10 Grizzly Bear Facts – They’re Grrreat!

grizzly bear facts

A majestic grizzly bear.

These grizzly bear facts are sure to give you reason to pause next time you are hiking in grizzly country.  Parts of the Rocky Mountains still have some grizzlies in them.

Grizzly bears are one of the animals that keep me up at night.  I’ve just heard too many stories of the awesome power of these animals to not be cautious and concerned.  I’ve even been lucky enough to see one sprinting from a good safe distance.  Despite their reputation, these are some truly special animals that deserve admiration.  Here are 10 fun facts about these animals that will, hopefully, give you new insight into them.

10 Grizzly Bear Facts

grizzly bear facts

I wonder what is over there? Photo via Flickr.

They can get very big!  Males tend to be large than females, about 10% on average.  Males can weigh as much as 1,200 pounds and stand as tall as ten feet – as high as a basketball hoop.

Scientists estimate that there are less than 1,000 grizzly bears in the lower 48 states of the USA.  But, in Alaska there are about 30,000!  If you lived in the year 1800, there would have been about 100,000 grizzlies in the Western USA.

Their home range can be very large.  It varies from as small as 10 square miles up to 400 square miles.  Also, their range can overlap with the range of other grizzlies.

grizzly bear facts

A sleeping/resting bear.

Grizzly bears are not true hibernators.  In fact, they enter a state of dormancy from which they can be woken up.  Read all about dormancy here.

They spend almost half of their life in their winter den!  Can you imagine spending half of your life closed up by yourself in a hole in the ground or in a cave?

grizzly bear facts

Look at those claws! Photo via Flickr.

A grizzly bear’s front claws are nearly twice as long as their back claws.

One distinctive sign that the bear is a grizzly is the hump behind the head between the shoulders.  This hump is actually a mass of muscle that the bear has to help with digging.

Most grizzly bears are a brown color, but not all.  Some of them may in fact be a light brown, cinnamon, almost black or even white.

Adult grizzly bears can’t climb trees.  Cubs can climb trees, but only until they get too old and big.

A grizzly bear is also called a brown bear.  There are other brown bears around the Pacific Ocean, but the grizzlies only live in North America.