Wednesday, October 20, 2021


Have you ever encountered a bear in the wild when hiking?

It’s common to see a bear on a hike, especially if you’re in places like the Pacific Northwest, or Yellowstone, Yosemite or Glacier. Now, seeing a bear is one thing, but reacting to a bear on a trail, well, that’s a whole other story!

Have you ever seen a bear while hiking? If so, what did you do? Was it a calm, exciting experience or were you shakin’ in your boots (probably literally)?

If you have seen one, please leave a comment and tell us the story after voting. We love a good story beary much!


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4 months ago

Yes. Hiking during hunting season which turned into great bear rug. And I have observed them just pre-scouting areas summer and fall. The issue is always have in your mind what action you are going to take as defense if need be and be it swift. Always be alert and aware of your surroundings. Care a firearm or bear spray be prepared.

Roy Davis
4 months ago

I answered no because it said while hiking. I have encountered bears while RVing. I encountered a sow with two cubs while fishing and we’ve had bears in the campgrounds a couple of times. I grew up camping in the hills of of WV, TN, and PA so I was taught about camping in bear country.

Liz B
4 months ago

While camping in Yosemite High Country with my family as a teenager, I was sitting on the picnic table washing my feet in a dishpan. I put on my shoes, walked over to the bushes and threw the water — right into the face of a very surprised bear. It took off running down the trail and came face to face with my little brother as he started to exit the outhouse. Needless to say, he retreated back in the outhouse and slammed the door. He says that he memorized all of the poems written on the walls, while waiting for the bear to leave. I don’t know who was more surprised by that encounter – the bear, my little brother or me! LOL

Ron V
4 months ago
Reply to  Liz B

Oh, my belly hurts, I laughed so hard.
Great story.

Ed Thompson
4 months ago

Encountered a mama grizzly and two Cubs while hiking near Bear Lake in Seward, Alaska. Fortunately we saw them in time and were able to stop and slowly back away with no issues.

Tom H.
4 months ago

In Great Smoky Mountains N.P. , several times. Luckily not too close, and was able to keep a safe distance.

4 months ago

My Wife and I were fishing on the upper Yellowstone river a few miles outside the southeast corner of the park. She had some misgivings about us being in grizzly country and in trying to ease her fears, I told her that all of the bears were still up in the high country. We continued fishing upriver and no more that fifteen minutes later, a sow grizzly and two nearly grown cubs came barrelling down the side of the mountain toward the river and way too close for either of us. We wasted no time in backing down the river to our campsite. Now she doesn’t believe much of what I have to say about bears.

Michael Galvin
4 months ago

In our sleeping bags in the Yosemite high country, my wife and I awakened to a couple of cubs on the other side of the log that was our headboard. No one got too excited and they sauntered off in the darkness.

4 months ago

As a kid in the Black Hills, vacationing with my parents. We were just on a sight seeing pull off and a black bear just came walking around. We stayed still and let him do his thing. He went on his way and we went on ours. Even bear acted more civil 60 years ago.

John Koenig
4 months ago

When on a shore excursion in Alaska, I visited a salmon hatchery that my group had to walk about a mile to get to from where the float plane was able to land. About a half hour after my group arrived at the hatchery, bears started showing up for their lunch. My group kept at least 100 yards away from the bears but, if the bears decided that they wanted more than just salmon, they could have easily closed the distance and added a human or two to their menu.

Neal Davis
4 months ago

Never have seen a bear. Did come across bear scat several times while hiking in Alaska. Thankfully, never actually had to use our bear spray, or even see a bear while hiking.

Scott Tyner
4 months ago

I have seen a few in the last couple of weeks as my wife and I do our evening walks. We live in the Ocala National Forest in Central Florida. Black Bears are everywhere here. It is thier mating season.

4 months ago

Two times. Once on a trail to BoyScout camp north of Auke Bay, Alaska. Our friends had a dog that scared it away..and the dog came back after calling it! Thank goodness. The other was on a trail in the White Mountains, AZ. It looked at us, we looked at it and it decided we were too scary and ran off the side of the mountain.

Kurt Shoemaker Sr
4 months ago

Hiked a trail to a waterfall in Gatlinburg, TN.
On the way back to the parking lot we are coming down the trail and a bear and her
three cubs are coming up the trail. A group of people behind us were laughing and making
noise, not knowing there was a bear ahead. The bear and her cubs ran off the trail and
headed into the woods.

Jeff Craig
4 months ago

Closest we’ve come outside of a zoo was 700 or so yards away from a momma black bear and her two cubs walking across a meadow while we were driving through Yellowstone NP. Traffic came to a standstill like they’d seen a 200 foot tall Marshmallow Man.

4 months ago

I’ve encountered black bears several times while hiking on the Appalachian Trail (GA, NC, NJ) and in national forests out West, particularly the back side of the Tetons. No problems with them as I respected their space. Have had black bears (which can be brown, but aren’t grizzlies) in our campsite in VA and AK (and one in the back of our truck in AK!). Have observed grizzlies in AK but from a safe place on the trail, such as on a deck overlooking the stream where they were catching salmon.

Phil Strong
4 months ago

Our up close bear experience occurred at Brooks Lodge in Katmai National Park. First day, just after our safety briefing on the path to the falls viewing platform, we heard the sound of a bear coming up the path behind us at full speed with a fish. We ducked in to a thicket just off the path and realized this bear was stealing another’s catch. The thief passed us without notice, the pursuing bear however stopped at the site of us looked us over decided we were not a threat and continued the chase. Took a long time for us to recover from this chance encounter and the experience of staring into the eyes of a huge brown bear at a distance of no more the 20 feet.

4 months ago

My wife and I were the second hiking party to start up the Huckleberry Mountain Lookout Trail in Glacier National Park one morning. We would just about catch up with the leading party, which was a young man hiking alone, when he would take off and put some distance between us. He was about 100 yards ahead of us in an area where we could see the trail when suddenly he turned around and started running as fast as he could down the trail towards us. His backpack was flopping wildly from side to side and about 40 yards behind him was a grizzly on all fours running after him. As my wife and I each grabbed for our bear sprays, I started screaming as loudly as I could “HE’S RIGHT BEHIND YOU”. After my second outburst the grizzly stopped, raised up on his hind legs and was scanning the area trying to find the source of all the noise. I continued yelling and jumping around waving my arms. The grizzly left the trail and disappeared in the brush down the mountain.

Sink Jaxon
4 months ago

Not hiking, but right near my home last fall. Poor thing was trying to break into the trash to fatten up for winter hibernation.

Diane Baty
4 months ago

I used to walk with a bear biologist and study the Black Bear. The greatest thrill was to study the bear and her cubs while they were hibernating. Holding a cub while mom was being examed by the biologist was the greatest feeling of my life next to holding my own babies for the first time. ❤️

4 months ago

We went to Brooks Falls in Katmai National Park a few years ago and stayed 4 days. We had several “encounters ” with the bears. The most memorable was walking from our cabin to breakfast. On the side of the path was a sleeping bear. Obviously, we were quiet and went another way. Brooks Falls is a great experience. is another way to see the bears if you can’t go in person.

4 months ago
Reply to  Leanne

I second the recommendation to watch the bear cams on That whole site is fantastic! (I mostly watch Warrior Canine Connection’s service dog puppy cams but the Katmai bears are my second favorites.)