Yellow Stone Camping & Bears

Discussion in 'Camping Around Wildlife' started by hawke, Aug 24, 2011.

  1. hawke

    hawke New Member

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    DH wants to go camping next summer at Yellow Stone, but it scares me. Anyone with experience camping there? How scary is it with the bears. I mean I really don't want to become the cream filling. :)
     
  2. Unstable_Tripod

    Unstable_Tripod Well, there's your problem!

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    Go and enjoy it. Follow the "Bear Aware" rules (copy stapled right on the picnic table) and don't worry. I've been there many times and never had a problem. In fact, when I was there two weeks ago I saw a bear for the first time in many, many years. It was nowhere near a CG. The park makes a major effort to keep the bears away from the campgrounds (that's what those Bear Aware rules are for) and believe it or not, that is much more for the bear's safety than yours. They don't want bears getting used to human food, becoming a problem and then having to be killed.

    It's not scary there at all -- except for the fact that you are in the caldera of a super volcano that could erupt at any time. The volcano has erupted about every 600,000 years and the last eruption was more than 640,000 years ago. (This is true but like the bear thing, I don't let it keep me from going there.)
     
  3. ghacker

    ghacker Active Member

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    Guess we shouldn't mention the increase in earthquakes the last few years... OOPS. But don't worry about it. If it were to happen, most of the US becomes unihabitable and there's a new ice age.
     
  4. Flyfisherman

    Flyfisherman New Member

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    Hey ...!

    Them bears gotta eat, too, ya know ...!
     
  5. ColoradoChalet

    ColoradoChalet New Member

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    My sister worked in Yellowstone one summer as an RN in their little clinic there (which, I believe, has since closed). She encountered one bear VERY early in the season before there were many tourists, but it just ambled off. She also went into the backcountry on a regular basis and never saw a bear. She said that they treated people for lots of things, including one person who ran into a buffalo with his car. But not one single bear mauling. :)

    From what she said, they had more people/buffalo encounters than people/bear encounters. Mainly because people think of buffalo as furry cows and don't take the same precautions around them. One Ranger recounted the story of a man who was trying to get his wife and child to go stand next to one so he could take their picture. When the wife balked, he said, "Oh, honey! Don't worry. They wouldn't let them in here if they were going to hurt you." [?:~{]

    Just remember you're in a place with wild animals and respect them. Follow the rules and you'll be fine. Yellowstone is an amazing place and believe me, you'll be glad you went. Don't let the fear of something that likely will never happen keep you from the experience of a lifetime. Getting in your car every day is far more risky.
     
  6. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    As UT said, follow the bear rules, keep a clean camp and enjoy. DH & I have not camped in Yellowstone itself, yet, for a couple of reasons; we stay in Grand Teton NP and drive to Yellowstone. It is still bear country, and it was amazing, especially in Gros Vente (the largest campground) on our first trip there, to see what people considered "keep food put away". One site had all sorts of food-related totes, etc. all under a screen tent at the picnic table. we were out of the CG most of the time, so never saw if anyone got cited for improper food storage.

    There are all sorts of wildlife in the parks. Some friends of ours had to stay out of their site for a bit one time in Tetons (at Lizard) when a moose decided it was a good place to hang out. We've stayed in the same campground on 2 separate trips, and have never seen a moose that close to camp.
     
  7. Unstable_Tripod

    Unstable_Tripod Well, there's your problem!

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    We stayed at Lizard Creek in the Tetons on our last trip and heard there was a bull moose in a pond a few miles down the road. We checked it out and sure enough, he was there. The problem was that he was on the far side of the pond, too far to get a decent photo (even with my 400mm lens).

    There was also a pair of grizzly sows, each with two cubs, roaming the area near Jackson Lake. The CG host said they'd been in the CG earlier in the season but had more recently been seen a few miles down the road. The park even had a temporary lighted sign on the road warning people to drive slowly for this reason. We never saw the bears though.

    Most visitors to Yellowstone and GTNP see lots of bison and elk. They may also see deer, fox and other assorted creatures. We had a mule deer come into our site at Lizard one morning. We also saw a bald eagle soar over the meadow (not as big a deal to me because we have them in our neighborhood at home), a fox and a marmet.

    Hawke, if you want a bit more info about Yellowstone you can read my trip report HERE.
     
  8. cwolfman13

    cwolfman13 Active Member

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    Think of it this way......the park sees millions of visitors each year and tens of thousands of campers.

    From 1980 to 2002, the park saw over 62M visitors. During that period, 32 people were injured in encounters with bears. When you do the math, the odds of being injured by a bear in Yellowstone are roughly 1 in 2 million. Fatalities are even more rare.

    Most negative bear encounters at Yellowstone have occured while people are hiking in the back country and surprise a bear...at which point the bear's fight or flight instincts take over.

    Just follow the rules....that's why they're posted. If it was really that dangerous, they wouldn't allow people to camp or visit the park.

    Frankly, our normal everyday lives put us at greater risk of personal injury or death than a camping trip to Yellowstone would.

