Grizzly Bears

Grizzly bears are spreading out across Idaho. You can encounter grizzlies in many of the Northern Idaho mountain ranges and all along the Idaho/Montana border from I-15 (Monida Pass) to Yellowstone National Park. This area includes the Bitterroot, Beaverhead, Centennial and Henrys Lake mountain ranges. The bear population is also expanding its range into the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness and the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness. As part of the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem, the Henrys Lake Range and the Centennial Mountains are prime habitat for grizzly bears and bear encounters should be expected.

The Idaho Fish and Game Department’s map of Grizzly Bear ranges in Idaho.

We highly recommend that you read the following two articles before venturing into grizzly bear habitat. The first is the National Park Service’s Staying Safe Around Bears page. The second is Spencer Yeomans in depth article on Bear Safety: Bear Safety: Things to Know to Avoid Getting Hurt.

Finally, if your climb is in grizzly bear country, check with the appropriate U.S. Forest Service Ranger District to find out about current bear conditions.

Grizzly from a distance. Tom Lopez photo.

Grizzly as viewed from a distance. Tom Lopez Photo