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bschmalz

Anyone seen a bear while hiking in the Angeles Forest?

I live in Altadena and I read about reports of bears coming down into our neighborhood but I've never heard about a story of people seeing them on the trail. I figured we'd see them much more often since you see them in the Sierra all the time.
HikeUp

5 years ago in Icehouse Cyn. I met this guy on the trail - maybe 25 feet away. By the time I got the camera out he was pretty far away...
bschmalz

Wow! Very cool. Thanks!
Sean

Below is the text of an email I wrote after my first (and so far only) bear encounter in the local mountains last June:

Quote:
I had my first bear encounter yesterday. Hiking down the South Hawkins fire road above Crystal Lake, I turned a corner and noticed a large adult black bear slowly moving up the road toward me. I stopped in my tracks, trying to stay calm and think. The bear was about fifty feet away and getting closer. I made some noise by kicking rocks until it looked up and stopped. We stared at each other for awhile in a sort of stand-off, neither one of us willing to change course. I really had no place to go. To the left was an unappealing downhill drop, and to the right was a steep wall of rock. I decided I should get my knife out of my pack, just in case it got ugly. After I did that, I took a couple steps forward and managed to coax the bear into changing course. It chose to bolt straight up the wall of rocks, quickly leaving the fire road in an amazing display of agility. The bear perched upon a little ledge above the road and watched me pass by. With my cell phone I snapped a hasty picture. Then the bear moved further up the mountain out of sight.

I have the best luck with wildlife encounters in the mountains above Crystal Lake. I think it has something to do with all the wind, which prevents them from hearing my approach.


snizzarf

My girlfriend and I hiked up to Mt. Wilson from Devore Trail Camp last year. It was on a weekday, so we were alone and it was pretty quiet. I heard a loud rustling noise that I had never really heard before so we stopped and listened...then we saw it - a brown bear maybe 50 feet away scrambling up the opposite slope like it was nothing. First one I had seen in 20 years of off and on hiking in the San Gabriels.
mattmaxon

I personally have seen more bear in the San gabriel Mtns than any other place.

I do spend a great  deal of time in the mountains here and less in other areas so I cannot really say if there are more or less here.

But there are lots of bears in the san gabriel mountains
VermillionPearlGirl

I've never actually seen a bear. But I've seen bear tracks in snow in Icehouse. Bear tracks in mud by Mount Lowe (this was the day they opened this section after the Station fire, so I think they had been roaming free and happy for a while). And we got decidedly growled at by a bear we didn't see on the trail from Crystal Lake to Windy Gap. He was behind an enormous boulder. But it sure sounded like bear Smile

Never actually seen one though!
phstudio

I saw one last spring on a rainy day. It was middle sized bear in the last place I would expect to find one. Just past the first check dam on the lower Winter Creek Trail from Robert's Camp. He was standing right on the trail as I rounded the corner. As I was yelling at it, the bear looked more amused than frightened of me. I stood my ground and he finally moseyed on to steeper ground. This was one of the few times I didn't have my phone with me, so no picture. Sad

Here is a waypoint of my sighting: http://caltopo.com/map?id=310V

I've seen plenty of poop and prints but this was my only live sighting in the San Gabes.
Uncle Rico

Sweet pics/footage Sean and HikeUp. No bear for me in the Angeles, but I did catch a glimpse of one dropping into the bush from the road out to Monte Arido in the Los Padres a few years back.
JDB22

Bears & Pics

These are some cool insights to areas people have seen bears. I've got a couple experiences to share on the subject. The best encounter was on a hike to Monrovia Falls. My friend & I had never hiked this trail. We had gotten about 40 minutes in to the hike & we heard some loud rustling of leaves on the slope above us. We slowed & spotted a bear coming down the slope towards the creek. You can see the trail to the bottom right



As we halted & tried to walk back around the bend in the trail to safely view this encounter, we were spotted...



After a pause the bear kept on down the slope, across the trail and down about 15 more feet to the creek. That is when we discovered there was a cub following the whole time!



Now we both knew not to mess around in any way, took a few more steps back. Both bears drank from the creek, but the Mother kept a heard up as a look out.



The whole experience lasted for a good 3 or 4 minutes from the time they came down the slope. They were in no hurry once satisfied of water & took a fair amount of time picking their way up the other side of the creek.

