REQUIRED
AREAS

Knowing where you need a BearVault is an essential part of planning a successful trip!

As conservation needs increase, more land managers are requiring or recommending bear-resistant containers. It can be difficult to figure out where canisters are required, but this guide should make the process a bit simpler. As always, make sure to double check food storage requirements before starting a trip!

 

Trails

Bear canisters are required in the following areas along the PCT:

  • Inyo National Forest: Bear Resistant Containers are required in the Bishop Pass Area, Cottonwood Lakes Basin/Cottonwood Pass Area, Duck Pass/Purple Lake Area, Fish Creek Area, Kearsarge Pass Area, Little Lakes Valley Area, Mammoth Lakes/Rush Creek Area, and Mount Whitney Area. Containers are strongly recommended in all other areas.
  • Sequioa and Kings Canyon National Parks: Bear Resistant Containers are required in the Dusy Basin, Rae Lakes Loop, North Dome, Rock Creek, and Pear/Emerald Lakes areas. Containers are highly recommended in all other areas.
  • Sierra National Forest: Either the counter balance method or Bear Resistant Containers must be used throughout the forest, but the forest highly recommends and rents Bear Resistant Containers.
  • Yosemite National Park: Bear resistant containers are required for overnight hiking in the park.
  • Lassen Volcanic National Park: Bear Resistant Containers are required throughout the park April 15th to December 1st.
  • Crater Lake National Park: All food must be stored in a bear resistant manner.
  • North Cascades National Park: Certain backcountry areas off of the PCT do require bear canisters. If leaving the trail, check the NPS website for details.

Bear canisters are required in the following areas along the AT:

Bear canisters are required in the following areas along the CDT:

Bear canisters are required in the following areas along the PCT:

  • Inyo National Forest: Bear Resistant Containers are required in the Bishop Pass Area, Cottonwood Lakes Basin/Cottonwood Pass Area, Duck Pass/Purple Lake Area, Fish Creek Area, Kearsarge Pass Area, Little Lakes Valley Area, Mammoth Lakes/Rush Creek Area, and Mount Whitney Area. Containers are strongly recommended in all other areas.
  • Sequioa and Kings Canyon National Parks: Bear Resistant Containers are required in the Dusy Basin, Rae Lakes Loop, North Dome, Rock Creek, and Pear/Emerald Lakes areas. Containers are highly recommended in all other areas.
  • Sierra National Forest: Either the counter balance method or Bear Resistant Containers must be used throughout the forest, but the forest highly recommends and rents Bear Resistant Containers.
  • Yosemite National Park: Bear resistant containers are required for overnight hiking in the park.
  • Lassen Volcanic National Park: Bear Resistant Containers are required throughout the park April 15th to December 1st.
  • Crater Lake National Park: All food must be stored in a bear resistant manner.
  • North Cascades National Park: Certain backcountry areas off of the PCT do require bear canisters. If leaving the trail, check the NPS website for details.

Bear canisters are required in the following areas along the AT:

Bear canisters are required in the following areas along the CDT:

Parks

Bear resistant containers are required in Nyack / Coal Creek Camping Zone for at large camping and highly recommended in all other areas.

Other Areas

You may be planning a trip within the United States’ 154 National Forests, 803 federally managed wilderness areas, 74 state wilderness areas, or one of many other wild places to recreate. Locations like Colorado’s Maroon Bells, parts of Pisgah National Forest, and New York’s Adirondacks require the use of bear resistant containers. It is important to carefully research the local regulations for proper food storage in each place you plan to visit. 

Still unsure? Just do the right thing and carry your BearVault!

Think Bigger than Required

The areas that legally require that you carry a bear canister only scratch the surface of many more places that strongly recommend bear canisters or simply are home to bears. Truly respecting wildlife means integrating proper food storage into your packing plan all the time. Take a look at the map of bear habitat in North America. Does your hike enter bear country? If so, you can do the right thing and carry a BearVault. Even beyond bear habitat, other areas are home to critters and creatures who may take interest in your food and scented items. As a wilderness user, you have a responsibility to all these creatures. Carrying a bear canister is a great way to protect the places we all love.