I have seen a number of bears in my time of hiking and backpacking and yet I have never been able to catch one on camera. They have always bolted so fast I never even got the opportunity to get my phone out.

On my last backpacking trip in the Smokies last month, I rounded a bend and looked up at the trail and there it was. Just standing in the middle of the trail staring at me. I don't think I've ever been so excited in my life. Not only did I get a photo, but video too! S/he only moved off trail when I started talking to it. 

I just love seeing wildlife on my trips. 😁


Smokies black bears are beautiful.  My family was visiting my sister in the Mt. of NC and my wife asked me what was that on the road coming up to us (about 150 yards off).  She thought it was a large dog.  It turned out to be a black bear cub with Mom and other cub.  Once we yelled, the mom bolted up the mountain and the cubs followed.  Was a great learning experience for my wife as she had never seen a bear in the wild and I was able to use that experience to ensure everyone in the family understood you don't come btwn momma bear and cubs:) 


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I'd much rather see a momma bear (and know she sees me) than see a cub and not know where momma is! We came upon a cub in Yosemite a few years ago... I about had a heart attack before we were a safe distance away!


A couple of years ago, I came back to my backcountry campsite at Canyonlands National Park and found a bear there.  Luckily, all my food was inside a bear jar.  I sat down and waited for a long time until the bear left. The sand  was full of footprints.  You can even see where the bear's fur brushed the sand.  22904986_2156542577704581_4307085240968565420_o.jpg

@DaveBaldwin ha so true. Bear encounters are so much more fun when all parties are aware of one another. Last week I got to do some fishing with a nice brown bear family. Luckily I knew where the sow was at all times. 4R1B3276.jpg


Not as green, but this morning here in San Diego at Iron Mountain, my favorite lucky coyote was waiting for me.  I think he is trying to lure my border collie to elope.  Come play with me??Come play with me??

@HikingDVM - This post just put such a smile on my face! What a fun way to see this. The coyote's ears are incredible. Have you seen this one over and over again?

@Former community member - That is so exciting! I love your photo too. They're in the perfect spot to watch wildlife humans go by. Did you find yourself looking around more intensely or noticing more noises after seeing it? I saw a black bear while mountain biking last week and my first thought was "What a large black dog! I wonder where its owner is?", which quickly turned into glee when I realized that it was indeed a bear. It was running from me, scared of my fast moving bike. Even though, like you, I was thrilled, afterwards I kept bobbing in and out of the forest rather than staying in the thick of it because I was scared too!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

Nah, I knew I couldn't get so lucky to see it or even another one twice in one hike. Lol. So I just went about my merry way. 

Yes have seen this guy frequently.  Interestingly, he tries to lure my border collie to come "play."  Sometimes I see his colleagues lurking in the brush waiting for playtime....or maybe dinner time. 


Some people will do anything to grab a photo of a grizzly mom and her cubs...

Tourist charged after video showed her close call with a bear at Yellowstone National Park



Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.