So you DID sneak over to the East Side! Many Glacier is one of my favorite places. Was this on a back trail? Or was this conveniently close to the side of the road? When I was there last year, many of the trials were closed due to griz activity.
Actually I was on the east side pretty much the whole trip. Just did not make it south of the Going to the Sun Rd despite plans to do otherwise. The last day I did drive the whole road over to Lake McDonald but solely for the purpose of recording with a GoPro mounted to the truck. This trip was actually a bit of a mess this time. I had an inner ear infection that wouldn't quit and spent 5 days very, very dizzy. Couldn't even walk a straight line across a parking lot. So my back woods excursions were limited. Made it hard to do all the waterfall shots I wanted to do also as I just could not safely work around the banks. It was totally crazy and a problem I never had before.
Those grizzles were in the meadows at various distances off the Many Glaciers Road so easy to shoot. Especially with the old manual focus 800/5.6, LOL!!
But I did see other bears on my few trail excursions and of course high up on the various ridges. Was even eating breakfast the one morning at Swiftcurrent and looked out the window to see a young grizzly come out of the camp area to the edge of the pavement. He proceeded to lay down and roll over to scratch his back. I watched a minute or two but no one else noticed him. So I said something to the folks next to me and that got everyone's attention. About the same time some lady came wandering across the parking lot right up to the bear. She totally freaked when he suddenly rolled backed onto all fours and took off running just a few yards from her. Comical since it turned out ok.
Very common in my experience for them to close trails in this area due to bear activity. But in my many trips there I've seen bear all over at all times or signs of them. Just how it is and I am sure there are plenty of times folks pass right by them without noticing. Of course I have been a solo hiker my whole life and move quietly in the woods always on the lookout. That was another reason though I did not hike much this trip. Every time I turned or nodded my head I got dizzy. I did not consider it safe for me to go in very far in that condition.