Grizzly Bear at Yellowstone National Park

Bear Jam: You’re Walking Way Too Close to a Bear

We were on the road between Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton when we saw the bear jam.  We figured it was a bear jam, at least I did.  But, it could have been buffalo, elk, or moose.  Buffalo had caused a major traffic jam earlier in the day when they insisted on taking their good ole’ time to cross the road.  Regardless of what was causing the jam, when we saw cars and trucks pulled over and people gawking at something on the side of the road, we knew we’d stop and take a look for ourselves.  We pulled up on the side of the road opposite the crowd.  David grabbed the camera and hurried over to the other side of the street. He was focused on the people behind the pick up truck and thought that’s where the animal was.

That’s when the ranger said,

“You’re walking waayy too close to a bear.” 

With surprise, my husband looked to the side and sure enough about 30 feet away from him was a bear grazing on some grass.  Don’t ask me what this bear was doing eating grass, I’ve never heard of that being a staple in their diets.


Grizzly Bear at Yellowstone National Park

Grizzly Bear at Yellowstone National Park



In the meantime, the girls and I had crossed over the road and stood behind the truck.  M took video and I watched David snap away pictures from a closer vantage point.  The ranger was quite accommodating of everyone’s curiosity and we think it’s because it was not officially on national park property.  He just stood there with his hands on his bear spray directing people a reasonable distance away from the bear.


ranger yellowstone

“If everybody could just move back a bit, please.”


The bear went about his business and didn’t seemed concerned about the crowd at all. (Uh-oh, bear have no fear of people = relocation or death.)

Crowd looking at bear in Yellowstone National Park

This is what the bear saw.

Depending on how old you are, you may or may not remember Yogi Bear cartoons.  That’s what this whole scene reminded me of : Yogi  and Boo Boo sneaking behind bushes watching a stream of tourists enter Jellystone and scheming how to steal their pic – a – nic baskets.


In yesterday’s post Whatever the Season, Pack a Jacket!, Buffy left a comment that said, “It’s still cold there? Whoa.”

I wanted to follow up and say “No, not today”.  It’s hot and the temperature is 81 degrees right now.  With clouds, temps in the 50’s, and wind at Yellowstone, it just felt freezing.  Back here in Kalispell, we had been having some unseasonably cool days, but it appears that summer has finally arrived. Perhaps my tomato plants will get the hint and start to take off.

So long for now, I’m going to take in the raspberry sun tea.

For more on how to identify that bear, check out our video on Youtube.

Happy Trails,

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