Glacier National Park 2017 Trip Reports
Trip Report ~ Bear & Wildlife Sightings ~ by Bill Hamblin
18 August thru 13 September 2017 - Glacier National Park
~ August 2017 ~
Glacier National Park Trip Report
Friday - August 18th
I took an easy trip thru Yellowstone in the early afternoon and spent the evening at Tom Miner. This trip I camped at Tom Miner Campground on August 18th, the rest of my trip I was camping in Glacier National Park at Two Medicine Campground August 19th thru August 23rd, St. Mary's Campground August 24th, Many Glacier August 25th thru September 2nd, outside of Glacier Park on September 3rd and 4th at Paul and Jackie's place on Duck Lake, and September 5th thru September 12th back at Many Glacier Campground. 82 degrees for a high today. The major field for the grizzlies did not have cows grazing in it and the grass was really high. Often I had up to eight grizzlies in sight, but could only see a few at one time. I did also have a cow and calf moose and a yearling cow moose tonight. I had a total of nine grizzlies including a grizzly and one cub of the year and seven individual grizzlies at Tom Miner. All of the grizzlies came into the fields and were not concerned with being close to the other grizzlies.
Saturday - August 19th
44 degrees this morning at first light. I had five individual grizzlies and what appeared to be the two sub adult grizzlies that were so visible as yearlings last year at Tom Miner before I left for Glacier. I got to the Two Medicine area and spent the evening glassing at Looking Glass on Highway 49. From 3:30 p.m. thru 5:00 p.m. I watched a medium sized grizzly eating berries. Almost all the of the grizzlies I viewed in Glacier this year were eating berries, whether at Looking Glass, the Going to the Sun Road between St. Mary's and Rising Sun Campgrounds, or at Many Glacier. At 5:05 p.m. I spotted a small black bear far north at Looking Glass. And at 5:30 p.m. I watched a grizzly with a stripe all around its body, much like a lot of the grizzlies in Yellowstone that have a "Yellowstone Stripe". We had at least six moose today at Looking Glass, two medium sized bulls, one small bull and a cow and calf.
Sunday - August 20th
52 degrees this morning warming up to 73 degrees. At least six moose were seen today at Looking Glass. A lot of there were on cover for them to disappear, so Ralph and I counted moose until around 7:00 a.m. and figured the other sightings were probably ones we had seen earlier in the morning. At 4:30 p.m. we had a blond grizzly at Looking Glass briefly. At 5:30 p.m. we saw a large black bear at Looking Glass. And at 6:00 p.m. we had a medium black bear at Looking Glass.
Monday - August 21st
46 degrees this morning warming up to 82 degrees. At least seven moose this morning including cows and bulls and one calf. We had a few blacktail deer today. Interesting in that at Many Glacier we had only whitetailed and mule deer. At 6:15 a.m. we had a grizzly on the "road ridge" (a long open ridge that is mostly clear of trees to the north that has an old road running the top of the ridge) at Looking Glass. At 6:20 a.m. we had a black bear also on the road ridge, this black bear was in and out of sight most of the day. We ended up with at least five other black bears all around Looking Glass during the day, most early and late sightings.
Tuesday - August 22nd
46 degrees this morning warming up to a warm 83 degrees. I found a skunk on the road this morning. I also had elk, a cotton tailed rabbit and three moose at Looking Glass. I did make a early morning trip to Many Glacier this morning finding a large and medium bull moose at Fishercap Lake. At 6:45 a.m. I spotted a black bear north at Sheep Curve across the road from Many Glacier Hotel. At 7:05 a.m. we had a grizzly was eating berries on Grinnell Point. At 7:30 a.m. we watched a small grizzly eating berries low on Mt. Wilber. At 9:30 a.m. we had another lighter grizzly on the west end of Grinnell Point eating berries but mainly traveling to the east. Back at Looking Glass for the evening viewing we had three separate black bears, one was large with white front feet, looking like it was wearing white socks. At 5:00 p.m. a limping grizzly was on the road ridge (Ralph had viewed him a day before I came to Glacier). At 5:20 p.m. a grizzly was in view way to the west in Looking Glass. At 6:05 p.m. we had a grizzly was out high on the road ridge in Looking Glass. At 6:15 p.m. a grizzly with a stripe around it was in view at Looking Glass. We finally agreed that this was a second grizzly with a stripe of silver hair all around it.
