Old Ephraim

Old Ephraim was the last known grizzly bear in Utah. He died on August 22, 1923. This large stone monument, representing his grave, is found in the Bear River Range in Northern Utah. You can encounter bears in the mountains of Utah but they are all black bears. If there are grizzly bears in the state, they would most likely be in the north near the border of Idaho or Wyoming. There have not been any grizzly bear sightings in recent history. The story of Old Ephraim is well known in Cache Valley. Outside of that area, it is not. I thought some of you might find it interesting, especially those who have seen bears while hiking in Utah. I’ve seen a lot of bears while hiking in other states but have only seen a few here. I added this as an informational photo to the Bear River Range.

Click on the image twice to see detail of the plaque. I also posted what it says below. For more information on Old Ephraim, click Here

Upper Plaque

In Memoriam

This rugged four and one half ton native stone is symbolic of a giant grizzly bear called Old Ephraim who ranged this area for many years killing sheep, cattle, and game, and was trapped, shot, and buried near here Aug. 1923 by Frank Clark of Malad, Idaho.

Standing upright he equaled the height of this monument ( 9 ft. 11 in.) and weighed about 1100 lbs. Smithsonian Institute, Washington D.C. has his skull.

Erected by local scouts and scouters Aug. 22, 1966

Lower Plaque

Old Ephraim, Old Ephraim, your deeds were so wrong yet we build you this marker and sing you this song. To the king of the forest so mighty and tall, we salute you, Old Ephraim the king of them all. Nephi J. Bott


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lcarreau - Oct 21, 2009 3:30 pm - Voted 10/10

Wasn't aware of this

stone monument in Utah. I was just reading
where the last grizzly in Arizona was killed
in 1939 in AZ's White Mountains.

In central Arizona, black bear sightings are
reported (frequently) by hunters, and a
full-grown "running" bear crossed my path
a few weeks ago in the Prescott National

Filled with controversy, but SOME folks
think the grizzly bear will eventually
return to Utah and Arizona, even though it
will face an uphill battle with other bears
and humanity in general.

In retrospect, 'Old Ephraim' was just looking
for an easy meal, which most bears are still
looking for today.

The trick is NOT to become an easy meal. : )


mountaingazelle - Oct 21, 2009 4:52 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Wasn't aware of this

This monument is located at least ten miles round trip from a paved road. I drove as far as I could on the dirt road and then hiked the rest of the way. It’s located in the area where Old Ephraim was killed. The bear was about 4 ½ feet taller than me!

Most of the grizzly bears I’ve seen were in the Tetons. I’ve also encountered several in Idaho and Glacier NP. I think you’re going to see them if you do enough hiking in bear country. Where I live, black bears are common. It’s always a memorable, and sometimes scary, experience when you see them in the mountains.


lcarreau - Oct 21, 2009 5:42 pm - Voted 10/10

Re: Wasn't aware of this...

That's amazing, Melinda!

It must be constructed from native stone.

Thanks for sharing it with us, and gotta love
the fallen leaves lying beside it.

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