Yosemite National Park is home to hundreds of Black Bears, not Grizzlies. The last Grizzly was shot in the 1920's. Sad but true.
Bears are incredibly curious, have an amazing sense of smell and a giant appetite. This combination tempts them to seek out high-calorie food. Sometimes bears that routinely get our food become aggressive, and sometimes have to be killed as a result. By storing your food properly, you can prevent a bear's unnecessary death.
Bears will break into cars for food.
Food includes any item with a scent, regardless of packaging. This may include items that you do not consider food, such as canned goods, bottles, drinks, soaps, cosmetics, toiletries, trash, ice chests (even when empty), and unwashed items used for preparing or eating meals. All these items must be stored properly.
You may store food inside your car (out of sight, with windows completely closed) only during daylight hours. You may not leave food in a pickup truck bed or strapped to the outside of a vehicle at any time. Do not store food in your car after dark: use a metal food locker. Remember to clear your car of food wrappers, crumbs in baby seats, and baby wipes--and even canned food and drinks. Think about packing all your food and related items together for easy removal from your car upon arriving in Yosemite.
Food lockers are available at Half Dome Village parking lots and at nearly all trailhead parking areas.
Bears can easily break into tent-cabins and tents for food. Never keep food, drinks, toiletries, or trash in your tent or tent-cabin.
Bears may enter campsites even in your presence and some will even check lockers to see if they’re latched. Keep your locker closed and latched at all times. Only have the food out that you are actually using; if you're not using it, put it back into the food locker.
Treat your trash like food: keep it in your food locker or dispose of it in a bear-proof dumpster; do not leave it sitting out.
If you have an RV or trailer, food may be stored out of sight as long as windows, doors, and vents are closed when you're not there. Food may not be stored in pop-up or tent trailers, or other soft-sided campers.
In your hotel room or cabin, you must keep all food inside your room; if you are not in the room, the windows and doors must be closed. Bears can easily break into cabins through an open door or open window.
In picnic areas and while hiking on the trail, always keep your food within arm's reach and don't turn your back to your food; never leave food unattended. Bears may investigate picnic areas or backpacks for food even in your presence, so be alert.
For more information, visit the Yosemite National Park website bear page: