• Sierra del Carmen

    Big Bend

    National Park Texas

Bears in the Backcountry

In order for the bear population to thrive, and to keep humans safe, it is vital that visitors do their part to prevent negative encounters between bears and humans.

Bears that eat human food easily become dependent on it. Once bears begin associating humans with food, they seek out humans and their food and become aggressive. Because of the danger represented by an aggressive bear in the park, it may have to be killed. By following the regulations, you can help protect the remarkable Big Bend bears.

Visiting Bear Country

In the Chisos Basin Campground and parking areas:

• Store all food, trash, toiletries, and other scented items in a hard-sided vehicle or in a bear-proof storage locker, night and day.

• Never leave food in the bed of a pickup. Lock it in the cab with the windows up and doors locked.

• Never leave food, food boxes, or coolers out and unattended, even for a few minutes.

In the Chisos Lodge, cabins, or motel accommodations:

  • Bring all food from cars & trucks into your room
  • Never leave food, food boxes, packages, or coolers on porches or balconies.

In the Chisos backcountry:

• When hiking, never leave packs or food unattended.

• Store all food, trash, toiletry items, and cooking gear in the bear-proof storage box at your campsite.

• Prepare food away from sleeping areas, and clean up food scraps.

• Never take food inside your tent.

• Pick up all trash from the campsite and pack it out.

In backcountry roadside campsites and other campgrounds:

• Store all food, trash, and toiletry items in a hard-sided vehicle.

• Keep a clean campsite and pack out all trash.

Never feed a bear or let a bear get any of your food. Keep the Bears of Big Bend wild and safe!

If You See A Bear

• Remain calm.

• Keep a safe distance (100 yards or more).

• If it approaches you, scare it away by shouting or throwing stones or sticks toward it.

• Report bear sightings to a ranger.

Did You Know?


The largest spider found in Big Bend National Park is the Tarantula. Males are often seen crossing the roads in late summer or early fall searching for a mate. More...