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Black bears in the Smoky Mountains

Will We See Black Bears at Cabins in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge?

One of the most popular questions we get from our guests — “Will we see black bears at our cabin?”

To answer it simply, it’s very unlikely that you will see black bears at cabins in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. Even though the black bears are beautiful wildlife creatures, it’s necessary for them to stay away from the cabins.

In order to keep them from visiting the civilized areas, like around our cabins, here’s a few tips:

How to Keep the Black Bears Away from Your Cabin in Gatlinburg or Pigeon ForgeMother bear and her cub standing in the grass

Black bears eat just about anything, from berries and nuts from the trees to salamanders and insects. Most importantly, bears need acorns to thrive. Acorns provide carbs that the bears use for building up their fat. Foods from our human lifestyle can be toxic to bears. The

1. If you spend time grilling outside or having a picnic lunch, make sure to pick up any garbage and scraps of food. Bears often scavenge for food, so it’s best to eliminate that scent from the area.

2. For the most part, bears won’t bother an area unless they smell food. So, in addition to ridding of all of the trash, make sure the grill areas are cleaned and free of any leftover foods.

3. Be sure to use the designated garbage cans, so trash is secured away from any wildlife. Don’t leave garbage sitting on the porch, even if it’s tied up in a bag.

(Also Popular: Best Places to See Black Bears and Other Smoky Mountain Wildlife)

Young black bear cub climbing a treeHistory of Black Bears in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The national park was created in 1934. At this time, there were not even 100 black bears in the forest due to all of the hunting in the area. Once the 1970s rolled around, the population of black bears rose to approximately 300-500. Since the national park became a no-hunting area, it contributed to the rise in the black bear population.

How Big are the Black Bears in the National Park?

Believe it or not, the black bears are the smallest of all of the North American bear species. Black bears vary in weight and size, but males generally weigh between 200-240 pounds, while females generally weigh between 120-130 pounds. Although, these measurements are definitely an average. The largest male captured in the national park weighed about 400 pounds, while the largest female weighed 227 pounds. An adult black bear in the Smoky Mountains can stand (on its hind legs) up to 6 feet tall.

In the fall season, black bears can gain 3-5 pounds each day! But they don’t hold on to this weight for long! The bears lose weight throughout the year, when they can’t find as much food, like the winter months.

How Many Black Bears are in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park?Two black bear cubs playing in the Smoky Mountains

The black bear is the only bear you will find when you visit the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The black bear is the second largest native mammal (the elk is larger than the black bear) in the national park, and there are approximately 1,500 bears in the national park. This is about 2 bears per square mile, one of the highest per-square-mile populations in North America.

For more information about black bears in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, follow this link to the National Park Service’s website: http://www.nps.gov/grsm/naturescience/black-bears.htm


Baby black bear in the SmokiesWhere to See the Black Bears in the Smokies

If you want to see the black bears in the Smoky Mountains, you’re best to make your way to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. There’s hundreds of hiking trails in the national park, for spending time on the trails and exploring the wilderness. Make sure to pack your camera, so when you see a black bear, you can catch a good photo. Even if you don’t see a bear on the trail, it’s extremely likely that you will see one while you’re driving around the area, especially if you take a drive along any of the motor nature trails or Newfound Gap Road.

Now that you don’t have to worry about crossing paths with black bears at cabins in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, it’s time to start planning your stay. Take a look at all of Amazing Views’ affordable cabins in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge under $100 and give us a call at (855) 849-8977 to talk to our cabin rental experts about booking a cabin!