Bear Safety

Bear spray poster with Jeff Bridges
Help us spread the word about the importance of carrying bear spray!

All of Yellowstone is bear habitat: from the deepest backcountry to the boardwalks around Old Faithful. Prepare for bear encounters no matter where you go.

Your safety cannot be guaranteed, but you can play an active role in protecting yourself and the bears people come here to enjoy by following these guidelines:

The overwhelming majority of bear encounters do not involve conflict. There is an average of one bear attack per year in Yellowstone. In separate incidents in 2011 and 2015, three people were killed by bears inside the park. More people have died by drowning or suffering thermal burns from hot springs than aggressive bears.

If you’re involved in a conflict with a bear, regardless of how minor, contact us or report it to a park ranger as soon as possible. If cell service is available, dial 911. The lives of other people, and the bear, may depend on it.

Campers preparing dinner in the Tower Campground

Camping in Bear Country

Tips to keep bears and people safe.

Photo of hikers with bear spay

Hiking in Bear Country

Best practices for safely exploring the park.

Photo of ranger deploying bear spray.

Bear Spray

Read about this highly effective bear deterrent.

Photo of a grizzly bear and cub on a boardwalk at Old Faithful

Reacting to a Bear

How you react to a bear encounter depends on the circumstances.

Photo of a sign indicating a bear management area

Bear Management Areas

Restrictions to reduce encounters between humans and bears.

Photo of a person watching a grizzly bear from a vehicle

Roadside Bears

Learn how to protect yourself and keep bears wild while watching them from the road.


Last updated: January 24, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 168
Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190-0168


(307) 344-7381

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