Are There Bears in Mammoth Lakes?

Does Mammoth Lakes Have Bears in Mammoth, CA

One of the many things to appreciate about a trip to Mammoth Lakes is being fully surrounded by nature. You may have visions of tranquil, crystal-clear lakes teeming with fish and cascading mountains peppered with trails and trees—both of which the Mammoth area has. However, you may not be so thrilled about bears. Below, the welcoming folks from Mammoth Bound, the best place to find trendy Mammoth Mountain clothing, logo wear, and lifestyle merch, take a closer look at what you need to know about bears in Mammoth Lakes.

You May See American Black Bears

This is the only native bear species found in the Mammoth Lakes area. Despite what the name suggests, these bears have fur in varying shades of black and brown, and some may be blondish in color. The good news is black bears aren’t likely to randomly do you any harm as long as you remain a safe distance away. In fact, these bears are considered less dangerous and less aggressive than grizzlies. They often tend to be naturally timid, which is another reason to relax if you spot one. Still, it’s best to take some precautions.

Avoid Feeding Any Bears You May Come Across

It may be tempting to leave some food on the ground near a spot where you see a black bear in the Mammoth area, but it’s best not to do this. When humans feed bears, the animals get accustomed to receiving human-provided treats. This can also make bears more aggressive as they expect more food from you. Instead, let the bears do what they normally do, and avoid feeding them.

Prepare Your Campsite

If you’ll be camping in Mammoth Lakes during the warmer months, you may be more likely to run into black bears now and then. Again, they shouldn’t bother you as long as you don’t disturb them or get too close. In addition, take some precautions to avoid making your campsite an inviting source of free food for the bears by:

• Storing any food not being used in sealed containers
• Not leaving open food unattended
• Using food storage lockers, which are available at many campsites in the area

Also, if you cook outside at a campsite while you’re at Mammoth Lakes, wipe down all cooking surfaces when you’re done. Make sure to properly discard and secure any food scraps or unwanted leftovers as well to avoid tempting bears to get too close to your campsite.

Bring a Bear Canister for Hiking or Backpacking

As you make your way along the trails in the Mammoth area to hike or backpack, take a bear canister with you. A bear canister is a portable hard-sided food locker meant to be used to store any light snacks or other food items you may be taking with you if you’ll be hiking or exploring for a while. Also stay safe when out and about in Mammoth Lakes by:

• Not snapping selfies with any black bears you may see
• Not making any loud noises around bears
• Not running if you see a bear to avoid startling the animal 

The diverse local wildlife is one of the things that make Mammoth Lakes so extraordinary. If you use common sense, follow the advice listed above, and stay aware of your surroundings, you can have a great time when you visit Mammoth Lakes, even if you spot a bear or two. If you need more advice on making the most of your visit to Mammoth or you want to pick up some stylish fashions, from Mammoth Mountain t-shirts to cool beanies, you can rely on the team at Mammoth Bound for exceptional service. Drop by our shop or contact us at [email protected].

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