Island Park Bears & Trash - Kabino

Island Park Bears & Trash

Be Bear Aware!


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Seeing a bear is a memorable experience, but your safety and the survival of bears greatly depends on your actions. Serious injuries caused by bears are rare, but the potential for conflict always exists. Keep in mind that to the animals, Island Park is part of Yellowstone! You’ll find bears, bison, elk, and other wild animals roaming Island Park.

Bears can be anywhere. Assume their presence. Avoiding a conflict is easier than dealing with one.

  • Always keep a safe distance from wildlife. Never intentionally get close to a bear.
  • Stay alert and look for bear activity, especially where visibility or hearing is limited (woods, bushy areas, streams).
  • Travel in a group. Groups of people are usually noisier and less likely to surprise bears.
  • Make noise by talking or clapping, especially when visibility or hearing are limited.
  • Carry bear spray in an accessible place and know how to use it.
  • Avoid traveling at night, dawn, or dusk.
  • Avoid carcass sites and evidence of carcasses (such as groups of scavenger birds).
  • Anyone moving quickly (i.e. mountain biker, trail runner) is at a higher risk of surprising a bear.
  • Remove any food scraps and garbage from fire pits.

Keep food and other attractants away from bears.

  • Never feed wildlife, especially bears. Bears that become food conditioned lose their natural foraging behavior and pose a threat to human safety.
  • Bears are curious and food driven.
  • Feeding bears puts people and bears at risk.
  • Securing food and garbage means keeping it in an approved bear resistant container (locked car, bear box, bear resistant garbage can, etc.) See for list of approved products.

Be prepared to handle a bear encounter.

  • During an encounter with a bear:
    • Never run away. You cannot outrun a bear. Running may trigger a bear to chase.
    • Never approach a bear.
  • In any bear encounter, your behavior matters. Bears respond to your actions. Both grizzly bears and black bears pose a risk. The bear’s behavior should determine your response. Different situations call for different responses.
  • Carry bear spray in an accessible place and know how to use it.
  • Watch videos, practice with an inert can of bear spray (does not contain red pepper, capsaicin or capsaicinoids which allows you to practice firing without the risk to yourself or others), and get comfortable on how to use it before you ever NEED to use it! Remember to recycle the bear spray can when you’re done.

Be safe if you’re bringing a pet.

  • Pet food is a bear attractant and should be stored accordingly.
  • Food and food containers must never be left unattended and must be kept out of reach of wildlife.
  • Keep your pet on a leash at all times.
  • A dog off leash may chase and harass the bear causing the bear to get angry and chase the dog.
  • When dogs get scared they may run to their owner, and now the bear is coming towards you.

Bison have injured more people in Yellowstone than any other animal.

  • Bison are unpredictable and can run three times faster than humans. Always stay at least 25 yards (23 m) away from bison.
  • Give bison space when they are near a campsite, trail, boardwalk, parking lot, or in a developed area. If need be, turn around and go the other way to avoid interacting with a wild animal in close proximity.
  • Approaching bison threatens them, and they may respond by bluff charging, head bobbing, pawing, bellowing, or snorting. These are warning signs that you are too close and that a charge is imminent.
  • Do not stand your ground. Immediately walk or run away from the animal. Spray bear spray as you are moving away if the animal follows you.

Elk are especially fierce and protective around their calves in the spring.

  • Around Mammoth Hot Springs, they often hide calves near cars or buildings. Be cautious when exiting buildings or approaching blind corners. In the fall, bull elk battle for access to cows and challenge other males during the rut. They also charge cars and people who get too close.
  • Always stay at least 25 yards (23 m) away from elk.
  • In an elk charges, get away! Retreat to shelter in a building or vehicle or behind a tall, sturdy barrier as quickly as possible.

Please Take Time to Watch These Videos

Proper Trash Disposal

What is the trash pickup schedule?

