Bear & Cougar Safety Tips for Running & Mountain Biking

Mountain Biking

The Mt Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest is home to bears, cougars and a variety of other wildlife species. Mountain biking in bear and cougar country carries additional risk that you need to be aware of. Travelling at high speed increases the risk of a surprise encounter with wildlife. This can cause an animal to attack if it feels threatened. In addition, the movement can trigger a predatory response in bears and cougars. The following are safety tips for mountain biking in bear and cougar country.

  • Ride with a partner or in a group – More people means more noise to avoid surprise encounters, a larger number of people is less likely to be attacked, and groups give you the ability to provide assistance to each other if needed.
  • Carry bear spray in a readily accessible holster or harness and understand how to use it.
  • Stay aware of your surroundings and be alert for signs of wildlife or food sources (Berries, meadows, etc) that can attract wildlife.
  • Make noise as you ride to avoid surprise encounters, and slow down when visibility is limited along the trail such as at sharp corners and in brushy areas.
  • Avoid riding at night or in low light conditions (dusk or dawn) when bears and cougars may be more active and when visibility is limited.

To report emergency dangerous wildlife complaints, dial 911.
For non-emergency non-emergency dangerous wildlife complaints, call 877-933-9847.
Visit the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (https://wdfw.wa.gov/species-habitats/species) and Western Wildlife Outreach (http://westernwildlife.org/) for more natural history and safety information on bears, cougars, and other wildlife.

Trail Running

The Mt Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest is home to bears, cougars and a variety of other wildlife species. Trail running in bear and cougar country carries additional risks to be aware of. Running increases the risk of a surprise encounter with wildlife and can also trigger a predatory response in bears and cougars. The following are safety tips for trail running in bear and cougar country.

  • Run with a partner or in a group in cougar country - Avoid running alone!
  • Carry bear spray in a readily accessible holster or harness and understand how to use it.
  • Stay aware of your surroundings and be alert for signs of wildlife or food sources (Berries, meadows, etc) that can attract wildlife.
  • Avoid running with headphones or ear buds that can block out sounds around you.
  • Make noise as you run along trails, especially where conditions make it hard to hear or see.
  • Avoid running in low-light conditions (Night, dusk or dawn) when bears and cougars may be more active.

To report emergency dangerous wildlife complaints, dial 911.
For non-emergency non-emergency dangerous wildlife complaints, call 877-933-9847.
Visit the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (https://wdfw.wa.gov/species-habitats/species) and Western Wildlife Outreach (http://westernwildlife.org/) for more natural history and safety information on bears, cougars, and other wildlife.





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