Being outdoors means being amongst wildlife. Most people never encounter a bear while recreating outdoors, but if you do, here’s some simple advice:

  • Remain calm.
  • Group together and pick up small children/pets.
  • Continue to face the bear and back away slowly, talking calmly to identify yourself as a human.
  • If the bear continues to approach, try to scare it away by making yourself as large and imposing as possible by stretching your arms overhead and making loud noises.
  • Carry and know how to use bear spray, which is available at many outdoor retailers and can be used to deter a charging bear.

Hiking in Bear Country

  • Do not feed bears or other wildlife.
  • Visit or call the local Forest Service office to learn about special requirements or guidelines for the area.
  • Let someone know where you are going and when you plan to return.
  • Read all signs at trailheads.
  • Stay alert. Do not wear headphones and cautiously approach any blind corners in the trail.
  • Carry bear spray such that it is easily accessible.  Know how to use it.
  • Hike as a group, keep children with you and dogs leashed.
  • Make plenty of noise.
  • For extended trips, keep food and other attractants in personal use sized bear-resistant containers.
  • If you see a bear, maintain a safe distance and alter your route to avoid the bear. Never block a bear’s travel route.
  • If you see a cub alone, don’t approach. Momma bear could be nearby.