• Mother bear and three cubs gather atop a waterfall to search for fish

    Bears

Experiencing Bears in Parks

Black bear standing on a log looking for food

A black bear searches for food in Bandelier National Monument, New Mexico.

NPS photo

Bears live in more than 130 of our nation's parks. While seeing a bear can be the highlight of your trip, proper visitor behavior in bear country is necessary for the safety of both you and the bear. Bears are wild animals. Like any wild animal, they can be dangerous. Learn the proper etiquette for viewing these amazing creatures in their natural habitat and what to do if you encounter a bear during your visit. If you're picnicking or camping in the park, you can find general tips on storing food and disposing of garbage properly. Remember to always check with the parks you plan to visit for specific tips and regulations.