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Geiger Lake trail reopens

| September 12, 2005 12:00 AM

The Upper Geiger Lake and Fourth of July trails will officially open again starting Friday, Sept. 9, after being closed due to a grizzly bear encounter Aug. 26.

U.S. Forest Service trail crew supervisor Jon Jeresek said aerial surveillance of the upper Geiger basin indicated the grizzly sow and sub-adult offspring involved in the incident have moved on. The sow charged a trio of hikers, including Forest Service wilderness ranger Charlie Clough, but there were no injuries and the bears quickly ran off.

Jeresek said Kootenai National Forest Supervisor Bob Castaneda, who closed the trails, will sign a document Friday to formally re-open them. An advisory at the main Geiger Lakes trailhead will remind hikers and equestrians of the recent bear activity.

Jeresek said bears are being drawn to berry patches at the 5,000-foot elevation. He urged those using trails anywhere in the Kootenai to hike in groups, make noise, and obey standard "bear aware" policies.