This bear is trying to gather information.
How to React To A Bear Encounter At A Distance
If the Bear Does Not See You
If the bear doesn't see you, keep out of sight and detour as far as possible behind and downwind of the bear.
If the Bear Sees You
If the bear sees you, retreat slowly and leave the area. If possible slowly walk upwind to let your scent reach the bear. Regardless of the distance, never approach the bear.
If The Bear Stands up on Two Legs
Some people mistakenly believe that when a bear rears up onto two legs that the bear is about to charge, that rearing up on two legs is an aggressive posture that means the bear is going to attack (people have learned this from Hollywood Movies), THIS IS NOT TRUE! When a bear stands up on two legs it is trying to gather more information about what you are and what your intentions are. Bears gather this information through a combination of scent, sight, and sound. Standing up on two legs improves the bears ability to gather sight and scent information. This is a good time to start backing away, talking to the bear in a calm voice, and letting the bear know that you are a person and that you mean no harm to the bear or its cubs.
Many people assume that standing up on two legs is a sign of aggression in bears. This is not true. Standing up on two legs is an information gathering behavior. The bear is using scent, sound, and sight to determine what you are and what your intentions are. In this situation, Don't Panic, Slowly Back Away.