"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.

Two grizzly bears walk on a boardwalk

Staying Safe around Bears

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

grizzly bear is seen underwater looking at the webcam

Katmai Webcams

Watch bears gather to fish for salmon at Brooks Falls.


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