Bear Safety

Yearling black bear
  • Do Not Feed Bears
  • Do not Store Food in Sleeping Areas
  • Secure human food, pet food, toiletries, and garbage in trunk of vehicle or bear-resistant food containers
  • Keep a Clean Camp
  • Travel in Groups
  • Do Not Feed or Approach Bears
  • Keep Kids Close and Pets Leashed
  • Make Noise
  • Carry Bear Spray
  • Never Approach or Follow Bears
  • Don’t Block a Bear’s Line of Travel
  • Use Telephoto Lens, Spotting Scope, or Binoculars to Photograph or Observe Bears
  • Maintain a Safe Distance

Bear near houses
  • Stay Calm. do not run!
  • Stand Upright and Slowly Wave Your Arms
  • Slowly Back Away from the Bear
  • Do Not Come Between and Mother and her Cubs!
  • If you are attacked, fight back aggressively!

Black bear cub in a tree
  • Black bears are very curious, intelligent, and have good memories!
  • Bears have an excellent sense of smell which can span miles. Their eyesight is similar to a human’s.
  • Do Not Feed Bears! Black bears can learn to associate people with food and easily become habituated to human food.
  • Bears who are seeking food can be attracted to non-foods that have a smell, such as toothpaste, handi-wipes, soap, some medications, cooking utensils and grills, pet food, bird seed, empty food and drink containers, candy wrappers and other garbage.
  • Never take the items listed above or food into your tent with you!
  • The safest place for your food is in the trunk of your vehicle or in bear-resistant food storage containers.
  • Keep a clean camp. Use recycling and trash bins instead of storing garbage in your campsite.
  • Keep your pets leashed, and remove their food between meals.

What if I See a Black Bear in the Campground?

  • If a bear approaches, do not run!
  • Remain calm, group together, and pick up small children.
  • Continue to face the bear and slowly back away.
  • If the bear continues to approach, try to scare it away by making loud noises, such as banging pans, whistling and yelling.
  • Make yourself as large and imposing as possible, such as by standing on a picnic bench and slowly waving your arms.
  • If a black bear attacks, fight back aggressively, using everything in your power to deter the bear, including fists, rocks, sticks, etc.
  • It is unlawful to feed wildlife, including bears!

Charging Black Bear
  • Let someone know where you are going and when you plan to return.
  • Read all signs at the trailhead and carry bear spray. Hike during daylight hours.
  • Hike in a group and keep children close at hand. Make plenty of noise.
  • Keep your pets leashed.
  • View or photograph bears from the trail or observation areas. Use binoculars, spotting scopes, or telephoto camera lens.
  • Maintain a safe distance. Remember: distance = safety.
  • If you see a bear in the distance, alter your route to avoid it.
  • If a black bear approaches you, don’t run or play dead. Never drop your pack or food.
  • Make noise, look large, slowly wave arms or jacket.
  • If the bear still does not leave, stay calm, continue facing it and slowly back away.
  • If a black bear charges or attacks, use bear spray and fight back aggressively, using everything in your power to deter the bear, including fists, rocks, sticks, etc.