Family in Montana Encounters a Grizzly on a Steep Mountainside. See What Happens Next.

Grizzly bear
© Scott E Read/

Written by Angie Menjivar

Updated: October 19, 2023

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The Highline Trail in Montana is an incredibly scenic hiking trail that attracts a variety of outdoor enthusiasts who don’t shy away from the challenges it presents. It’s a 14.9-mile trail and, on average, takes about seven hours to complete. Many people visit to hike, backpack, and camp in the area.

One Family’s Adventure on the Highline Trail

The family in the video was excited to take in the spectacular Montana views on a narrow trail with a sheer cliff edge. In their minds, it was just going to be a short stroll. The first image you see in the video is a shot of said short stroll. It’s quite an adventurous walk. There’s a green rope that people can hold on to—but that’s it. One misstep and that’s your last walk.

Watch This Dangerous Close Encounter!

Danger on a cliffside on the Highline Trail in Montana.

The family had to separate at one point because three of them didn’t have the appropriate shoes. Left behind were the dad and his boys. He intended to capture some photos. The backdrop was stunning, and he was able to get a few great shots. They stopped again for one last photo.


The Highline Trail in Montana passes through grizzly territory.


When the Family Encounters the Grizzly

Just as the dad and sons turn to head back onto the trail and get to their car where the rest of their family is waiting, he spots a grizzly on the same, narrow trail. He shows a photo of the grizzly—gorgeous backdrop as he said—but a grizzly is not an animal you want to encounter, especially on such a dangerous trail.

The father and sons got louder and started moving away, keeping their calm. The bear was a bit hesitant but slowly moved toward them. The family kept being loud and the bear decided to turn around and head back the way it came.

Grizzly bear on cliff

If a bear approaches you, it’s important to look as large as possible and act and sound intimidating.

©Dennis W Donohue/

Realizing he was in a slightly better position, the dad picked up his camera and started recording. “Problem is, this is a blind corner!” he says as he films over to the ledge where the bear went. His hands are shaking, making the footage shaky.

“Your mom is not going to believe this!” he says to the boys.

They eventually spot the grizzly again away from the trail. He keeps recording as it makes its way down the mountainside.

Luckily for this family, the encounter was brief and there were no injuries. Now it’s become a great story with video evidence to share.

Other Amazing Animal Videos You Might Like

While this family was lucky that the grizzly they encountered kept its distance from them after they made a lot of noise to scare it off, in other situations a bear might not get the message straight away and could start running toward a person to attack.

At least that’s what happened to a park ranger in Yellowstone National Park! The interaction with the bear was caught on tape, and in the next video you can see a grizzly suddenly charge directly at the ranger to the surprise of onlookers. The ranger is able to take a shot to startle the bear and stop it in its tracks and it retreats into the woods as the ranger fires off a few warning shots, then uses bear bangers to send a loud and clear message to the bear to keep away. Check out all the action in the video below!

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About the Author

Angie Menjivar is a writer at A-Z-Animals primarily covering pets, wildlife, and the human spirit. She has 14 years of experience, holds a Bachelor's degree in psychology, and continues her studies into human behavior, working as a copywriter in the mental health space. She resides in North Carolina, where she's fallen in love with thunderstorms and uses them as an excuse to get extra cuddles from her three cats.

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