Solo Yellowstone hiker came face-to-face with grizzlies before bear attack, park says

A hiker was walking alone on a trail when he came face-to-face with two grizzlies, Yellowstone National Park officials said.

One of the bears “made contact” with the hiker and significantly injured his legs, officials said.

At the time, the 39-year-old hiker was about a mile and a half into his hike on Beaver Ponds Trail at Mammoth Hot Springs, park officials said.

Even with his injuries, the man hiked back to the trailhead to get help. Park officials then took him to a nearby hospital by ambulance.

Officials shut down the trail until further notice, the National Park Service said.

“Bear management staff are sweeping the trail to ensure no other hikers are on the trail,” officials said in a news release.

The incident was the first time this year that a bear injured someone within Yellowstone, officials said. The last time that happened was in June 2020 when a woman was knocked to the ground.

Bears can be found all over the park, and hundreds of grizzlies roam the greater Yellowstone area, according to the National Park Service.

Tourists should stay at least 100 yards away from bears at all times at Yellowstone, and hikers should carry bear spray with them.

“All of Yellowstone is bear habitat—from the deepest backcountry to the boardwalks around Old Faithful,” park officials said. “Prepare for bear encounters no matter where you go.”

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