The Time I Saw a Bear While Hiking

This summer, my husband and I hiked a lot.  It was a fun hobby, and we saw a lot of neat and unusual things…most recently a bear.

Even though I’m a blogger and having content can be an issue I decided not to stop and take a photo “for the blog.”  In fact, photographing the bear didn’t cross my mind because honestly, I was scared AF.

This guy on youtube was bolder than me…who knows it could have been the same bear.

So let’s rewind to the entire hike.  We arrived back at the Delaware Water Gap around 12.  We had hiked to Sunfish pond the week before and wanted to go back and explore more trails.  The only thing that worried us was parking, but we shockingly found a spot pretty easily.  (There were around 100 cars in the park but grabbed the last one).

We decided to take the blue dot trail.  It was labeled easier than the Appalachian, but honestly, it was straight uphill for 2 miles.  At certain points, I wish I had taken rock climbing at my college.  Fun fact, for those who don’t know, I took backpacking at school…Delaware Water Gap

The first two miles were almost exclusively uphill on loose rock.  We were rewarded once we made it to the top and took some fun pictures up there.

Delaware Water Gap

We ended up taking a back trail which spanned about 5 miles.  We said we would turn around at 5 miles (because we didn’t want to end up getting lost).  Around 4.95, we saw two hikers coming in the opposite direction.  They said Sunfish pond was about 90 minutes away.  We figured it would be about the same distance to the pond as turning around, so we pressed on towards the pond.

Delaware Water Gap

No less than 15 minutes later we saw the bear in the middle of the trail.  Honestly, I stood there shocked, terrified and unsure what to do.  Would it attack? Was I a goner?  I looked like a deer in the headlights.

I was in pure shock.  I made eye contact with the bear, and he ran into the woods.  It was an older adolescent bear who probably weighed 300 pounds.  My biggest fear was that he was running towards his mom.  You never mess with a momma bear.  Even though brown bears are more harmless than Grizzlies, they are still wild and dangerous.

After the bear had left, we stood silent for about 5 minutes.  The 5 minutes felt like an eternity.  We continued along the path to Sunfish pond and never saw any sign of any bears.  We came across two other hikers, and my first thought was more people so we should be okay.

The rest of the hike went without any more issues. We saw a snake but other than that, we made it to Sunfish pond then hiked the 4 miles back down the mountain.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the hike a lot but seeing the bear was one of the top 5 most terrifying moments of my life.  I saw a few bears while running in college but they were far enough way they didn’t notice me.

Other hiking posts:
Hiking to the Hollywood Sign
Getting Lost at Bear Mountain
Hiking at Bear Mountain Again
Hiking Hemlock Falls
Hiking to Sunfish Pond (where we were hiking in this post too)

Questions for you:
What is the scariest moment you’ve had recently?
Have you ever come into contact with a wild animal? 

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  1. i cant believe i forgot to mention in my last blog post– we saw a black bear! however, we were in the car and it ran across the road. It still scared me, but i felt super safe in the car.

  2. Ahhh! That is my nightmare. When I took my daughter hiking in the Shenandoah valley, we saw three bears cross the road on the way to the trail we were hiking. I seriously debated not taking her hiking after that. I was terrified. Glad you were safe and smart! They are beautiful animals!!

  3. I am from the city so seeing a bear, I would probably do everything you’re not supposed to do. I would be TERRIFIED lol. My husband would have handled it and he would have walked on just fine but me? Nope! I hate possums and I was one on a run once and that was more than enough to spook me lol.

    1. Lol, I live in a populated area as well and I would be happy to never see a bear again either.

  4. When I was in Shenandoah last summer we saw a bear while we were biking. It was stopped in the middle of the path in front of us and I was completely terrified. My ex boyfriend thought it was the coolest experience ever. Personally I could live without another bear sighting in my life

  5. Cool! I didn’t know Backpacking was a class. What was the final?
    And wow. A bear is scary. I see warthogs sometimes while running, and mother hogs get super protective of their young, but a bear could do so much more damage. I wonder if looking it in the eyes was a good idea?
    The scariest thing I’ve experienced lately was riding my bike in urban wild I guess.

    1. That’s interesting about the warthogs!

      The backpacking class was essentially one big test. We sat in a lecture for about a week and then we went backpacking for another week. We had a bunch of tests throughout backpacking (like pitching a tent, etc). It was one of my favorite classes!

  6. This is seriously one of my biggest fears!!! There are bears all over my neighborhood (I know b/c neighbors are constantly posting pics of them to FB!) and now I think about it all the time when I’m out running. So glad you are ALIVE 🙂

    1. I would have walked 15 miles in the opposite direction if it meant staying from a deadly bear. LOL

  7. I’ve done some trail running through some of the state parks/game lands in the Poconos and seen deer, American bald eagles, and snakes. And bears – twice. I stopped, they sauntered by both times into the deeper part of the woods. I was never worried … we’re in their house!

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