Facility Rules and Policies

Bear Viewing Etiquette

Before you go: learn as much as you can about bears, their needs, and behavior

  • Choose a viewing area that’s open and slightly elevated. Avoid bedding areas, thick vegetation, and bear travel corridors/feeding areas.
  • Be alert to your surroundings: watch for bear travel routes, scats, tracks and other signs.
  • Your movement should be consistent and predictable. Move slowly, pause often, and look around. Stay with your group.
  • Don’t let bears learn that people are a source of food. Be responsible with your food, garbage, and fish/game meat. Feeding wild animals is unwise and forbidden by State law.
  • Getting too close will stress the bears. Photographers should use telephoto lenses.
  • Maintain quiet while entering and leaving the viewing area.
  • Avoid situations of close approach or poor visibility that can lead to surprise encounters.
  • Be aware of wind direction. Bears have a good sense of smell.
  • Be especially cautious around sows and cubs, and bears protecting a food source. Bears can react explosively to anything they perceive as a threat.
  • Don’t camp in the immediate bear viewing area or in high traffic bear areas.
  • Self-guided viewers should get advice from local professionals concerning accepted bear viewing behavior.
  • If the bear reacts to your presence, evaluate the situation. Are you too close?
  • Follow the advice of your guide, and don’t press for special privileges
  • The way you leave the area is as important as how you get there. Be safe and cautious.

Be aware of the lasting effects of your viewing experience

  • On the bears, and the habitat, and other wildlife
  • On all public land visitors and the people will go there after you
  • Be respectful of other humans using the area, whether they be sport anglers, photographers, hikers, or viewers
  • Every human visit to bear country has an impact on bears on their habitat. Some bears are seen by multiple viewers, causing potentially cumulative stress.