Wildlife biologists established bear management areas in locations where there is a high density of elk and bison carcasses and lots of bear activity. To reduce encounters between bears and humans, the park restricts certain activities in these areas. Restrictions may include area closures, trail closures, a minimum group size of four or more people, day use only, or no off-trail travel. View map and area descriptions below.
Bear Management Areas
A. Firehole: Closed March 10 through the Friday of Memorial Day weekend. Area includes Firehole Freight Road and Firehole Lake Drive.
A1. Mary Mountain Trail: Closed March 10 through June 15. Closure extends from the Nez Perce trailhead to Mary Lake. Through travel from the Canyon trailhead is not allowed. However, travel is permitted between the Canyon trailhead and Mary Lake. Streamside use is allowed from the point where Nez Perce Creek crosses the main road to a point one mile upstream along Nez Perce Creek.
B. Richard’s Pond: Closed March 10 through the Friday of Memorial Day weekend. From the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend through September 30, Duck Creek, from the park boundary upstream to the Campanula Creek/Richard’s Creek fork, is open to streamside travel. The area upstream from Campanula Creek/Richard’s Creek fork is closed from March 10 through September 30.
C. Gneiss Creek: Closed March 10 through June 30. From July 1 through November 10, travel is allowed only on designated trails: off-trail travel is prohibited.
D. Gallatin: From May 1 through November 10, travel is allowed only on designated trails: off-trail travel is prohibited. A minimum group size of four or more is recommended for hiking and camping.
E. Blacktail: Closed March 10 through June 30.
F. Washburn: Closed August 1 through November 10. From March 10 through July 31, the area is open by special permit only: contact the Tower Ranger Station for more information.
G. Antelope: Closed March 10 through November 10. The Dunraven Road and related turnouts are open. From May 25 through November 10, foot travel is allowed on the old Road Trail from Tower Campground to the Buffalo Picnic Area.
H. Mirror Plateau: From May 15 through November 10, the area is open to day use only except for overnight camping between July 1 and August 14 (for a combined total of 14 nights per summer at the 301 and 5P7 campsites).
I. Pelican Valley: Closed April 1 through July 3. From July 4 through November 10 the area is open to day use only between the hours of 9 a.m. and 7 p.m.
J1. Clear Creek: From April 1 through August 10, travel is only allowed on the east shore from Nine-mile Trailhead to Park Point. All other trails are closed and off-trail travel is prohibited. Campsite 5H1 is open (no travel from site). On August 11, all the campsites are open and off-trail travel is permitted.
J2: From April 1 through July 14, travel is only allowed on the east shore trail from Park Point to Beaverdam Creek. All other trails are closed and off-trail travel is prohibited. Open campsites are 5E2, 5E3, 5E4, and 5E6 (no travel away from campsite). All other campsites are closed. On July 15, all campsites open and off-trail travel is permitted.
K. Lake Spawn: From May 15 through July 14, no off-trail travel allowed and the trail between Cabin Creek and Outlet Creek is closed. Open campsites are 7L5, 7L6, 7L8, 7L7, 7M3, 7M4, 7M5, 6A3, 6A4 and 6B1 (no travel away from campsite). Only July 15 all campsites open and off-trail travel is permitted.
L. Two Ocean: From March 10 through July 14 and August 22 through November 10, travel is allowed only on designated trails (off-trail travel is prohibited). From July 15 through August 21, a permit is required for persons wishing to travel away from designated trails. Contact the South Entrance Ranger Station for more information.
M. Riddle/Solution: Closed April 30 through July 14.
N. Grant Village: The Grant Campground will not open prior to June 20, actual opening dates may vary annually. If bears are still frequenting the spawning streams after opening, the campground loops adjacent to the streams will remain closed until bear activity ceases. Campground opening and closure dates are determined annually and can also be located in the park newspaper.
O. Heart Lake: Closed April 1 through June 30.