One of the most common question I get on Wildlife Safaris is, “Where are the bears?” It has been estimated that in the entire Rocky Mountain National Park area there are only 24 adult Black Bears. Our bears are rather anti-social and are more nocturnal than bears in many other national parks. The park only has American Black Bears today. Grizzly Bears used to roam all over the mountains of Colorado but the last known local grizzly was killed in the Park in 1921.
Today in the Estes area, the best place to see our bears (sadly) is near trash cans and dumpsters late at night. The habitat of Rocky is limited on berries, and especially lacking in kill sites from other large predators. A number of the bear sightings in the area are actually bears in trees — where they often sleep.
So watch our trees, hills and trash cans and you might get a quick view of a black bear.
Written by Jared Gricoskie, a private guide for Estes Park tours
Yellow Wood Guiding