First Bears Up And About At Denali National Park

Here comes the bruins, fresh out of hibernation and out and about in Alaska in locales like Denali National Park.

Here’s more from a Denali NP Facebook post:

They’re back! A few days ago, the first bear of this spring was spotted in Denali National Park. It had been a long time since the last bear sighting – grizzlies usually go into their dens in October and hibernate for up to 6 months. During hibernation, they don’t eat, drink, urinate, or defecate. Hibernating bears survive solely on stored body fat, losing up to 30% of their body weight over the course of the winter. The physiology of hibernating bears is quite impressive: while hibernating, bears are able to break down and recycle their metabolic waste, using the resulting nitrogen to build proteins and maintain their muscle mass. 

Now that bears have been seen out and about, it’s time to brush up on bear safety in Denali. Stay at least 300 yards from bears and make noise as you hike to avoid startling a bear. It’s also recommended that hikers carry bear spray when exploring Denali National Park.