Food Storage while Climbing

Bears actively seek food left by climbers at the base of climbs. Do not leave any food, drinks, toiletries, or trash at the base of the wall. All food must be stored in an allowed bear canister or hung well up the cliff face (if you can reach food without climbing gear, so can a bear).

Each year, bears rip into numerous haul bags and packs at the base of various climbs. Every time they get food from a haul bag or backpack, they become more conditioned to human food. Help us break this cycle! Store all scented items properly at all times!

The Rules and Reasons

Never stash food unless it is properly stored: either in an allowed bear canister (available for rent at any wilderness center for $5) or hung well off the ground on vertical rock. If you can reach your food (or the rope tying it off) without climbing gear, it is not stored properly.

This includes daylight hours! If you are cragging at the base, the same rules apply: carry your food with you or rent a bear canister for $5. (Do not hang your food in a tree--it's illegal and useless.)

Remove all food, drinks, toiletries, and trash from your car. Food lockers are available at the El Capitan Picnic Area (Manure Pile) and on the south side of El Capitan Bridge. Please do not lock these shared lockers.

If protecting these animals isn’t enough to motivate you, maybe a citation will do the trick. If your food is stored improperly, you will be cited for improper food storage (fine of up to $5,000).

Last updated: January 30, 2023

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