Big Bend National Park is a popular winter snowbird location along the Rio Grande River in Texas, but authorities have been forced to close the popular Lost Mine Trail area due to increased bear activity, reports National Parks Traveler.
The closure includes the trail, trailhead, parking area and north facing slope of Casa Grande Peak. Alternative areas for hiking and camping in the Chisos Mountains and throughout the park remain open to the public for normal use.
The Chisos Mountain range is home to a healthy black bear population, and this year’s rains have resulted in abundant pine and oak nut production. Bears must feed heavily during the fall months and depend upon these vital food sources to prepare for their winter denning period.
“During this period of heightened bear activity, we want to ensure the safety of both park visitors and the bears,” said Superintendent Bob Krumenaker. “This is a wildlife sanctuary, so we’ll give bears the space they need until they’re finished feeding in this area. We appreciate the understanding and cooperation of park visitors, despite the inconvenience.”