“A most tremendous-looking animal…”

So wrote Meriwether Lewis of a grizzly he encountered in May 1805 during the Corps of Discovery's exploration of the West.

If you've ever seen a bear in the wild, you likely remember exactly where and when you saw it. Were you excited? Nervous? Awe-struck? Maybe you felt a little of all those things.

America's national parks provide an important refuge for three species of bears. Explore this website to learn about bears, the work we do to protect them, and guidelines for staying safe around them.

Features

Brown bear at the edge of a waterfall pawing at jumping salmon.

Katmai Webcams

Watch bears gather to fish for salmon at Brooks Falls.

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Brown bear approaching a hiker

Staying Safe around Bears

Discover some tips for staying safe if you encounter a bear in a park.

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Cinnamon-colored black bear walking down a grassy trail

Conservation Projects

Learn about the conservation efforts supported by the National Park Foundation through the Disneynature "Bears" film.

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Large black bear walking in grass

Where Are the Bears?

Nearly a third of all national parks have bears. Discover which types of bears live in different parks.

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Black bear standing at the edge of a river

Types of Bears

Three species of bears live in North America: black bears, brown bears (which includes grizzlies), and polar bears.

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