Black Bears in Utah

Unlike the grizzly, the black bear is still fairly common in the large forested areas of Utah. Rarely black, instead they can be blonde or chocolate brown.
Light colored black bear

The History of Bears in Utah

Utah was once home to two species of bear, the Black Bear and the Grizzly Bear. The Grizzly was extirpated by the 1920s, but the Black Bear is still fairly common in the large forested areas of the state. In Utah, bear hunting with bows is a popular sport.

Aren't Black Bears Black?

In Utah, black bears are rarely black, instead they can be blonde, light brown, reddish or chocolate brown but may appear black in the shade or other low light conditions. Even though the photos and video on this page show a light brown bear, a blonde bear, and a dark brown bear, they are actually the same kind of Black Bear.

Blonde-colored Black Bear

About Utah's Black Bears

Food: Black Bears survive on fruits, nuts, small insects and grubs, as well as scavenging for carrion.

Offspring: One or two cubs appear in January or February and stay with mom for about 18 months.

Activity: Look for them at night and in any season except winter, when they hibernate.

Population: Although it has lived on the continent for two million years, destruction of habitat and hunting put it on Utah's protected species list in 1967.

A Utah Black Bear Up Close



Pikas and Jackrabbits in Utah

The fertile grasslands, woodsy forests and lots of streams in Utah allow the jackrabbit, pika and cottontail to flourish.

Bat flying in the sky

Bats in Utah

Look to the sky at dusk and those small birds you see may actually be bats. You can distinguish bats from birds by their flight patterns.


Chipmunks, Beaver, and Porcupines in Utah

Forty percent of all Utah mammals are rodents. You can distinguish rodents by the way they eat.

Mule deer in Bryce Canyon National Park. Photo by James Phelps [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Mule Deer Inhabit Utah

This elegant animal is one of the most common in the area and can often be seen grazing on the lawns in front of park buildings.


Coyotes in Utah

No one who has heard the eerie cry of a coyote during its hunt in Zion can ever forget it. The high-pitched yip, yip and howl are just plain spooky.


Wild Cats in Utah, but Elusive

Utah has three species of native cats, the mountain lion, or cougar; the lynx; and the bobcat, a cousin to the lynx.

Pronghorn antelope in Utah

Pronghorn Antelope in Utah

The popular big game animal known as the "pronghorn" frequents southern Utah.

A Black-Footed Ferret in Coyote Basin, Utah

Ferrets and Pine Martens in Utah

The black-footed ferret (the French word for "thief") was once considered the rarest land mammal in North America.

A lizard in Zion National Park. Photo by Elisabeth Kwak

Reptiles in Southern Utah

Lizards and snakes flourish in Zion Canyon. Chances are, as you walk the many trails, you'll see one of the 16 species of lizards or 13 snake species.