The Running Bear Pancake House came together when a couple of school teachers from California decided that they needed something to do during the summertime. Their family had visited West Yellowstone a few times and had fallen in love with the area. Then in 1964 or around then and they built the Running Bear Pancake House. Eventually, they built some living quarters in the back of the property. The Thompson's opened the pancake house was opened in 1966. They sold the place after finding a black bear in their storage shed. It had gotten itself trapped. When the storage shed was opened the bear took off running, which is where the name Running Bear Pancake House comes from. Now the place has been in the Burden's family for over 30 years.