Bears in Mammoth: The Dos & Don’ts

Like many of us either living in Mammoth or visiting during the summer, most of the people coming into and out of this small mountain community are from urban or beach areas within Southern California. With this laidback cement clad upbringing the word “bear” may bring thoughts of fear and horror movies to mind. So if these fears a true, and your anything like me that thought went straight to the idea of bear repellant and hiding indoors then keep reading this article.

Mammoth Lakes, one of the most beautiful mountain communities in the Eastern Sierra is known for mountain biking, backpacking, hiking and fishing, but is also know for its large bear population.  Throughout town you will find signs for “bear crossing” and locals with stickers saying “don’t feed our bears.”

Well to someone like me from a small beach community in Los Angeles, even the idea of “feeding bears” has never crossed my mind.   Unfortunately though, because of the high amount of people throughout Mammoth over the years, many bears in town have become accustom to eating out of cars and receiving food from SoCal spectators.  This leads to broken cars, and bears feeling a little to comfortable walking into public places and even homes and store fronts.  This both hurts humans personal belongings and also trains the bear to be dependent on us rather than living like a true bear in nature.

At Adventure Sports Outpost, we want you to feel comfortable on your mountain bike or electric bike through the lakes basin and we want you to love your new hiking shoes so, we have made a list of the Do’s and Don’ts for bears in Mammoth.


  • Make sure there is NO food in your car… that means drinks, gum and energy bars too.
  • Do make sure your car is always locked.
  • Always make sure your garbage is thrown away in a “bear-proof” trash bin or dumpster.
  • Make sure no food is left out on your patio, barbeque or campsite.
  • Do make sure you close your doors at night.


  • Walk up to bears or attempt to get close.
  • Leave food out to watch from a far distance.
  • Never leave your outdoor dinner table out to be cleaned up in the morning.
  • Make sure not to leave your garbage bins open or leave exposed trash next to the bin.

Once a bear finds food or a place to go it is expected that they will return every night for up to 30 days!!!  We want you to enjoy all that Mammoth has to offer and mountain bike Mammoth like no tomorrow so just follow these steps and have a great time!

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