I know that hundreds of black bears roam around Yosemite, however they are considered harmless and an attack towards humans has not been reported so far. However, are there any other possible dangers from wild animals? I am thinking about Snakes, Mountain Lions, Boars or maybe Wolves.

What are (allowed) protective measures against wild animal attacks specifically in Yosemite?

2 Answers 2


Source: Decades of backpacking in Yosemite.

There are no wolves or boars in Yosemite, so you can relax on that point. There are coyotes, but they pose no danger to you.

There are snakes, including rattlesnakes at the lower elevations. In decades of hiking in Yosemite, I have seen one snake, a harmless small one, crossing the trail at Tuolumne Meadows (about 8,600 feet). Once while I was in Yosemite, there was a mountain lion alert for the trail up Yosemite Falls, but the mountain lion did not appear, understandably, for that is a busy trail.

For snakes, keep your eyes open and, as @noah said stay on the trails where they are easy to spot. For mountain lions, if you are really worried, hike with one, preferably two other adults.

Neither snakes nor mountain lions will be above timberline, which is at about 10,000 feet.

You should worry more about homo sapiens, than mountain lions, especially in the Valley or at trailheads, where occasionally they break into cars and steal things.

  • 1
    I have seen Bobcats in Yosemite as well, though they were very chill. One time I saw it just strolling down the Mirror Lake Loop toward me. I got off the trail, out of its way, and it just sauntered by followed by tourists taking its photo.
    – Barker
    Aug 6, 2019 at 23:25
  • @Barker Lucky you! I've seen a bobcat only once in the wild, in SInkyone State Park, considerably to the north of Yosemite. It evaporated into the woods as soon as I moved. The ranger confirmed that there was a bobcat in the area -- he had seen its scat near a trail marker. But a blasé bobcat -- that is something!
    – ab2
    Aug 7, 2019 at 1:33

You are not allowed bear spray in Yosemite. It is also illegal to discharge a firearm for any reason, but you are allowed to transport your gun through the park (assuming you legally own it).


Within Yosemite National Park, it is prohibited to possess or use pepper spray (including bear spray and other irritant gas devices), pellet guns, BB guns, bows and arrows, crossbows, blowguns, spearguns, hand-thrown spears, slingshots, explosive devices, or any other implements designed to discharge missiles.

But what CAN you do?

The biggest thing you can do to protect yourself is to use common sense. Hike on established trails and backpacking routes. This is not only helpful for your safety but protects the national park. Put all your smelly objects in proper bear storage. Carry with you a rescue whistle (like a Fox40).

I personally have never had any issues with animals in Yosemite. There isn't really anything you need to worry about beyond proper bear storage.

The NPS has a good acronym (Hike Safe) to summarize what you should do:

Have a plan

Inform someone of where you're going and when you plan to return

Keep a flashlight and whistle with you

Eat well, stay hydrated: carry plenty of water

Stay on the trail

Ask for HELP!

Familiarize yourself with the area, use a map

Expect changes in the weather

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.