Another experience was one of a backpacking group member, not 2 minutes after we had walked ahead of him. After leaving Islip Saddle for Little Jimmy, just as you hike up & tuck into the wooded section after the initial switchbacks, he spotted a bear up slope from the trail moved uphill. The bear walked w/o noticing the others hikers, never to be seen again that weekend.

Large bobcat once as well on the Windy Gap trail from Crystal Lake, within the first mile or so. I feel if the that basin hadn't burned it could be one of the most animal populated areas we could have in the Gabriels.
PackerGreg

Big Santa Anita Canyon above Sierra Madre...


At the old San Antonio Hiking Club cabin, Winter Creek



At Adams' Pack Station

shreddy

MMMMMM Goats....

Packer Greg --- second video.

Those goats looks like yummy morsels. Do you think those bears were looking at them as lunch / dinner?
Breabonnie

Yes, I too have seen Bears in Monrovia

Once as I was walking in the neighborhood just outside the Monrovia Canyon Park, I saw a guy with a fancy camera snapping photos of something down below where the water from the falls finally makes its end point out of the park.  There was a Bear (just like the photos show here) bathing in the water below.  I was rather surprised at how far out of the forest it came for a bath!

Then when I was by myself a couple years ago hiking the other trail at Monrovia that heads past the Boy Scout camp and then onto a foot path I saw a heard a bear when I got to the top section after the steep trail climb levels out more -you are rather isolated on the way up when you reach this section of shade heading to Deer Park where the ruins are.  I think I spooked the bear as I heard it before I saw it.  It went running across the trail about 40 feet in front of me and then on down the hill.  I continued hiking up to my destination and then back and never saw it again.

From what others say, these bears are thankfully afraid of people and don't seem to desire to approach.  I hope it stays that way.
Hayduke

A few years ago I saw a little girl tree a decent-sized bear at the Chilao picnic area. The bear was wandering through and the girl's parents were trying to get a photo of her and the bear so they kept moving her closer to it. Finally, the bear had enough of this and climbed up a big ponderosa pine.

This was around 1pm, and the poor guy was still up there hours later. He found a couple of comfortable branches and I think he decided to take a nap and wait everyone out.
Leslie L

I know someone who lives in Altadena above Loma Alta and has recently captured images of mountain lions and bears on motion cam on his driveway.

I have one bear encounter in the San Gabs:  About 8 years ago a friend and I were hiking around Mt. Williamson on a stormy day and lost the trail in the snow.  We continued cross country (sorta lost) and started hearing a vague but strange noise through the rustling of the trees – like a huff/moan/grunt.  I couldn’t identify it at first because I’d never heard a sound like this before.  It was like something out of horror movie – hearing a noise that makes your hair stand on end, not knowing what it was or where it was coming from.  Then we came upon fresh bear tracks.  Ok, now we know what we’re dealing with, so we decided to turn around and head back in the direction we came.  But the noise just got louder and louder.  So we stopped to get our bearings, look around, and figure out what to do next.  We talked about what to do if we were attacked and armed ourselves with rocks, pepper spray and a knife.  Just then we heard a branch snap and a cub ran past us at about 25 feet away, up an embankment like it was nothing. A few seconds later, a second cub.  At this point we realized that we’d been hiking between the mother and her cubs and she was either calling them or threatening us – or both.  And now the 3 bears were between us and our car.  But we wanted out of the forest and so she continued to warn us as we passed by.  We never saw her but her methods of intimidation were very effective. The hike back wasn't too far but seemed like hours, looking over our shoulders the entire time.  It was one of the most terrifying and exciting experiences of my life and definitely a hiking highlight.  But I hiked with a giant canister of bear spray for about a year after that.
fortified

Question. I get a bit nervous hiking by myself after sunset, especially the last couple of times when I was on the Sam Merrill trail on the back side, between sunset ridge, and inspiration point. Is it dumb, or brave ?
I make a lot of noise, and keep my ski pole pointed out away from my neck just in case....lions.
Also, Griffith Park. I know, its not the san gabriels. But if you ever go there after closing, you will ALWAYS see many coyotes and deer. They also have a mountain lion, named P-22, that was captured, and re-released with a tracking device.
But as for the hiking alone at night....in the San Gabriels, what do you think?
mattmaxon

fortified wrote:
But as for the hiking alone at night....in the San Gabriels, what do you think?


The only creatures the worry me... have two legs
Sean

fortified wrote:
Question. I get a bit nervous hiking by myself after sunset, especially the last couple of times when I was on the Sam Merrill trail on the back side, between sunset ridge, and inspiration point. Is it dumb, or brave?

