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David R

Close Bear Encounter

I hiked Mt. Wilson from Little Santa Anita one of my favorite front range hikes on Sunday. The trail was buzzing between the TH and Orchard Camp as the runners are getting primed for the annual run at the end of May. It was all that much surprising to come face to face with a mother and her cub right before I got to Decker Springs. I was so focused on pace that all I heard was a crash in the brush and saw Mom's butt five feet from my face and little one scampering up a tree. The brush was really thick so no pics were available. I had never seen evidence of bears in Little Santa Anita and it was pretty cool to see them there.

The other odd encounter was a snake that slipped off the side of the hillside almost on my foot. He had a lizard in his mouth who was trying to get away. The fall on the trail and me leaping back distracted the snake and said lizard split. Snake make a couple of sinuous movements hissed at me kind of pissed and then also split. I was concerned that it was a rattler which caused my hasty movement  but it looked like a standard garter snake.

Finally while we're on the conversation of wildlife does Mt. Wilson have the biggest ass squirrels around or what?
blueshammer

I also saw a black bear about 3 years ago on the same trail, roughly 20 minutes up from Orchard Camp. Similar circumstances: heard a crashing sound in front me, saw a big furry ass on the trail, then watched that big furry ass (connected to a bear's body) scamper down the side of the slope. The whole encounter lasted 5 seconds.
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