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Animal Dangers in Yosemite National Park and Other Warnings and Dangers

Warnings and Dangers in Yosemite National Park: Animal Dangers

Yosemite National park is a world heritage site filled with spectacular waterfalls, streams, glaciers, and wildlife in the Sierra Nevada mountain range in Northern California. If you are going to visit Yosemite, here are some warnings and dangers to be aware of about the wildlife in the park.


Do some research on how to protect yourself from bears prior to going to Yosemite. There are 20,000 to 24,000 black bears that live in California. Yosemite estimates about 300 to 500 bears live in the park.

Make sure to make a lot of noise while walking down an isolated trail, to warn any bears in the area. Do not keep food in your car while out on a hike or when camping. Bears have an amazing sense of smell and they can smell food from far away – even food in your car. A bear can easily break into your car and cause a lot of damage trying to get to the food.

What to Do If You Run into a Bear or Snake

If you see a bear, try to stay at least fifty yards away from it. If the bear starts to come toward you, throw rocks or sticks at the bear and try to hit it. If you are with someone, stand together so you look bigger and more intimidating to the bear. The objective is to scare the bear away and keep you safe.

Rattlesnakes will typically slither away when you come across one. About the only time a rattlesnake will bite is if you quietly walk up on it and startle it.

Camping Tips

Do not sleep in clothes you wore while cooking or handling food. The bears might try to break into your tent if they smell the food odors. Also, be careful if you use fruited scented shampoos, which attracts bears. Try not to eat sweets before going to bed and brush your teeth and rinse your mouth with fresh water.

Most campsites have lockers to keep your food and other things you wish to protect from the local wildlife – use them. The lockers will prevent the squirrels, chipmunks, and raccoons from getting into your food supply as well as the bears.

Editor’s Note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about animal dangers and warnings in Yosemite National Park 

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