Have You Ever Seen A Famous Yellowstone “Bear Jam” ?
Yellowstone National Park is officially open for the tourist season, though some of the roads are still not passable due to snow.
The animals are out and about, including baby Bison, and of course, the famous Yellowstone Bears.
One of our favorite Wyoming biologists/photographers Jessica Hadley recently shared a video of a "Bear Jam".
What's a "Bear Jam"?
A Yellowstone "Bear Jam" is what happens when a Bear is seen close to, or on the roads of Yellowstone. Tourists immediately pull over, and often get out and set up cameras or video equipment. The result is a traffic jam that is sometimes miles long...all caused by a Bear.
If you've traveled through Yellowstone National Park you know that there are many roadways that don't have a lot of room to pull over, and you can imagine how a "Bear Jam" creates some pretty dangerous conditions for people AND the Bears.
Park Rangers try and be present at "Bear Jams" to ensure that everyone is safe, but with over 3,400 square miles to cover they can't always be there.
Here's a look at the "Bear Jam" that Hadley shared on her TikTok account, and stick around afterward to read some tips from the experts at Yellowstone for what to do if you're in a "Bear Jam".
@takethewildroad Photographing a bear jam #grandteton #grizzlybear #parkranger #mountains #wyomingcheck #wildlifeoftiktok #fypwildlife #thisismysong #beforeandafter ♬ Wildest Dreams - Duomo
Here's an up-close look at the Bear that caused this particular "Bear Jam".
You can follow this link for a look at the full list of tips and tricks from Yellowstone for what to do if you're caught in a "Bear Jam". But below are a few of the ones we thought were the most important.
- Do not stop in the road or block traffic.
Use pullouts to watch bears and let other cars pass. When you park, make sure your car is entirely out of the lane of travel.
- Stay in your car.
Some of the best views and photos of bears come from the safety of a car.
- Honk your horn and drive away.
Do this if a bear approaches your car to discourage the bear from continuing this behavior.
- Do not approach bears, or follow them when they leave.
The animals in Yellowstone are wild and unpredictable, no matter how calm they appear to be. Always stay at least 100 yards (91 m) away from bears.