    For more perspective, the odds of being in a fatal automobile accident in any given year is 1 in 6,000 at an average of 10,000 miles per year driven.

    These stats are all verifiable....just use the google.
     
  9. ricko

    ricko Member

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    We did the Yellowstone trip the last couple of weeks in July. We only saw 1 wild bear from over 300 yards away. The bear guidelines are a minor inconvenience but not difficult.

    Don't let the bears keep you from camping in Yellowstone - it is the trip of a lifetime and you will enjoy every minute of it! The rangers keep an eye on the bears and seem to know them all by name. You have got to make the trip... it's that wonderful!

    Ricko
     
  10. spider211

    spider211 New Member

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    I am a newbee so please excuse me if this has been addressed but I hear you cannot camp in a pop-up in the national parks. Is this so? Thanks
     
  11. Travelhoveler

    Travelhoveler New Member

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    We do it all the time. In the last month, we stayed in three national parks in our pop-up. In fact, I know of only one campground in a national park in which canvaspopups aren't allowed, and that's Fishing Bridge at Yellowstone. The other Yellowstone campgrounds allow popups, as do the campgrounds in all the other parks.
     
  12. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    http://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/camping-in-yellowstone.htm

    Yes, you can camp in tents and pop-ups, with 1 exception (if I read it correctly)
     
  13. Unstable_Tripod

    Unstable_Tripod Well, there's your problem!

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    spider211, I don't know where you heard that but it is absolutely not true. I have camped in all of the national parks in the west and I've done it in a tent and a pop-up. As the others have pointed out there is one CG in Yellowstone (out of twelve) where it's not permitted but that's the exception.
     
  14. cwolfman13

    cwolfman13 Active Member

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    Absolutely NOT true. In fact, you will see many a tent camper at Yellowstone or any other NP.
     
  15. Travelhoveler

    Travelhoveler New Member

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    I wouldn't worry about the bears that much. You're much more likely to die from lightning, hypothermia, thermal burns, or accidents on park roads.

    All that said, you'll probably be fine. Most visitors come away unscathed.
     
  16. MA_Kev

    MA_Kev New Member

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    That's what I tell my DW, but also add: MUCH safer in bear country than you are driving to work trying to eat a sandwich and talk on your cell phone... especially since so many others are doing the same thing too...


    Seriously though. It isn't worth worrying about. Just follow the precautions they tell you and things will be good. We went to Katmai N. P. to do some wildlife photography years ago. (Timothy Treadwell got eaten there... although he was a bit away from the lodge and viewing areas) It was really neat walking around there with bears wandering all around you. They very rarely have a problem there.
     
  17. Aladin Sane

    Aladin Sane I'd rather be camping

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    My wife also suffers from bear phobia. We went to Yellowstone two summers ago and had a great trip. I did have trouble trying to get her to do a little back country hiking. If we were not on a boardwalk, she didn't want to be there. It is just an irational fear, and there really isn't anything I can do about it. She was fine in the campground, and at all of the usual sites, but try to lead her off the beaten path, and she freaked out. That being said, we are heading back again next summer.
     
  18. Rockies Bill

    Rockies Bill Runnin' with the pack!

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    Hawke. Don't be worried. I started bringing my kids to Yellowstone when they were 4 & 6 years old. We hiked the back country for years. Only saw 1 black bear being chased by a tourest with a camera down the road [LOL] The other time we saw a black bear was on a hike in GTNP. He/she was going the opposite way. My kids grew up in the backcountry of the park and in over 12 plus years, never worried about being eaten by one and we spent weeks/months at a time there. Back when I was heathier, I was trying to hike every trail in the park. It is absolutly georgeous in the backcountry. Bison can be a pain. One took over are camping spot one year. We left and came back hours later and he was gone. I'm always hearing on our local news about people being gored by bison or attacked by a bear. It's never that bad. You just need to respect the animals and give them the right of way. Stay back don't try and get that one photo shot. Not worth it.

    I always carry bear spray but have never had to use it on a bear. It gives me peace of mind. Maybe that would help her too.
     
  19. wardog

    wardog Member

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    I absolutely loved Yellowstone. My DH also was a bit nervous about the bears on our trip. I convinced him we would be fine in our pup and we were. We followed all the rules and had no troubles. The day we arrrived and checked into our first CG we were told they had a grizzly visiting the CG. I was sooo excited and he was less excited. [LOL] Never did see that grizzly in the CG. We did see some black bears off the side of the road which made for some exciting pics but we had to search for them. We didn't get to do any back country hiking because DH thought that was too risky because we might see a bear. I of course answered with "that's the point!" We also had our kids with us and at all times I felt safe.

    It really is an amazing place I hope you get to go.
     
  20. Aladin Sane

    Aladin Sane I'd rather be camping

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    Texas camper, I'm not trying to start anything inappropriate, but we need to schedule a trip together to Yellowstone. Our respective spouses can sit at the campground and worry about bears while we do some back country hiking. Just kidding of course, but it is interesting to hear about another spouse who has an irrational fear of bears.
     

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