• Rainbow over Half Dome


    National Park California

Bear Facts

May 25-June 7, 2014
updated as often as possible

Fascinating Bear Fact

Black bears have specifically adapted shoulders that allow them to be excellent climbers.

Bear Incidents

Location Bi-weekly total
This year
Parking lots and roadsides
0 0
Campgrounds 13 25
Other areas 8 13
Wilderness 5 5
Total 26 43

Number of incidents last year
To date: 17

So far this year, incidents are up 153% compared to the same time last year, but down 87% since 1998.

Activity Update

Bear activity has increased in the last couple of weeks, including this year's first incidents reported in the wilderness. All six incidents occurred because backpackers failed to put all their food or attractants into their bear canister or failed to secure it properly.

In Yosemite Valley, bears have been reported in campgrounds every night. Bears obtained food from campsites on multiple occasions after visitors either failed to store their food properly or because they were afraid of the bear and abandoned their food. Additionally, several backpacks were either taken or damaged after small food items were left inside. Please be sure to store all food and scented items in a secured food locker. Double check your campsite and packs for food.

Several incidents picnic areas this week when a bear discovered unattended food or was able to scare visitors from their meals. If you encounter a bear in developed area, always remain with your food and yell at the bear to encourage it to leave.

Slow Down!

This year, six bears have been hit by vehicles! (Sixteen bears were hit by cars last year.) Two different bears were hit along the Big Oak Flat Road recently. 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 were reported near Housekeeping Camp in Yosemite Valley, in El Portal near the Trailer Court, and near the Wawona Campground this week 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?

Merced River in Yosemite Valley

The Merced River was designated a National Wild and Scenic River in 1987. Eighty-one miles of river runs through Yosemite National Park, including a stretch in Yosemite Valley.