Bears in Tahoe

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Summer in Tahoe means bears. (Anymore, any season in Tahoe seems to mean bears.) Art director Gabe Teague shot this video of a black bear scrambling down a tree trunk this past weekend at Van Sickle Bi-State Park as he was hiking up to the Tahoe Rim Trail. Hear the scratch of its claws as it descends to the rocks below, then lifts its head to stare. This was one of two bear sightings Gabe had over the weekend. We’re also hearing that bears lately have been very interested in any campsite cooking going on in Sugar Pine Point campground.

From Keep Tahoe Bears Wild, we share this advice for Lake Tahoe visitors:

  • Do not feed bears (or any wildlife).
  • Dispose of garbage properly.
  • Never approach bears or cubs.
  • Prevent vehicle break-ins.
  • Keep a clean campsite.
  • Use bear lockers.

For more details about these prevention tips, go to the Keep Tahoe Bears Wild website, which also includes the following advice for what to do if you see a bear: “If you see a bear and it does not see you, stay calm. Pick up small children and dogs. Restrain larger dogs by putting them behind you. Back away. Increase distance and make noise so the bear knows you are there and will leave the area. If the bear has seen you and is surprised or curious, do not run. Don’t act aggressively. Show the bear you mean no harm by talking softly and calmly. Back away slowly while facing the bear and alter route. If a bear approaches you, stand your ground and try to make yourself appear larger by raising your arms above your head or, if wearing a jacket, opening it wide. Black bear attacks are very rare, but if attacked, fight back.”