Bear Safety On Trails

Mountain bikers ride past bear photo by Chad Chomlack

Trails are a great way to explore the Whistler valley. Be aware that bears also use trails to move from one area to another.

Mountain bikers, hikers, runners, and walkers use the many trails in Whistler.

Bears will likely avoid you if they know you are nearby. Stay alert and look for any signs of bear activity, such as scat, to avoid surprising a bear. 

Keep yourself and bears safe by following these tips on trails:

  • Consider an alternative trail, if bears have been sighted recently.
  • Ride, run, hike, or walk in groups whenever possible. Keep your group close together and talk loudly, if you see fresh signs of bears (scat, tracks, claw marks on trees, overturned logs) nearby. Bears should avoid you, if they know you are in the area.
  • Carry bear spray or another deterrent in an easily accessible yet protected area and know how to use it.
  • Keep all dogs on leash. Dogs can provoke defensive behaviour in bears. Mountain bikers should leave dogs at home. 
  • Be aware that mountain bikers put themselves at higher risk for a bear encounter, because they move quickly down a trail and are relatively quiet. Make noise if you are biking.
  • Take your earbuds out; remain alert and listen for signs of a bear in the area. Creeks and rivers can muffle sounds and make it harder for you to hear an approaching bear. They also make it harder for the bear to hear you, so make extra noise when using trails near running water.
  • On trails with limited visibility, use extra caution and make more noise to avoid surprising a bear.
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