Bear Awareness Hike
Instructor: Garrett Tovey
July 2, July 5, July 17, August 6, August 18, & August 30
7 a.m. – 12 p.m.
One of the major highlights of any trip out west is the opportunity to view a bear in its natural habitat. While these experiences can be incredibly exciting, it’s important to remember several key safety considerations while exploring in bear country. This course will go into detail on bear behavior and discuss signs and indicators that a bear is getting agitated. We will also spend time explaining how and why bear spray is an effective and important tool to have with you while visiting the Flathead Valley. This awareness hike will teach participants what to look for when you’re in bear country – including signs that a bear has been in the area recently, how to react if you find yourself in close proximity to a bear on the trail, as well as how to better understand and recognize preferred bear habitat.
Meeting Place: Glacier Institute Field Camp
Itinerary: (Subject to change) We will begin the day with brief introductions and then start our hike along the Apgar Lookout trail. While spending the half-day exploring bear habitat, participants will learn about:
- Bear biology and natural history
- Bear behavior and indicators
- Safety in the front country and backcountry
- Trip preparation tips
- Proper bear spray deployment techniques, including demonstrations with inert canisters
Equipment: Please bring a 1-2 liter water bottle, appropriate footwear, a hat, and sunglasses, as we will be outside on the trail. Please pack a lunch and any snacks that you might want while hiking. Please have layers available, as well as rain gear.
Physical Requirements: This course will take place in the field. We will hike inside Glacier National Park along the Apgar Lookout trail, a trail that is approximately 3.6 miles each way with an elevation gain of under 2,000ft.