Hikers warned to be on bear alert after Yellowstone park injury

trails at Mammoth hot springs
Trails at Mammoth Hot Springs are popular with hikers (Image credit: Getty Images)

Hikers in Yellowstone National Park are being warned to be "bear alert" after a man sustained significant injuries last week.

The 39-year-old male was walking on the Beaver Ponds Trail at Mammoth Hot Springs on Friday, just 1.5 miles from the trailhead that originates from the Old Gardiner Road.

The solo hiker came across what is thought to have been two grizzly bears. It's reported that one of the bears "made contact with the hiker" causing significant injuries to his lower body, although he was able to hike to reach help himself.

He was taken to hospital and the Beaver Ponds Trail was shut while bear management staff did a check of the trails. 

Safety advice around bears is to aim to stay 100 yards away from the large creatures, to carry bear spray and to know how to use it.

It is important that hikers are bear alert and can spot a bear rather than surprise it. People should look for fresh tracks and feeding sites. 

Making a noise while walking in a group, rather than hiking silently and solo is also recommended. 

Grizzlies are also most likely to be active at dawn, dusk, or at night.

The bear injury incident is the first of its kind in the park in 2021. In June last year, a grizzly knocked a woman over and left her with a scratched leg. 

Fiona Russell
Outdoor writer

Fiona Russell is a widely published adventure journalist and blogger, better known as Fiona Outdoors. She is based in Scotland and is an all-round outdoors enthusiast with favorite activities including trail running, mountain walking, mountain biking, road cycling, triathlon and skiing (both downhill and backcountry). Aside from her own adventures, Fiona's biggest aim is to inspire others to enjoy getting outside and exploring, especially through her writing. She is also rarely seen without a running skort! Find out more at Fiona Outdoors.