Warning: Elk Calving Season, Elk Can Be Aggressive
Female (cow) elk are defensive of their newly born calves. As people approach, a cow may charge and/or rear up and lash out with her front legs. For your safety, STAY 500 FEET AWAY from elk, at all times. More »
Davison Road Maintenance begins 7/7/2014. Expect delays.
Beginning July 7, road crews will be grading sections of Davison Road between the hours of 8 am and 4:30 pm. Visitors to Gold Bluffs Beach and Fern Canyon should expect 30 minute delays.
Jedediah Smith Campground sites available by reservation, ONLY.
Due to campground maintenance needs, first-come, first-served sites are currently unavailable at Jedediah Smith Campground. Until further notice, sites are a available by reservation, ONLY. More »
American Black Bear
American Black Bear
The American black bear (), is the only bear found in California. The California brown bear (), a subspecies of the brown, or grizzly, bear became extinct in the state around 1924. Although called the "black" bear, the color of these bears may range from blond to cinnamon to brown or black; on occasion they are two-toned, being one shade above and another below, or different colors front and rear.
Bears are classified as omnivores, meaning they will consume plant and animal food, including carrion. In fact, most of a bear's diet throughout the year is plant material including grasses, berries, and acorns.
The number of black bears in Redwood National and State Parks is unknown; however, the highest densities of black bears (bears per unit area) in the state occur in northwestern California. The number of individual bears reported in the parks, by visitors and staff each year between 2000 and 2012, ranged from 76 to 164 with an average of 115 bears observed per year. What proportion of the population these observations represent is currently unknown. It is assumed, based on the number of observations reported by park staff and visitors, that the bear population here is healthy. Black bears may be seen in virtually all habitat types including forests, prairies, and near the beaches, although conifer forests and oak woodlands are their preferred habitats.
Bear management in Redwood National and State Parks centers around human food and trash management. The installation of bear-proof food storage lockers and trash and recycling receptacles in campgrounds, picnic areas, and at trailheads, has substantially reduced the number of bears acquiring human food and trash.
Learn more about Your Safety in Black Bear Country.
Did You Know?
Gray whales migrate just offshore along the California coastline as they travel from Alaska to Baja California; a 10,000-mile round trip journey. The best time to view these 45-foot marine mammals are December/January and March/April. Watch for their spouts that are shaped like a heart.