• Rainbow over Half Dome


    National Park California

Bear Facts

July 6-July 26, 2014
updated as often as possible

Fascinating Bear Fact

Sanpete County, Utah, holds the world record for the largest black bear skull.

Bear Incidents

Location Bi-weekly total
This year
Parking lots and roadsides
0 0
Campgrounds 3 59
Other areas 2 23
Residential 4 4
Wilderness 5 27
Total 14 113

Number of incidents last year
To date: 69
Total: 120

So far this year, incidents are up 64% compared to the same time last year, but down 71% since 1998.

Activity Update

Bear activity has picked up in El Portal. Bears have been seen nightly throughout El Portal communities and multiple vehicles have been broken into. This week, bears have entered unoccupied homes that were left unsecured. If you are not home, close all windows and doors and make sure they are secure. Please fix doors and windows that are not able to latch properly. This action can protect you, your property, and help save a bear’s life.

Recently, bears have caused significant damage to property and caused numerous incidents in wilderness areas, particularly along the John Muir Trail near Little Yosemite Valley. Never leave packs unattended with food items inside, even if they are in a canister. If you plan on leaving your pack, even for a short time, pull out your canister and place it away from packs.

Bears continue to be an active presence in campgrounds throughout the park including campgrounds along the Tioga Road. Please be aware that bears can enter campsites at any time of day, so be sure to always keep food within arm’s reach and never leave food unattended.

Slow Down!

This year, 13 bears have been hit by vehicles! (Sixteen bears were hit by cars last year.) Three bears were hit recently on the Wawona Road near Wawona and another was hit near Crane Flat. Please protect wildlife by obeying speed limits and paying attention while driving.

Let us know if you see a bear, no matter where it is or what it's doing. Call 209/372-0322 or send an email.

Learn more about bear biology and bear management in Yosemite.

Other Wildlife Sightings

Mountain lions continue to be reported around El Portal and a few have been seen after dark in Yosemite Valley. For more information on mountain lions in Yosemite National Park, please visit http://www.nps.gov/yose/naturescience/mountainlion.htm.

Note: A bear incident occurs when a bear causes a monetary loss to a person--that is, if the bear causes property damage or obtains food. Bear incidents also include cases of bears causing injury to a person (which are fairly uncommon).

Did You Know?

Sierra Sweet Bay

In Wawona and downstream, the South Fork Merced River provides habitat for a rare plant, the Sierra sweet bay (Myrica hartwegii). This special status shrub is found in only five Sierra Nevada counties. In Yosemite, it occurs exclusively on sand bars and river banks along the South Fork Merced River downstream from Wawona and on Big Creek.