Wednesday - August 23rd
47 degrees this morning warming up to 83 degrees. At least six different moose at Looking Glass this morning including one large bull. We had three separate black bears in view during the day at Looking Glass. At 6:35 a.m. we watched a grizzly with a light stripe was out for hours this morning on the road ridge. At 6:25 a.m. the limping grizzly was out north of the road ridge in an area named Beehive (a large area to the north with islands of trees and good cover, but dominated by open areas). At 7:15 p.m. our last sighting for the day was a large grizzly south and west in Looking Glass was out for a few minutes.
Thursday - August 24th
64 degrees and windy this morning. Ralph and I counted ten moose before 7:00 a.m. this morning at Looking Glass. At 6:45 a.m. we had a dark grizzly to the west at Looking Glass. At 7:15 a.m. we watched a grizzly on Beehive west at Looking Glass, it was out again at 9:00 a.m. At 7:30 a.m. I spotted a grizzly with a stripe on a southern ridge at Looking Glass. At 8:45 a.m. we had a grizzly on Beehive at Looking Glass down below the earlier grizzly sighting. At 8:55 a.m. another grizzly was on Beehive, so we had two grizzlies in sight now. We also had three separate black bears at Looking Glass this morning. At 6:45 p.m. a black bear was out at Sheep Curve at Many Glacier. At 7:45 p.m. a black bear was near Rising Sun. At 8:00 p.m. a grizzly with one cub of the year was in a field near Two Dog Flats on the Going to the Sun Road.
Friday - August 25th
50 degrees this morning warming up to 70 degrees. Fires on the east side of the park were bringing smoke to the west side of the park for the last few days. The viewing at Two Medicine area (Looking Glass) and the Many Glacier area remained pretty clear most of the time. However, the Going to the Sun Road had smoke most of the day, getting worst towards evening. At 7:45 a.m. we spotted a black bear north and west of the Hotel Entrance Road. At 8:30 a.m. we had a black bear on Sheep Curve north and east of the Hotel Entrance Road. At 8:55 a.m. we watched a black bear high south of Windy Creek. At 9:10 a.m. a black bear was spotted high north of Windy Creek. From 6:00 p.m. thru 7:00 p.m. we watched a sow and yearling grizzly low on Mt. Wilber. At 7:40 p.m. Bruce P found what we think was a grizzly sow with two large cubs (lighting was poor and it’s the only time during the trip we watched these three grizzlies).
Saturday - August 26th
47 degrees this morning warming up to 73 degrees. At 6:20 a.m. Ralph N. found a grizzly in a clearing near Two Dog Flats on the Going to the Sun Road (brief sighting). At 9:30 a.m. we had a small grizzly eating berries on Bullhead Point. At 10:15 a.m. I was walking towards Fishercap Lake, and just at the start of the trail and before the first bridge, a blond grizzly was sitting in a berry brush eating berries. Good viewing as it ate berries for about ten minutes before rising, crossing the trail and heading north this side of the creek. A light grizzly, not too tall with a large belly that looked in great shape. At 8:15 p.m. we had a black bear on Sheep Curve (for the next few days we had a medium and a large black bear eating berries at Sheep Curve). At 8:30 p.m. we watched a collared grizzly fifty yards off the south side of the road at Windy Creek.
Sunday - August 27th
47 degrees this morning warming up to a very warm 83 degrees. I had a cow moose at Fishercap Lake today. At 7:00 a.m. we had a black bear on the northwest end of Sheep Curve. At 9:35 a.m. two sub adult grizzlies playing in the first snow patch on Mt. Wilber were in view. They played in the snow until 10:00 a.m. And from 10:00 a.m. thru 11:30 a.m. they remained in good view eating berries on Mt. Wilber.
Monday - August 28th
We had a bull moose was in Fishercap Lake today. 49 degrees warming up to a very warm 83 degrees. At 6:50 a.m. I spotted a black bear sleeping on the hillside at Sheep Curve. At 9:10 a.m. we spotted a small grizzly in a small clearing just outside the park entrance at Many Glacier. Gabriel and his dad Daniel said they had seen the same grizzly in the same clearing earlier in the morning. At 12:25 p.m. we had a second larger black bear eating berries on Sheep Curve. At 5:00 p.m. we watched a grizzly sow and one yearling on Grinnell Point. We watched the sow for about thirty minutes until she went to sleep on a large rock. Then out of nowhere the yearling cub appeared and got mom up and quickly moved out of sight. They came out again to the west about 7:30 p.m. and were moving farther west. (The cub was about two-thirds the size of the sow). At 7:40 p.m. I found two grizzlies just to the left of the first snow patch on Mt. Wilber. Bruce P. just arrived and I told him where to look. He hollered that he had two grizzlies on the left side of the snow patch and two grizzlies on the right side of the snow patch. The two grizzlies on the left side moved on to the snow patch and were two sub adult grizzlies playing on the snow. The two smaller grizzlies to the right went out of sight for a minute then reappeared back to the right of the snow patch as three grizzlies, one large and two small. The two sub adults moved off the snow and we guessed that the sow with the two cubs of the year was the reason. Now for almost thirty minutes the two cubs of the year played and wrestled on the snow patch. Later the sow and two cubs of the year moved below the snow patch as the light faded. Sometimes sightings are like that, one in the morning and seven grizzlies in the last hour and a half.
