Can Grizzly Bears Climb Trees? What, When, and How?

I have read enough stories about grizzly bear attacks in my childhood. And in most of these stories, people get away with their lives by climbing trees.

But it’s a myth!

The myth is grizzly bears can’t climb trees. And people have always been in this misconception that only black bears have the skill of climbing trees.

Not true!

So if you ask me now, can grizzly bears climb trees?

The answer might actually surprise you and your childhood beliefs. This is because grizzly bears can climb trees, after all.

And these bears use these skills for various reasons like finding food, playing, resting, escaping predators, and more, which I will explain to you in a moment.

Can the Cubs Climb Trees?

grizzly cubs

Yes, the grizzly bear cubs can actually climb trees as well as their adult counterparts. And they are very much skilled at doing so.


That is because the cubs of grizzly bears are sometimes targeted by predators, such as wolves, coyotes, and more.

So these cubs have to protect themselves somehow, right? This is why the cubs will climb trees, and they are very fast too!

Whereas some just do it for fun!

How Often Mature Grizzly Bears Climb Trees?

Mature Grizzly Bears

Here’s the thing, most of the adult and matured grizzly bears actually don’t climb trees as often as their cubs.

Why is that?

Imagine the size and weight of an adult grizzly bear. Males can weigh up to as heavy as 800 pounds or more while females as much as 500 pounds.

Now can you imagine carrying that much around up a tree? Not really, no! So they don’t usually climb trees too often.

Doesn’t mean they can’t!

How Can Grizzly Bears Climb Trees?

 Grizzly Bears claws

As I’ve already mentioned, adult grizzly bears don’t usually climb trees, but that doesn’t mean they don’t at all.

But how?

These bears have sharp and curved claws at their disposal that they can use to take down most enemies.

Isn’t that a scary thought?

Yes, but the point is that you can use these claws that look like blades to keep hold and climb up trees really fast.

So even though they can’t climb a tree as fast as a black bear can, they certainly are skilled and well-equipped to do it anyway.

Climbing for Protection

 Grizzly Bears climbing trees

Whenever grizzly bears think they need to scale a tree, they do not hesitate once while completing the task.

Mostly for protection!

If they think or see their cubs’ life in danger, they are not at all reluctant to carry all that weight while climbing a tree.

This is especially true about a mother grizzly bear, who would do anything to protect their children.

Climbing for Food

grizzly bears eating

Back bears are known for being able to climb trees for food. But this kind of skill is not just limited to them because grizzlies can too.

They are omnivores!

Although they are known for being really predatory, they actually eat a vegetative diet about 70 percent of the time.

And even though they take what they can get from the ground, grizzlies will climb trees to look for food sometimes.

Climbing After You?

grizzlies hunting

As apex predators, grizzly bears would not rest until they have gotten to their prey, even if it means climbing trees.

So even though they don’t always climb trees, if you, unfortunately, become their target and decide to climb a tree, they might end up pursuing you all the way up.

The Verdict

Can grizzly bears climb trees? By now, I am sure you have gotten rid of the narrative that grizzly bears can’t climb trees from your mind. Not only can they, but they might just climb to attack you!

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