Tips if you plan to be in BEAR COUNTRY!

    • Always have Pepper Spray in its holster ready for immediate use. Don't bury it in your pack.
    • Be alert where recent bear activity has been documented by park officials, Fish and Game, Forest Service, and other public service people. Some common areas where bears like to frequent are: avalanche chutes, stream beds, dense edge cover and, in late summer, berry patches.

pepper spray and bears

  • Use extreme caution when traveling on trails at night or at either end of day.
  • Be careful with food smells - never cook close to camp. Store all foods in plastic away from camp at night and when camp is unattended. We suggest at least 100 yards from camp and at least 14 feet up a tree hung 4 feet away from the trunk.
  • Watch for fresh bear sign (scat or bear tracks) on the trail or near possible campsites.
  • If possible, make plenty of noise on the trail, especially on blind curves, in dense vegetation and in areas with limited vision
  • Be conscious of the wind - bears have an excellent sense of smell. If the wind is at your back, chances are a bear will smell you and leave the area well before you reach it. If the wind is blowing in your face, your chances of an encounter greatly increase. Also, in high wind situations or along creeks and streams, a bear might not hear you coming or you might not hear it.
  • Dead animal carcass - If you come upon a dead animal carcass, immediately leave the area. Bears will often feed on a carcass for days and also stay in the area to protect their food.
  • Bear cubs - If you see a bear cub, chances are the sow is not far away. Female bears will fiercely defend their young, so it is best you leave the area and find an alternative route.
  • Keep dogs under control - dogs can lead an angry bear back to you.
  • We advise not to travel alone in bear country. Invite a friend. It is always safer to travel in groups if possible.