Tuesday - August 29th
51 degrees warming up to a hot 88 degrees. I had a cow and calf moose cross the road on the straightaway west of Windy Creek. We had a large bull moose blocking the trail to Fishercap Lake this morning. We had some smoke in the Many Glacier area today. At 7:00 a.m. we had a light colored grizzly on Grinnell Point, and it was out again at 9:00 a.m. At 7:00 a blond black bear sow and one black cub was on Grinnell Point. At 7:35 a.m. we spotted a large black bear on Sheep Curve. At 7:50 a.m. a large cinnamon black bear was just off the road near the Many Glacier Entrance Station. At 9:05 p.m. we had a black bear running on the road pass the first campsite at Many Glacier.
Wednesday - August 30th
50 degrees with a lot of smoke today, warming up to 86 degrees. I had a coyote on the beach of Lake Sherburne and a cow moose in Fishercap Lake today. At 7:00 a.m. we had the blond black bear sow with one black cub on Grinnell Point, they were out again at 7:00 p.m. this evening. At 7:20 a.m. the grizzly with the two cubs of the year was seen low on Mt. Wilber (terrible viewing thru the smoke). At 9:40 a.m. we had a black bear south and west of the Many Glacier Hotel. At 8:00 p.m. our last sighting was a black bear that was in view on Grinnell Point.
Thursday - August 31st
69 degrees warming up to 76 degrees. I hiked to Red Rock Lake today with Kim and Betsy R and Paul and Jackie H., about 3.2 miles round trip. A cow and calf moose were in the Red Rock Lake today. At 10:00 a.m. we had a large black bear in view on Sheep Curve, and it was out again at 11:30 a.m.
~ September 2017 ~
Friday - September 1st
57 degrees this morning warming up to a warm 79 degrees. I viewed a cow moose roadside near Windy Creek, a cow and calf moose at Fishercap Lake this morning, a cow moose at Fishercap Lake this evening, two whitetail does with a fawn apiece later in the day, 25 big horn ewes and lambs above the Swiftcurrent Inn, an American Dipper and a northern goshawk today. At 7:00 a.m. I spotted a grizzly sow with two cubs of the year high on Mt. Wilber as they feed over the hill going west towards Bullhead Lake. They were out again at 8:00 p.m. tonight in about the same place on Mt. Wilber. At 8:00 a.m. we had a black bear was in view at Sheep Curve.
Saturday - September 2nd
61 degrees this morning warming up to a warm 83 degrees and the smoke moved in the afternoon. There have been eagles, mainly golden eagles on the shoreline of Lake Sherburne during my entire trip. They are letting a lot of water out of the dam and I assume the eagles are looking for things as the water level drops. One cow moose was in Fishercap Lake this morning. From 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. we had a large grizzly high on Mt. Wilber, he was in view about half of the time.
Sunday - September 3rd
53 degrees this morning warming up to a hot 86 degrees. The smoke came in again late this morning. At 7:00 a.m. a large grizzly was in view high on Mt. Wilber until it moved out of sight to the north. At 8:00 a.m. we had a grizzly low on Mt. Wilber, it stayed in view until about 10:00 a.m.
