likely are we to run into a grizzly when hiking?

Am I crazy to take my kids here due to bear danger? (ages 10, 12)

In the late '80's, I hiked all over the alpine wilderness adjacent to the Beartooth Hwy and never saw a bear. However, do I understand correctly that the bear population has increased substantially over the last 30 years?

Billings, Montana
Destination Expert
for Yellowstone National Park
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1 review
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1. Re: Camping/Hiking Safety

I have tent camped at both Island Lake and Beartooth Lake Campgrounds and starting when my daughter was 2 years old and when my grandson was 4 years old. My grandson (17 yrs old now) and I camped there two nights last September so we could go kayaking. Its a great campground with an on-site host. We have seen fresh grizzly scat on our Island Lake hikes but have never seen a grizzly. We have seen grizzlies while hiking the Beaten Path and have had one go through our campsite during the night while were were sleeping.


Edited: 31 May 2016, 05:39
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256 posts
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2. Re: Camping/Hiking Safety

CerveloGirl, you know how to be bear aware. You should be safe to camp at Lake, it's a big campground, obviously it has a fair amount of human activity that keeps wildlife away. If it were not safe, the Forest Service would not allow tent camping.

My family and I have camped and hiked all through this area over many years and have never had any trouble. We've seen grizzlies, but exercised common sense and gotten the heck out of the area. Obey all posted signs and inquire at the ranger stations about current sightings. Believe me, no one wants any close encounters with a grizzly- but their very existence is what makes this area special. Don't be scared, be smart- which you seem to be. To my knowledge, there have never been any attacks on hiking groups of three or more in the Yellowstone area. And honestly, my kids always sounded like a pack of ten! You'll be traveling on very well-traveled trails- much more so than the Beaten Path as mentioned, above (and it's pretty well traveled for a backpacking trail, hence the name).

Go for it and have a great time!

Edited: 16 June 2016, 06:07
3. Re: Camping/Hiking Safety

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