It's neither. What it should be is fun. There is an average of less than one mountain lion attack per year in California. Carry a knife or pepper spray in your pocket or hand. Use a light. Don't sit or crouch for very long. Act like the confident human alphabeast that you should be. And don't freak out when you hear movement in the brush. It's most likely a bird or small critter scurrying around.

You won't hear the lion until he's jumping on your back.
Uncle Rico

Sean wrote:
You won't hear the lion until he's jumping on your back.


That's comforting to know Sean. LOL.
outwhere

Quote:
That's comforting to know Sean. LOL.


I'm still mentally scarred/scared from my childhood experience in a heavily forested area of northern Minnesota when something that looked a lot like a hedgehog bolted out of some bushes or ground cover and almost ran across my foot  Shocked  Shocked  Mad  Mad

And I won't even go into my freak-mode ways and phobia of snakes near a trail  Rolling Eyes  Razz   I'd barrel over my own grandma if she was in the way when a rattlesnake made some noise from a trail side bush.  

Sorry 'bout that grandma, we'll get your broken arm and concussion look at right away...
Sean

outwhere wrote:
And I won't even go into my freak-mode ways and phobia of snakes near a trail...


I'm more concerned about rattlesnakes than lions. I've had close encounters with rattlers. I stopped to watch a coyote in Chino Hills State Park. When I decided it was time to leave, I looked down and there was a friggin rattlesnake with three rattles moving right beside my foot. You really got to be careful if you stand in place or sit down.
tracker

fortified wrote:

You won't hear the lion until he's jumping on your back.

No doubt. The fact that a lion is alive is indisputable proof that they can sneak up and jump on a deer's back.
Laughing Good thing we have short necks and we stink.
fortified

Sean, as for the lions attack before you know they are there. That's why when I was up over the back side near inspiration, I kept my ski pole pointed out away from my neck.....and walked loud.....and talked to myself out loud..
That is also why most of my night runs are the Griffith Park mountains. Their is one lion (p-22) and he is very well fed on the deer.
forty years ago, a bear, or lion sighting would be big news. Now it is common. And news alert everyone...
THEIR ARE NO COYOTES LIVING IN THE MOUNTAINS.
They are all in the city eating our pets. I have heard the sound of a coyote snatching my cats two times. That was when I lived in Pasadena, about 2 1/2 miles from the mountains
Taco

I've seen a bunch.
Hikin_Jim

Saw one at Henninger Flats 2 weeks ago.

HJ
outwhere

Hikin_Jim wrote:
Saw one at Henninger Flats 2 weeks ago.

HJ


Of course you did - he was waiting for you to whip up an omelette  Razz  Wink



Wow, this board has a great search feature... just typed in 'omelette', and wah-lah!  Razz
mangus7175

Sean wrote:


I'm more concerned about rattlesnakes than lions. I've had close encounters with rattlers. I stopped to watch a coyote in Chino Hills State Park. When I decided it was time to leave, I looked down and there was a friggin rattlesnake with three rattles moving right beside my foot. You really got to be careful if you stand in place or sit down.


This past weekend I was day hiking around Stough Canyon with my 7 year old daughter and we came across a juvenile rattler in the middle of the trail nearing the youth camp junction.  My first time ever seeing a rattler...pretty cool Laughing. However, since seeing that, I told my little girl to not walk in front of me Shocked
Hikin_Jim

Actually, I think I did do an omelette that day at Henninger.



HJ
Rudy Rodriguez

I 've seen bears twice: in camp hoegee just off of Santa Anita canyon. once I heard my small pile of pots clanging on the site's table. A bear had grabbed my nalgene bottle and then he dropped it halfway up the campground's slope side. I flashed my light at him and got my bottle, while he went up the slope. It was cool I felt lucky to see him. And another time in camp hoegee I was laying on the table there and was staring straight up at the trees above. I turned my heard and suddenly saw a bear walking about 30 feet away. I didn't get up because I didn't want to startle him. He then suddenly noticed me. And casually he continued past my spot down to the river bed and stopped for a few minutes mid river to eat some leaves and forage. He was cool, I was cool. Again I felt lucky and honored. It may've been the same bear both times...
Teejate

I've seen two in addition to this abandoned cub. Tough scene because he looked a bit malnourished and all I wanted to do was feed him. The little guy was like a dog. If I only had a leash...

Might have been a good conversation starter on the evening walk.  Smile

(Apologies for the large photo size).





ur2slo

yep   Shocked

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