  • Most homes have at least one bear-proof trash can. A few homes use private or community dumpsters. Specifics for your rental will be outlined in your access and departure instruction emails.
  • Most homes have the schedule below
    • Summer: Monday and Friday
    • Other Seasons: Friday
    • *Weather and holiday dependent.
    • *Pickup day may be pushed back, especially in winter where road closures, snow, narrower roads, blocked driveways, etc severely affect the trash company.

How do I keep bears and other wild animals from making a mess?

  • Bag all of it. Absolutely no loose trash.
  • Properly secure the trash can lid.
  • Some cans you have to stick your finger inside the hole and push the lever to the side to open it. Some you just use the exterior clip.
  • Remove any food scraps and garbage from fire pits.
  • Pick up any trash that may have blown into your yard.

What should I do (and NOT do) to help ensure my trash will be picked up?

  • Do not take the trash can to the end of the driveway (especially important in winter when this will obstruct the snow plow). Leave it where it is.
  • Do not block the can in with your vehicles. Move the can out of the way if necessary, but still leave it accessible to service provider.
  • Leave enough room on the side of the driveway for the service provider to drag the can down and back on pickup days.
  • If you block the can or don’t make room for them to get to it, how can the trash company pickup your trash?? Simple. They cannot. Which means your trash won’t be picked up and you will need to dispose of it off-site.

What if the trash cans were full/partially full when I arrived?

  • Does Kabino guarantee trash pickup immediately before/during my stay?
    • No, as we’ve hired a trash company, it’s on a schedule, and may be affected by holidays and weather/road conditions etc.
  • What if the previous guest used all the room in the trash can(s)?
    • Unfortunately this will happen from time to time. Pickup is certain days only. Our reservation calendar does not affect this.
  • If the can is full, regardless of the reason it’s full, YOU are responsible for disposing of your trash properly and off-site if necessary.
    • Most homes in the area do NOT offer guests trash service at all, or they charge you for it. We’ve done our best to provide you with a service at no additional cost to you. Unfortunately this isn’t a perfect world or system… but man do we come close!

My trash was not picked up as scheduled. Now what?

  • Will trash always be picked up on time?
    • Normally, yes. However sometimes pickups are delayed.
  • Is it a holiday? Is there snow on the ground?
    • These are the two main reasons trash pickup is delayed. Normally delays only last a day or two.
  • Since trash wasn’t able to be picked up when it was scheduled to be, what do I do with my excess trash?
    • You’ll need take it to the landfill. Please look at their hours/closures ahead of time and plan accordingly.

Can I leave my partially eaten/unused food in the fridge or cupboards for the housekeeper to enjoy?

  • No, but that was nice of you to think of her! If you really want to bless her, a cash tip is appreciated. That always makes her day and puts a smile on her face!
  • Bag and throw away all food/trash from inside and outside the home. This includes the fridge/freezer, cupboards, yard, etc.

What do I do if not all of my trash fits in the provided can(s)?

  • Can I leave just a few bags in the house, on the ground next to the can, or in the garage?
    • No. Any excess trash that doesn’t properly fit in the exterior garbage can(s) with lid securely closed, must be taken with you upon departure. This is to prevent attracting mice and other wild animals from making a mess.
  • What happens if I leave food/trash at the home when I depart?
    • You will be charged $55/bag for us to dispose of it for you. No exceptions. Do we want to charge you? No we don’t, but alas we will have to pay someone to make a special trip to pick up your garbage and take it to the landfill, hence the fee.

Where do I take my excess trash?

PLAN AHEAD! You can drop off excess garbage at the landfill at the intersection of Yale Kilgore Rd and Hwy 20 (Elk Creek). Click the following map for directions.

3970 Yale Kilgore, Island Park, ID 83433
Usually open from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Closed Sundays and Mondays.
Summer and Winter schedule may differ.
Info given as a courtesy. May be outdated. Call them directly for current schedule, or visit their website here.


There are other landfills outside of Island Park to the north and the south. A simple Google search will help you find the one in the direction you’re going. (St Anthony is the next closest to the South)

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