Annual Steep Creek closure goes into effect

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As of Friday, the non-elevated portions of the Steep Creek Trail are closed, the U.S. Forest Service announced.

The annual closure of parts of the trail located near the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center minimizes bear-human interactions, allows bears to access their natural environment and enhances the viewing experience for guests on the elevated platforms, according to the Forest Service.

Hikers and cyclists will encounter signs at trailheads alerting them to the closure when they enter the Dredge Lakes area, according to the Forest Service. The closure boundary is marked by black plastic chain and signs.

The closure, first instituted 15 years ago, has significantly improved bear viewing opportunities,

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