January 23, 2018

My Run-In with a Cow Moose on the Hike to Grinnell Lake, Glacier National Park, Montana, USA

On our recent hike to Grinnell Lake in Glacier National Park, we had a run-in with a cow moose and her calf that reminded us that moose can be dangerous, especially when they have babies!

We had just started out on our hike from Lake Josephine to Grinnell Lake.  I was in front, and my husband was behind me with our baby on his back.  All of a sudden, we could hear what sounded like people running toward us from behind.

We both spun around to see a calf moose running as fast as possible toward us.  The hikers behind us must have spooked them.  The baby hit the brakes upon turning the corner and seeing us from about ten yards away.

The calf clearly panicked upon seeing us and took a sharp right hand turn into the creek that was running alongside the trail.

The cow moose (momma!) was not far behind!  She came right behind her calf, hitting the brakes, and stopping on the trail.  She stared us down, and we both cautiously put our hands on our bear spray.

She began to charge at us, and then also took a hard right turn into the creek to follow her calf.

It all happened so fast, I didn’t really have time to be afraid.  I fear moose less than bears, but never underestimate the power of a moose.  Their hooves can stomp on you, and a cow moose with her calf is particularly dangerous.

Nursing calf moose

Nursing calf moose

Her calf quickly disappeared into the brush across the stream.  The cow moose crossed the stream, then began to eat on the other side.  Once her baby calf decided that it was safe, the baby reappeared, nursed for a moment, then followed their mother down the stream.

It took me this long to get my camera out and catch some video.

We were so fortunate to have this experience, and see a moose this close.  Any chance to see an animal in the wild is special.  I hope you get to see a moose while visiting Glacier National Park in Montana.

Warmest Wishes from Big Sky Country,

Alex M. Neill

Montana Vacation Blog


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