1. Sports
Send to a Friend via Email
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Gallery of Bear Sign


1 of 7

Official Bear Warning Signs
Gallery of Bear Sign
Photo © Lisa Maloney

Most bear sightings trigger some excitement, but not necessarily a report to area rangers. If you see a color-coded warning sign like this, odds are good that something unusual has taken place -- a bluff charge, an aggressive sow with cubs, a bear kill off the trail, and so on.

The color-coding scheme is pretty common: A green sign for relatively benign but noteworthy encounters (like a bear lingering in the area), orange if more caution is advised, and red for the most serious of dangers.

Bears move around quite a bit, so the lack of a warning sign doesn't guarantee the absence of bears (dangerous or otherwise). It's always a good idea to practice basic bear safety any time you're traveling in bear country.

Even without an actual sign, there are plenty of hints you can spot that tell you a bear is (or has been) in the area -- all you have to do is take the time to look. The three most obvious clues that a bear is nearby are:

  1. Scat (poop)
  2. Tracks
  3. Marks on trees

Click through the following gallery to see examples of what each clue looks like.

  1. About.com
  2. Sports
  3. Hiking
  4. Safety
  5. Wildlife Safety Tips
  6. Heed official warning signs; they're there for a reason

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.