Monday - September 4th
51 degrees this morning warming up to a pleasant 67 degrees. I had a kingfisher flying over Fishercap Lake this evening. It looked like a lot of smoke this morning so I headed over to the Going to the Sun Road early. At 6:45 a.m. I spotted a small light faced grizzly in a clearing near Two Dog Flats. At 6:55 a.m. I found a larger grizzly in the same clearing as the white faced grizzly. Around 7:30 a.m. we found the larger grizzly on the next clearing to the west and it had a cub of the year with it. I hiked to Upper Bullhead Lake late this morning with Paul and Jackie H and Kim and Betsy R. Around noon we arrived at Upper Bullhead Lake, about 3.6 miles in. I found a rock just off the trail to sit down. The others moved about 25 yards away to some other rocks to sit and eat a snack. I decided to join them. Someone back down the trail hollered there was a grizzly on the trail. A large grizzly appeared on the trail walking by my backpack that I had left on the rock. The grizzly didn't look at either us or my backpack and proceeded to walk the trail to the west. We could see him walking away on the trail for almost five minutes. Apparently it walked by a couple within 15 feet off the trail with their lunch spread out on a few rocks. It didn't look at the couple either as it passed them still walking the trail. A lesson to be remembered, always take your backpack with you even when you are on a trail. At 3:30 p.m. I spotted a large grizzly eating berries high on Mt. Wilber. I viewed it first from Red Rock Lake, then from my favorite rock near Fishercap Lake and finally watched it from the parking lot until the light got too bad to see on Mt. Wilber as the sun got lower. From 7:15 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. the grizzly sow with two cubs of the year were digging high on Mt. Wilber. At 8:00 p.m. we were watching from the rock above Fishercap when Barb B hollered that two goats were running from a big dark grizzly. I had the only scope and the viewing was good for about a minute. The grizzly never got close to the goats, but the grizzly was running all out trying really hard to catch the goats.
Tuesday - September 5th
37 degrees this morning warming up to a very warm 86 degrees with afternoon smoke again. I viewed a bald eagle flying over Lake Sherburne today and a fox just off the road near the Many Glacier Entrance. At 8:30 a.m. we had a large dark grizzly (looked like the goat chaser from last night) was high on Mt. Wilber. At 5:30 p.m. the grizzly sow with one cub of the year was in view near Two Dog Flats.
Wednesday - September 6th
41 degrees this morning warming up to a very warm 86 degrees with a lot of smoke everywhere this morning. 10:30 a.m. the two sub adult grizzlies were high on Mt. Wilber.
Thursday - September 7th
46 degrees this morning warming up to a high of 85 degrees with smoke all day, we couldn't even see Mt. Wilber some of the time. We had two cow moose in Fishercap Lake this morning and a Columbian ground squirrel was it for today. I did not see a bear today, black or grizzly.
Friday - September 8th
47 degrees this morning warming up to 81 degrees. We had smoke all day today. At 7:30 a.m. I spotted a grizzly sow with one cub of the year near Two Dog Flats. At 8:20 a.m. we had a large black bear crossed a clearing near Two Dog Flats.
Saturday - September 9th
67 degrees this morning warming up to 76 degrees. A lot of smoke this morning clearing in the afternoon with high winds. We had a large bull moose and a medium bull moose this morning at Fishercap Lake. I hiked to Red Rock Lake this morning hoping to be able to view Mt. Wilber. The air was clear, but no bears to be seen. A cow moose was in Fishercap Lake tonight. At 7:00 p.m. the grizzly sow with two cubs of the year came into view on the top of Mt. Wilber, again eating berries. At 8:00 p.m. a large black bear walked the other side of the Lake at Fishercap.
Sunday - September 10th
61 degrees this morning warming to 77 degrees. High winds all day with smoke again in the morning but cleared in the afternoon. A cow moose was in Fishercap again today. From 8:10 a.m. to 9:50 a.m. the two sub adult grizzlies were high on Mt. Wilber. At 7:20 a.m. we had a large black bear on Grinnell Point who soon noticed a mountain goat above it. The black bear followed the goat uphill, but the goat climbed the rocks a lot better than the black bear.
Monday - September 11th
58 degrees this morning warming up to 72 degrees. High winds and smoke in the afternoon made viewing difficult. A cow moose in Fishercap Lake this morning. At 7:00 a.m. we had a large light faced, brown butt grizzly in a meadow near Two Dog Flats that remained out for forty minutes. At 9:50 a.m. the grizzly sow with two cubs of the year were spotted digging on Mt. Wilber. We had them in view for quite a while, and the grizzlies went to grazing on berries again. At 12:40 p.m. the two sub adult grizzlies were found high on the east end of Grinnell Point. At 3:00 p.m. a cinnamon black bear was on the road just inside the Many Glacier Entrance Station. At 7:10 p.m.we had a grizzly on Grinnell Point on the west end eating berries. At 7:30 p.m. Kevin B found the blond black bear with one black cub on Grinnell Point.
Tuesday - September 12th
I planned to leave early this morning, but with the good grizzly sightings yesterday I stayed another day. At 7:30 a.m. we had a grizzly on Grinnell Point that remained out for quite a while slowly eating berries and traveling to the east (same grizzly as last night on Grinnell Point). At 8:30 a.m. Barb B found the black bear cub walking thru the Rock Clearing above Fishercap. We could hear a bull moose grunting and moving around in the lake below us, and apparently he got between the blond black bear sow and the black cub. They got separated. Later in the day we saw the blond black bear sow with her nose to the ground searching for the cub. We saw her at Fishercap and in the Rock Clearing where the cub traveled thru much earlier. At 7:30 p.m. we had a grizzly high on Mt. Wilber eating berries. We did not see the blond black bear again, with or without the cub.
Wednesday - September 13th
I left just a 6:00 a.m. and had a large black bear in the road near the road construction near the dam of Lake Sherburne. It did not want to leave the road and was trying to climb a tree just off the side of the road when I passed him by.
For my entire trip of 25 days Glacier received no rain at all. However, a wet system was arriving as I left. Hopefully the smoke has gone away.
From Montana: Ralph N, Marilyn and her brother Ken, Mel and Madge, Steve and Charlotte H, Margaret L and Mel, David B and Monty. From Louisiana: Bruce P. From Kansas: Kim and Betsy R. From Virginia: Gabriel, Daniel and Mary. From Washington: Walt and Char H, Froame and Judy S. From Minnesota: Virgil and Marlene S, Kevin and Barb B, and Tom G. From Kentucky/now living in Cincinnati: Ron. From Wisconsin: Paul and Jackie H, and Jim and Karen S. From Canada: Bob and Cheryl C. From Florida: Rick and Vicky K.
Yellowstone National Park
Lamar Valley Map - Yellowstone National Park
|Yellowstone National Park Trip Reports|
|Yellowstone National Park Trip Reports|
|Yellowstone Wildlife Videos|
|Bighorn Rams||Grizzly Bear at Old Faithful|
|Bison / Buffalo at Old Faithful||Grizzly Bear near Roaring Mountain|
|Black Bear||Grizzly Sow Nursing Cubs|
|Black Wolf||Otters at Trout Lake|
|Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel||Otter at Yellowstone Lake|
|Grizzly Bear at Blacktail Ponds|
|Yellowstone Geyser and Thermal Videos|
|Beehive Geyser Eruption||Old Faithful with Bison|
|Beehive Geyser Eruption Two||Pocket Basin|
|Fan and Mortar||Roaring Mountain|
|Grand Geyser||Rocket and Grotto|
|Old Faithful One||West Thumb|
|Yellowstone Waterfall Videos|
|Cave Falls||Mesa Falls||Undine Falls|
|Gibbon Falls||Rustic Falls||Upper Falls|
|Lower Falls||Tower Fall||Wraith Falls|
|I n d e x|
|Adult Programs||Entrances||Old Faithful Live WebCam||Visitor Stats|
|Amphibians||Entrance Fees||Pets||Volcano Observatory|
|Animals||Fall Closure||Phone Numbers||Waterfalls|
|Bear Management||Fishing Fees||Ranger Led Activities||WebCams|
|Bear Sightings||Fishing Regulations||Reptiles||Wildflowers|
|Biking||Getting Here||Reunions||Winter Closing|
|Boating||Hiking||Rivers, Creeks & Streams||Winter Opening|
|Books||History||Roads||Winter Weather Reports|
|Butterflies||Junior Ranger Program||Schedule||Wolf Project|
|Camping||Lakes||Search Page||Wolf Sightings|
|Campground Maps||Location||Spring Opening||Wolverine Help|
|Challenges||Lodging||Star Talks||Yellowstone ~ the Name|
|Chat Page||Lynx Help||Trip Planner pdf||Young Scientist|
|Clinics / Medical||Mammal List||Trip Reports||Youth Conservation Corps|
|Yellowstone National Park WebCams|
|Old Faithful Live||All Old Faithful||Old Faithful Static||Old Faithful VC||North Entrance||Mt Washburn||Mammoth||YVO WebCam|
|Entrance Cities and Gateway Towns|
|Gardiner, Montana||Silver Gate, Montana||West Yellowstone, Montana||Cooke City, Montana|
|Livingston, Montana||Cody, Wyoming||Jackson Hole, Wyoming||Yellowstone National Park|
|The Great Outdoors Net||Great Outdoor Recreational Places|
|Gardiner, Montana||West Yellowstone, Montana|