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Best area to spot bears?

Folkestone, United...
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Best area to spot bears?

I know it will probably be very unlikely to see a bear in Yosemite but what areas of the park would increase my chances of seeing one? I read the topic about bears but just wondered if anyone had an other advice.

I went to Yosemite about 6 years ago and saw a cub and it would be amazing to spot one again. I'm coming mid June if that makes a difference.

Mariposa, California
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for Yosemite National Park
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1. Re: Best area to spot bears?

As someone in the park on almost a daily basis, I can tell you there really isn't one single place to see bears. They are spotted in the meadows, in the Pines campgrounds, in the Curry Village area, in the Lodge parking lot, and along the one way roads in and out of Yosemite Valley. People also spot them at Glacier Point, and while driving the Tioga Road. It really is just a matter of getting lucky.

So far this year, Lower Yosemite Fall area has had some sightings, Happy Isles/the Fen area, and near El Capitan. But no regularly recurring place/time.

Good luck! Hope you see one! Four bus lengths is the legal viewing distance despite what you'll see others doing

Oakland, California
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for Yosemite National Park
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2. Re: Best area to spot bears?

I know that for a time, they were often spotted near Crane Flat along 120. But as Marmot says, they gather where they want to, so perhaps your best bet is to ask around when you are in the park and see if anyone has spotted any bears.

I have to admit I had been going to the park for over 20 years before I saw my first bear, and then I had 2 different bear spottings the same day. So, you never know!

San Francisco Bay
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3. Re: Best area to spot bears?

I was once with a Boy Scout troop camped in Lower Pines campground, and in the dusk, a bear accompanied a young scout out along his path from the bathroom. He was so freaked, he slept in his Mom's tent that night.

The bathrooms are often near the locked down large garbage bins, and he knew there was good stuff in them.

I bet a few scouts, including the grownups, slept a little uneasy that night!

San Francisco...
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4. Re: Best area to spot bears?

The best way to spot bears is to bring leave opened food in your cooler unattended out in the open overnight. But I would not endorse this. Crane Flat by 120 as Macjack indicates may have bears. The valley in the wee hours of the morning may have some. And in the campground at night when food is out in the open.

But: One does not simply walk into Yosemite and spot bears.

Edited: 30 April 2013, 21:39
San Francisco...
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5. Re: Best area to spot bears?

And this info may be helpful just in case: www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/scarebears.htm

Folkestone, United...
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6. Re: Best area to spot bears?

Thanks for the advice guys. I really hope that I can see a bear. I'm there for a couple of days so will check out the areas you suggested.

Northern California
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for Lodi
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7. Re: Best area to spot bears?

I've stayed overnight a few times at the Backpackers Campground behind the North Pines Campground; for some reason it's been a starting point for the bears evening foray throughout the campgrounds. A few years back we had a bear grab a French womans backpack off her picnic table next to our campsite and take off with it. A few of our boys ran after the bear yelling and it finally dropped the pack (I don't recommend this to ANYONE, but they were 11 years old at the time and full of themselves) The rangers warned us all to stow our gear in the bearboxes right before sunset but she chose to ignore them (language barrier?) Needless to say she and her boyfriend were quite happy to get their backpack back with all their money and their passports...

San Francisco Bay
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8. Re: Best area to spot bears?

Luke Dear,

I don't think any of us posters would suggest going out to find a bear at the locations we mentioned. At best that would be haphazard. Why don't you attend a few of the naturalist talks that are listed in the newspaper that will be handed to you at the gates of Yosemite where you pay your park fee for your auto.

San Francisco
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for Death Valley Junction, Death Valley National Park
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9. Re: Best area to spot bears?

** "The best way to spot bears is to bring leave opened food in your cooler unattended out in the open overnight." **

This would be my suggestion as well. Or in your car, preferably with the windows open or the convertible top retracted, so the bears will do a minimum of damage to the car. They like meat, fruit, snack foods, sweets--really their tastes are similar to ours. This makes it easy because you don't have to go out and buy some exotic specialty food. You might experiment with different foods at different times to see what works best.

If you want closer encounters, try going to sleep without washing your hands after cooking and eating, and bring some of your leftovers into the tent. This is also helpful if you wake up craving a snack. You might even be awakened by a bear craving a snack. The food aromas on your hands and in the tent can attract bears close enough for you to pet them, or for them to pet you.

J U S T * K I D D I N G !

Long Barn...
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10. Re: Best area to spot bears?

Best area to spot bears? Go to a zoo.......ok, no one like a wise guy. Sorry about that. I have made many trips without spotting bears, but a couple of times as mentioned above I have spotted them at Crane Flat by 120 . However, you could sit in a car a week at that spot and never see a bear. You just never know when it will happen.