Bear on trail! Like literally on the trail. On our way back about a mile or so from the trailhead (a little before the junction with the Emmons Moraine trail) we came around the corner and saw a bear cub a little ways down the trail on the side. We stopped and looked and sure enough momma bear was close by. We waited. More people showed up. It was a bear traffic jam. We waited some more. Yelled, banged sticks. Nothing phased the bears. Then they started walking down the trail toward us so we all made a slow retreat. Waited some more. Finally three people backtracked a ways to do some bushwacking to get past the bears and continue along their journey home. That ended up spooking the cub who proceeded to make a dash up the trail toward everybody so we all made another quick retreat further up the trail. Momma bear followed afterwards at a leisurely pace but at the switchback, she didn't follow the cub up the creek but instead turned and continued up the trail toward us. That's when the remaining six of us made the decision to follow the previous group's bushwacking trip down to the trail and away from the bear. So yeah, we all have a great bear story to tell. As for the trail, patchy snow starts about 2 miles in and then is consistent all the way to the basin. Boot trail is easy enough to follow but in the heat the snow is very slushy. We used micro spiked and still slid around a lot. Poles were helpful as well. Bluebird conditions and a bear sighting - a great day to be at the park!