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Unexpected hiking partners | by calanan
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Unexpected hiking partners

Photo © (c) 2004 Michael Calanan. All Rights Reserved.


This photo is licensed All Rights Reserved. If you wish to use/publish it contact Michael Calanan / Calanan Photography, LLC /


Grizzlies on the Swiftcurrent Pass Trail

Glacier National Park



We came across these gorgeous beasts on the way back to the trailhead from Swiftcurrent Pass. Another group of hikers were backtracking after seeing the pair, they were in retreat to warn other hikers heading back to the trailhead. We decided to pair up to make a larger team and slowly advance, making plenty of noise as we walked.


We rounded a bend and they came into view. I was both terrified and awestruck. We stopped then slowly walked backwards, facing them as we did and making even more noise...then it came over me. Safety was no longer my concern, I threw caution to the wind and advanced towards them, shooting as I eye in the viewfinder the other trained on them. They were the epitome of power; It was difficult to regain any sense of self-protection and stop shooting but I finally did.


Eventually (in seconds that seemed like minutes) I came to my senses and rejoined the hiking team. As the bears approached us they turned off-trail, headed into the brush and began to wrestle. What a sight! I tried taking more photos but the brush was too thick for my camera to get a focus. This was the best shot of the lot.


It was an amazing experience that I'll never forget.

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Taken on July 5, 2004