Will we need bear spray on our Enchantments thru hike?

Bottom line: Not likely. You’re much more likely to encounter goats than bears.

Bears are rarely noticed by hikers in the Enchantment Lakes. The most common mammal sightings are goats, of which there are plenty.

The bears that are spotted along the 18 mile trail are mostly seen in the lower elevations — below Snow Lakes or below Colchuck Lake. They can wander anywhere, of course, but it’s rare to see bear signs in the barren, high-elevation Core where food sources are scarce.

Black bears are the common ursid inhabitants in this region. There are no reports of grizzly bears (nor polar bears). Black bears are shy unless threatened. Give them space and they’ll generally move away.

Take the usual bear precautions. And do not feed the bears. As the saying goes, “a fed bear is a dead bear.”

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