If you are planning to visit Montana anytime soon and are thinking about hiking, you may have thought about running into a bear a time or two. I bet your friends ask you the likelihood of you running into a bear saying "What if?"

I think about it all the time and I live here. When I lived in Missoula, I would see a bear in my own neighborhood at least twice, if not three times a year. Honestly, it didn't matter what neighborhood I lived in.


According to a-z-animal.com the population of the grizzly bear in Montana is between 1,800 to 2,000 bears. That's quite a few bears versus the amount of terrain we have as a state.

The Center of Biological Diversity states that the bear's habitat is what Montana is mostly made up of.

Grizzlies are highly adaptable and flourish in high mountain forests, subalpine meadows, arctic tundra, wetlands, grasslands, mixed-conifer forests and coastal areas.

According to World Population Review, 27 percent of all the state of Montana is covered in forest. They state that for ever one person in Montana, there are 5,965 trees in the ground across 25,500 acres of land.

Bears in Montana are active from Spring, all the way into later Autumn. With all the bears around, it may seem that a bear encounter would be almost certain if you head out for a hike.

However, according to National Geographic,

The chances of being injured by a bear are approximately 1 in 2.1 million, according to the National Park Service. In other words, you're more likely to be killed by a bee than a bear. Living With the Wild

There are steps one can take to be bear aware in Montana, read below.

Glamping, The Resort at Paws Up, Montana

Glamping, The Resort at Paws Up, Montana

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