Hikers Encounter Two Big Grizzly Bears In Canadian National Park

Bears katmai

Hiking is a great form of outdoor exercise, and hiking with two massive grizzly bears following closely behind you is a sure way to get that heart rate up.

A group of hikers at Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada were stunned to see that two grizzlies decided to join in on their hiking group. The two behemoths closely followed along as the tour guide continued to try and keep the group calm and slowly moving away from the bears.

Phoebe Nicholson, the guide that could very well be credited with saving every hikers life that day, told the Canadian Broadcast Company (CBC) about the close encounter in an interview:

“We were going on a hike around Consolation Lake and one of my guests noticed some rustling in the trees and then shouted out that they had spotted two big grizzly bears coming out of the bush. It seemed like it was one mom and one cub.

Internally, I was quite nervous, but I also felt prepared. They were following us for a good 15 to 20 minutes and they ranged between 10 and 20 meters (32 to 65 feet) nearly the entire time.”

The hiking trail that the group was walking along is one of the more frequently visited of Banff National Park. Usually the presence of people and foot traffic would scare bears away from interacting, but these two were apparently curious enough to try and hang behind the hikers.

Nicholson explains that were a couple of really tense moments when the younger bear briefly ran that the group:

“The baby one did do a few quick runs, which may have just been what we call a ‘bluff charge.’ But from my training and everything, I knew that was a normal thing and the best thing to do is, of course, to stay calm.”

Not sure how you can stay calm in a situation like that, but clearly cooler heads prevailed that day. Nicholson was an absolute pro’s pro handling the bears and the group at the same time, though she said after the fact that she was pretty nervous about it all as well:

“Knowledge wise, I knew exactly what I should be doing, but it is different to put it into action. We got to the Consolation Lake and we all just kind of watched in awe, getting our breath back from what had just happened, which was pretty intense.

And then I gave them a lot more information on bears and about bear spray as well and how you should actually use it and carry it around in the National Park if you are ever hiking. It was definitely a good learning process for everybody.”

Luckily the bears never mounted an attack on the group, and they all now have one of the best hiking stories you could ever tell. They all obviously have Phoebe Nicholson to thank, because without her direction, who knows what the headline of this article could have been instead…

Take a look at the news story about the encounter below:

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock