Hiker Surprises Grizzly Bear, Gets Attacked at Francs Peak In Wyoming

by Amy Myers

While hiking Francs Peak near Meeteetse, Wyoming, an experienced adventurer came in contact with a grizzly bear. Unfortunately, with no time to react to the situation, the hiker suffered substantial injuries from the attack.

The encounter occurred on Monday afternoon as the unnamed hiker explored the popular attraction. Francs Peak is a 13,154-foot mountain that doesn’t require any extra equipment but is still a tough trek for beginners. It’s unclear where along the route the hiker ran into the bear. However, according to the report from the Wyoming Game & Fish Department, he did not see the animal coming and had no time to defend himself before it was too late.

“The investigation is ongoing, and Game and Fish personnel and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are gathering further details today,” the department shared. “Based on the initial investigation, this appears to be a surprise encounter between the individual and a grizzly bear. The man, an experienced out-of-state recreationist, was hiking at high elevation when he encountered the bear at close range. The encounter happened too suddenly for him to deploy the bear spray he was carrying.”

Following the attack, rescue teams transported the man via helicopter to a nearby hospital in Billings, Montana where he continues to receive treatment. It’s unclear whether the hiker reached out for help or if there was another person nearby that was able to call for rescue. The WGFD didn’t reveal the extent of his injuries. However, officials did extend their well wishes to the hiker.

“We wish the individual a full and speedy recovery,” said Cody Regional Wildlife Supervisor Corey Class.

Wyoming Game & Fish Department Plans ‘No Management Action’ for Grizzly Bear

With the investigation still underway, the WGFD doesn’t plan on taking any actions against the bear involved in the attack. It’s not clear whether the department knows the current location of the bear.

“Based on the information gathered during the initial investigation, Game and Fish plans no management action at this time,” the press release stated. “Game and Fish will continue to monitor bear activity in the area and will make management decisions in the best interest of public safety.”

As officials continue to gather information about the incident, they will continue to advocate for the safety of both hikers and wild animals within the state. The Cody Region game and fish staff have yet to report any other hiker-bear incidents this season. The last attack that the area experienced was in October 2021. At the time, a hunter ran into a grizzly bear and sustained non-life-threatening injuries.

According to local climbers, grizzly bear sightings aren’t rare. It’s even become common practice to carry bear spray while exploring Francs Peak.