YELLOWSTONE IS BEAR COUNTRY
One of the biggest appeals of Yellowstone is the amount of wildlife that you will encounter. And, one of the most favorite wildlife sightings you can have is with a bear. Luckily, there are plenty of bears in Yellowstone National Park. The park is home to black bears—which may be black, brown, or cinnamon in color, and to grizzly bears.
It is recommended to stay at least 100 yards from a bear at all times. They can be dangerous when they feel threatened or stressed. Below, are tips for hiking and backpacking in bear country, and everything else you need know about bear country.
TIPS FOR HIKING IN BEAR COUNTRY
Our top tips for hiking in bear country:
- 1. Carry bear spray: every visitor center and gift shop in the park sells bear spray, and it is available for rent at Canyon Village.
- 2. Hike in a group of three or more: groups of this size are less likely to surprise a bear and cause it to react.
- 3. Make noise while you are hiking: some people carry bear bells, but you can also just talk to your hiking partners while walking. You want a bear to hear you coming, so you don’t catch it off guard.
- 4. Be aware of your surroundings: this way a bear doesn’t catch you off guard.
- 5. Avoid hiking at dusk or dawn: this is when bears are most active.
- 6. Watch for signs of a bear, like scat, markings on trees, or tracks: you may be able to tell how recently a bear was in the area, or which direction they were headed.
- 7. Don’t go off-trail: the further you stray from the trail, the more likely you will encounter a bear.