Lifetime Wild Bear Counts
Being such a HUGE fan of bears, of course I maintain a running tally of all the bears I have seen!
Yellowstone & Grand Teton National Parks
7 black bears
My first real chance to see bears in the wild and it did not disappoint! My only regret is that, although grizzly bears did exist in the park, I did not see one through no fault of my own. There might have been a grizzly bear sighting but I would rather be certain than guessing and this one particular bear was too far off to clearly distinguish as black bear or grizzly so I chalk it up to black bear. The 1 spotted in Grand Teton might also have been a young grizzly but it was again, hard to say given vantage point. I'm comfortable with my choices in how to count them either way.
Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks
14 black bears
My second chance to see bears in the wild and if Yellowstone did not disappoint, Sequoia & Kings Canyon could not be considered disappointments either! Doubling the bear count from Yellowstone was absolutely amazing and that wasn't even all the bears I could have seen! There was one occasion stopped on the side of the road where some bear cubs had climbed a tree. I was unable to spot them before a ranger had us move along. Oh well, how can you feel bad for missing a handful of bears when you already saw so many? You can't!
Glacier National Park
2 black bears
Glacier was a tiny bit disappointing on the bear end of things. The place is known for grizzlies and there were many accounts of grizzlies here and there just a few minutes ago (by account of various people we encountered) but never saw one. I did however see 2 black bears and narrowly missed a third while leaving the park. Again, anytime you see a bear is a good time no matter how many you see!
Rocky Mountain National Park
3 black bears
It's hard to say whether there are still grizzlies in Colorado. If there are, I did not see them. I did however see 3 black bears which did help make this trip one of my personal favorites. Getting videos of the bears was even better!
Denali National Park
20* brown (grizzly) bears
Alaska... How could you not see bears in Alaska? I say there are more bears in Alaska than people with a driver's license (that might be pretty close to true but definitely an unsubstantiated claim nonetheless). The trip, as you can see by the count, did not disappoint! So many bears!!!
*at least 3 of these sightings are very likely repeats (likely saw the same 3 on the first day). As this is the first time possibly seeing the same bear in the wild, I'm not sure how to handle the count especially when you see 10 within a half mile and some of those might also be repeats but I'm not sure which! It's really a great problem to have!
Kenai Fjords National Park
3 black bears
I honestly wasn't expecting to see bears in Kenai Fjords. Though, when the goal is to see glaciers up close and the Harding Icefield as well, you can easily be surprised by coming across bears when focused on something else entirely! Happy to have a bear count at another park regardless!