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black bear sitting in grass with tongue out

6 Tips For Spotting Bears in the Smoky Mountains

If you are planning a trip to the Smoky Mountains, and you want to meet some of its most famous residents while you are here, we have got you covered! We are talking, of course, about the black bears in the Smoky Mountains that call this beautiful region home. Seeing these gorgeous animals can be a highlight of many visitors’ trips to the area, which is why we have put together some helpful tips for spotting bears in the Smoky Mountains! Simply read on to find out more:

1. Know the Best Spots to Check Out

bear in cades coveOne of the best tips for spotting bears in the Smoky Mountains is to know the right places to go looking. There are certain areas here in the Smokies that are well-known for their bear activity, and these places can be perfect for those trying to get a glimpse of some of the local bears. Cades Cove and the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail are two of the most popular areas for spotting bears in the Smoky Mountains, so you may want to add both to your itinerary!

2. Pick the Right Time of Day

Another factor that you will want to consider when you are trying to spot bears in the Smoky Mountains is the time of day you are looking. Bears tend to be less active during peak daylight hours, especially when humans are around. As a result, you may want to try aiming for early morning or late evening, as bears tend to be out and about more during these times of day.

3. Choose an Ideal Time of Year to Visit

black bear cub in the smoky mountainsSimilar to choosing the correct time of day to go looking for bears in the Smoky Mountains, you will also want to consider the time of year that you are coming to visit if seeing bears is important to you. Although bears in the Smoky Mountains do not hibernate, they are less active during the winter months, and tend to be more active during spring and summer. Visiting the area during these times of year can help your chances of spotting bears!

4. Bring Binoculars With You

Another of our best tips for spotting bears in the Smoky Mountains is to bring binoculars with you, as they can make it much easier to scan nearby areas for bears. Additionally, since it is important to keep a safe distance from bears at all times, binoculars will allow you to get a better look at any bears you do spot.

5. Be Patient!

black bear in the smoky mountainsIt can be easy to get frustrated and to start thinking you are not going to see any bears, but don’t give up! Sometimes it can take a little while before you spot any bears, but it is well worth the wait to see these magnificent creatures in their natural environment!

6. Practice Proper Bear Safety

Of course, it is extremely important to practice proper bear safety when looking to spot bears in the Smoky Mountains. Remember to never approach a bear and give them plenty of space. If you have food with you, separate yourself from the food if the bear approaches you. Continue to back away from the bear, maintaining eye contact at all times. If a bear continues to approach, you can try making loud noises and make yourself look large to deter the bear.

Now that you have read these tips for spotting bears in the Smoky Mountains, you are ready to see some of the most amazing creatures in the region while being safe as well. Plus, you can find out even more information about seeing all types of wildlife in the Smoky Mountains right here.