We had “bearly” started backpacking when …

… four bears wandered down the trail toward us as we were heading for Tombstone campground about 8:15 Thursday morning. We were about 150 m up the trail when Gill saw a bear cub ahead, soon followed by its mum shepherding her offsprings toward us. We turned and started walking slowly down the trail to the car. About halfway back we checked behind, and were relieved that the bears were moving a little slower than we were. After dumping our packs in the car, which was parked right next to the trail, we jumped in the front seats and had only been inside a couple of minutes when momma grizzly and her three cubs arrived at the parking lot.

Grizzly 104 and cubs

After waiting for the laggard cub to catch up, she led them out of the entrance and across the highway to the far side, then facing the the on-coming traffic (there wasn’t any), like good bears should, she meandered along the side of the road for a little way before heading into the bush toward the open slopes of Pocaterra Ridge.

Bear 104

A telephoto of the family wandering down the highway.

We were told a little later by the K Country chief ecologist, who passed us on the trail, that the collared bear was probably #104. The hoards of people on the trail at the weekend had no idea what they missed!

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