• A bull elk bugles in Yellowstone National Park


    National Park ID,MT,WY

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  • Craig Pass Closed for the Season; Mammoth to Norris, Expect 30-minute Delays

    The road linking West Thumb and Old Faithful is closed for the season—traffic should detour through West Thumb, Lake, and Canyon. More »

Grizzly Bears

A grizzly bear walks in front of a rocky out-cropping.

The Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and northwest Montana are the only areas south of Canada that still have large grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis) populations. Grizzly bears were federally listed in the lower 48 states as a threatened species in 1975 due to unsustainable levels of human-caused mortality, habitat loss, and significant habitat alteration. Grizzly bears may range over hundreds of square miles, and the potential for conflicts with human activities, especially when human food is present, will make the presence of a viable grizzly population a continuing challenge for its human neighbors in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Learn more…


Quick Facts about Grizzly Bears in Yellowstone

  • Approximately 150 with home ranges wholly or partially in park. As of 2011, 593 in Greater Yellowstone
  • Males weigh 200–700 pounds, females weigh 200–400 pounds; adults stand about 3.5 feet at the shoulder
  • May live 15–30 years
  • Grizzly bears are generally 11 to 2 times larger than black bears
  • Agile; can run up to 45 mph
  • Can climb trees but curved claws and weight make this difficult. Can also swim and run up and downhill
  • Considered true hibernators

Did You Know?

Fire in Yellowstone Pineland in 1988

The 1988 fires affected 793,880 acres or 36 percent of the park. Five fires burned into the park that year from adjacent public lands. The largest, the North Fork Fire, started from a discarded cigarette. It burned more than 410,000 acres.