Jensen, Utah & Dinosaur, Colorado - Monument staff have closed the two river campsites at Pot Creek which located along the Green River in the Canyon of the Lodore until further notice due to bear activity in the area.

On June 24th a rafting group reported to the EchoPark Ranger that they encountered a bear at Pot Creek Campsite # 2 the previous night. Members in the group reported that the bear charged several individuals and was not deterred by throwing rocks. No one was harmed during the incident.

Following the monument's bear management plan, when interactions between bears and visitors occur, one of the first steps is to close the area to visitors to prevent further encounters and allow the bear to return to more natural behavior. The Pot Creek campsites are now closed and will be monitored for at least seven days beginning on June 26, 2015. Anyone violating the closure is subject to a fine not to exceed $5000 and/or six months in prison. The closure will be lifted once monument staff have determined that the bear has left the area.

Monument visitors are reminded to store food, garbage, camp coolers, and other items that can attract bears in hard-sided vehicles or in bear-proof storage boxes. This helps keep bears from becoming conditioned to human foods and helps keep monument visitors and their property safe.

Some people may not think of Dinosaur National Monument as "bear country," but frequent sightings confirm a healthy black bear population. Hikers, boaters, and campers are encouraged to be alert for their presence and report bear sightings as soon as possible at a visitor center or ranger station. Visitors should remember the following safety tips:

Prevent an Encounter:

  • Hike in a group, keep children in sight and close by, make noise.
  • Keep a clean camp, use bear-proof boxes to store food, toiletries, and garbage. Wash your dishes.
  • Keep vehicle windows and doors locked and closed at all times.
  • Never approach or feed any wildlife.

If You See a Bear:

  • Back away slowly and leave area.
  • Make noise so the bear knows you are there.

If a Bear Approaches You:

  • Face the bear, back away slowly; do not run.
  • Stand tall, appear large, wave arms or jacket.
  • Group together, pick up small children.
  • Make noise, throw things, and try to scare it off.
  • Fight back aggressively and use bear spray if the bear attacks.

For more information, call (435) 781-7700.