• The Cathedral Group from the Teton Park Road

    Grand Teton

    National Park Wyoming

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  • Seasonal road closures in effect

    Seasonal road closures are in effect for motorized vehicles. The Teton Park Road is closed from the Taggart Lake Trailhead to the Signal Mountain Lodge. The Moose-Wilson Road is closed from the Granite Canyon Trailhead to the Death Canyon Road. More »

  • Avalanche hazards exist in the park

    Avalanche hazards exist in the park, especially in mountain canyons and on exposed slopes. A daily avalanche forecast can be found at www.jhavalanche.org or by calling (307) 733-2664. More »

  • Bears emerging from hibernation

    Bears are beginning to emerge from hibernation. Travel in groups of three of more, make noise and carry bear spray. Visitors must stay at least 100 yards from bears. More »

Bears Active Again in Grand Teton & the Rockefeller Parkway

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Date: March 25, 2013
Contact: Public Affairs Office, 307.739.3393

Bears are out of hibernation and active again in Grand Teton National Park and the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway. Park staff received reports of the first set of bear tracks on March 15th. These reports were in keeping with long-term data that indicates 50% of adult males bears are out of their winter dens by mid-March each year. Local residents and park visitors should be alert for the presence of bears throughout all areas of the park and parkway.  

When bears leave their winter dens, they search for any food source that will help restore fat reserves lost during hibernation. Winter-killed animals provide immediate sources of protein, and hungry bears will strongly defend this and other food sources against perceived threats. Carcasses and freshly killed animals should serve as a point of caution-a red flag to detour away from the area. As snow banks recede, bears also dig up wildflower bulbs and burrowing rodents.  

Now that bears are awake, appropriate precautions must be taken. Park visitors need to exercise good judgment, stay alert, and follow these recommended safety precautions while hiking:

  • Make noise
  • Travel in a group of three or more
  • Carry bear spray and know how to use it
  • Maintain a 100-yard distance from bears at all times  

Park visitors are reminded to never approach a bear under any circumstances. 

People should report any bear sightings or sign to the nearest visitor center or ranger station as soon as possible. Timely reporting will help park staff to provide important safety messages about bear activity to other visitors. 

Access to human food and garbage is a death sentence to a bear. When bears lose their fear of humans, they often become a nuisance and a safety concern. Park visitors are reminded to keep food, garbage and other odorous items unavailable to bears at all times by storing attractants inside vehicles, by disposing of garbage in a bear-resistant trash can or dumpster, and by keeping personal items-such as backpacks or drink containers-with them at all times, especially when they contain food or food odors.  

For further information on how to behave when hiking, camping or picnicking in bear country, read the park's newspaper, Grand Teton Guide, online at www.nps.gov/grte.

Did You Know?

Tetons from Hurricane Pass, KF

Did you know that Grand Teton National Park was established in both 1929 and 1950? The original 1929 park protected the mountain peaks and the lakes near the base. The boundaries were later expanded in 1950 to include much of the adjacent valley floor.