A family of Grizzly bears in Yellowstone

Yellowstone Grizzly bear mom and cubs - © Christopher Martin-8002
This mother Grizzly bear brought her cubs down to this sage brush meadow on the Swan Lake Flat above Mammoth Hot Springs several times in the four days that I was in Yellowstone National Park.  Two of those walkabouts coincided with me being in the area so I was able to watch them for a couple of hours in total.  These photographs are from the first encounter in the evening on May 20th.

Yellowstone Grizzly bear mom and cubs - © Christopher Martin-7922

The twins were playful.  Carefree knowing their mother was watchful of the crowds that invariably developed along the Grand Loop Road as well as for any Grizzly males who might cross their path.

Yellowstone Grizzly bear mom and cubs - © Christopher Martin-8030

The mother had a lot of character in her face, with a bit of a bend in her snout and lighter colouring in the fur in the outer disc.

Yellowstone Grizzly bear mom and cubs - © Christopher Martin-8108

Both cubs tackled each other, bared their teeth and tried on attacks and defences back and forth.

Yellowstone Grizzly bear mom and cubs - © Christopher Martin-8045

For the most part, momma didn’t mind but when they drifted too far away a huff from her would send them scrambling back to her side.  She was hungry and spent her time digging up roots but did play with them a little bit.

Yellowstone Grizzly bear mom and cubs - © Christopher Martin-8154

Occasionally, the little bears would stop and watch the people watching them.  I wondered what they made of all of us hugging the edge of the road, lined up facing them.

Yellowstone Grizzly bear mom and cubs - © Christopher Martin-8214

Yellowstone Grizzly bear mom and cubs - © Christopher Martin-8173

Yellowstone Grizzly bear mom and cubs - © Christopher Martin-8126

I watched the trio for an hour that evening.  With the shadows lengthening, they moved slowly away from the road into the rolling hills eventually melting into the plateau.  Before then, I took the opportunity to frame them in their surroundings.

Yellowstone Grizzly bear mom and cubs - © Christopher Martin-8249

Yellowstone Grizzly bear mom and cubs - © Christopher Martin-8258-2


21 responses

  1. Lovely

    December 23, 2016 at 11:45 am

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  3. Beautiful photo story! Wonderful

    June 30, 2016 at 4:52 pm

  4. Beautiful! I love the ones of the two cubs together. That last photo is spectacular!

    June 28, 2016 at 12:27 pm

  5. Love your photographs! So vibrant and beautiful!!

    June 28, 2016 at 9:12 am

  6. So lovely! I would run to my death just to hug them! But I know they wont like that, so I’m pretty happy just to see the photos

    June 27, 2016 at 8:57 am

  7. Wonderful!

    June 27, 2016 at 5:20 am

  8. I love seeing the three of them in their natural setting-the cubs are so cute, trying to imagine them at full size with those markings. i have a very healthy respect for bears, especially grizzleys. Great images.

    June 26, 2016 at 9:10 pm

  9. love

    June 26, 2016 at 1:12 am

  10. you’re amazing! i ove bear!!!

    June 26, 2016 at 1:11 am

  11. help me please for promoting tanjung puting national park

    June 26, 2016 at 12:57 am

  12. Fabulous, Christopher! The cubs are adorable but mama… what lens did you shoot with? You certainly capitalized on such a lucky sighting.

    June 25, 2016 at 10:29 pm

  13. smackedpentax

    Superb photoset – and great subjects too 🙂

    June 25, 2016 at 4:04 pm

  14. My mind spins, imagining the changes your images unveil. Co-existing with grizzlies. I had no idea. How awesome. Thank you greatly for sharing.

    June 25, 2016 at 1:41 pm

  15. Utterly fantastic shots, Chris. Grizzlies represent my top designated marker of wilderness areas. I always appreciate any opportunity to see them in the wild- especially a mom with cubs. Thanks for sharing!

    June 25, 2016 at 12:48 pm

  16. thegirlthatdreamsawake

    OH wow! Such amazing little family ! 🙂

    June 25, 2016 at 12:43 pm

  17. Pingback: A family of Grizzly bears in Yellowstone — Christopher Martin Photography | things I've read or intend to

  18. Wonderful story and photography.

    June 25, 2016 at 12:37 pm

  19. This is a beautiful event. Thank you.

    June 25, 2016 at 12:35 pm

  20. Beautiful photo story. Brave too. How close were you to those grizzleys?

    June 25, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    • Hi Nancy – at the closest about 125 yards so I had to use my longest lens to zoom them in. Have a great day!

      June 25, 2016 at 12:36 pm

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