How Fast Can a Bear Run? | Can You Outrun Them?

Every person who has ever tried to outrun a bear has probably thought about it at one point or another. You might have seen them run by as you’re walking along or heard stories from your friends and relatives about how they used to outrun the bears in their respective areas back in the day. But what about in real life?

A bear’s top speed is quite fast for their usual size—about 30-35 miles per hour (mph). They can travel at that constant speed while they’re chasing down their prey, as they are known as endurance runners.

While outrunning a bear isn’t so likely, it’s still possible depending on the circumstances, particularly when it’s distracted by other prey around.

If there’s one thing that bears are good at, it’s running. The biggest reason why bears can run so fast despite their size is that they have massive paws and can cover ground quickly.

Their legs are also very long, which allows them to move faster than other animals. In this article, we’re gonna talk about how fast they can run and other interesting things about them.

Can You Outrun a Bear?

Can You Outrun a Bear

The problem is that people think that bears are slow because of their size—they’re not! Bears are quite fast for their size, but they have to be because they eat so much food every day.

A bear’s metabolism is so high that it can burn through 300 calories per hour just by walking around! 

How Fast Do Bears Run?

How Fast Are Grizzly Bears?

How Fast Are Grizzly Bears

Grizzly bears can run up to 25-30 miles per hour, which is pretty average for most bears. They are also strong enough to jump about 20 feet in the air and clear obstacles like trees and logs that are just barely out of their reach. They can swim easily and quickly, too!

How Fast Are Black Bears?

How Fast Are Black Bears

The fastest black bears are those that live in the Arctic, where they can run up to 35 mph. That’s nearly as fast as a cheetah, which is faster than us! But like any other type of bear, the black bear’s top speed still depends on its age, body size, and sex.

The average speed for adult male bears is 25 mph, while adult female bears can go up to around 18 mph. Baby black bears usually only go 10 mph or so.

How Fast Are Polar Bears?

How Fast Are Polar Bears

Polar bears are some of the most well-known and beloved animals in the world, but they are not as fast as you might think. polar bear’s top speed is about 12 miles per hour, which is about as fast as a human can walk (though not much faster).

In fact, most polar bears only move at speeds of less than 2.5 miles per hour—which means that they are walking when they’re not swimming or just paddling around on land.

They might be able to run faster than this, but they don’t have endurance as you’d expect from a predator like a shark or a lion.

How Fast Can a Kodiak Bear Run?

How Fast Can a Kodiak Bear Run

Kodiak bears, also known as Kodiak brown bears, can run up to 25 miles per hour. This is a pretty fast speed, but it’s not as fast as some other bear speeds.

The Kodiak brown bears in the world can go up to 30 miles per hour, and they’re not even close to Kodiak bears when it comes to speed!

Because of their size and speed, Kodiak bears are often called “mountain-running bears.” This means that they will run away from predators by jumping over small obstacles and running up steep inclines—like mountains or cliffs—where other animals cannot follow them easily without getting hurt by falling rocks or trees.

Why Do Bears Run Fast?

Why Do Bears Run Fast

They’re not speedsters like cheetahs or horses. They don’t need to be fast, because they’re big and strong enough to go where they want when they want.

Bears are also very good at sensing when there’s a threat nearby and running away from it—hence the name “bears,” which means “fast.”

Bears run fast because they need to move quickly to escape predators and find food. If they are pursued by a predator, they will often run away from the predator instead of fighting back.

This is because bears have very long legs and a long stride, which allows them to cover distance quickly. Bears also have large muscles that allow them to run long distances without getting tired.

What Is the Fastest Species of Bear?

What Is the Fastest Species of Bear

Black bears are known as the fastest species of bear, with 35 mph speed, and they use it in many different ways to hunt their prey. They run very fast when chasing down prey and can even leap to reach prey on high branches.

They also swim very quickly when attacking fish and other small creatures in the water. That’s pretty impressive, considering black bears can grow up to six feet long and weigh as much as 400 pounds! 

How Fast Can the Average Human Run?

How Fast Can the Average Human Run

The average male and female person can run at a speed of about 6-8 mph. This is a speed that is fast enough to be considered a sprint but not so fast that it would cause injury if the person were to try running for an extended period of time.

The average person can run faster than this, but it will still depend on someone’s fitness level and weight. If someone has more fitness or weighs less than the average person, they will be able to run at a higher speed.

How Fast Do You Have to Be to Outrun a Bear?

For one thing, you can’t outrun a typical adult-size bear in real life. You can for sure outrun it if you run 35-40 mph. The problem is even Usain Bolt, the fastest runner in the world, who has a record of 27.5 mph cannot do it.

If you try to run away from the bear and it catches up with you, there’s not much you can do except hope that the bear gets tired before it catches you.

Should You Run if You See a Bear?

First of all, don’t run away. Bears are more likely to chase after people who run than those who stand their ground and fight back. They’ll also be more aggressive if they’re hungry or injured.

If a bear does approach you, try not to look at it directly or stare into its eyes—this can make the bear feel threatened and may cause it to attack. 

Instead, look down at your feet or behind you for about five seconds before looking back up at the bear again.

This will give you time to decide whether or not you should continue running or fight back with whatever resources are available—such as rocks or sticks—in front of you. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is It Possible for a Human to Outrun a Bear?

It is impossible for a human to outrun a bear, but it’s also not impossible. A bear can run up to 35 miles per hour, while humans only reach about 10 miles per hour on average.

That means that if a human were able to keep up with a bear on foot, they would be able to outrun them by several miles in just two or three hours.

That’s not enough time for the human to get away from the bear though, as even at its top speed, a bear won’t be able to cover more than 30 miles in one day.

Can You Outrun a Grizzly Bear?

You can’t outrun a grizzly bear. Grizzlies are known for their speed and agility, which is why they’re so dangerous. They’re also known to be able to run up to 30 miles per hour, which makes them one of the fastest animals in North America.

Can Bears Climb Faster Than They Run?

Bears can climb faster than they run. The reason why bears climb faster than they run is that they can maintain balance while climbing—a skill that humans don’t possess without training.

Bears can climb using their arms and legs separately while maintaining control over their body weight. 

Are Black Bears Aggressive?

Black bears are known to be among the most aggressive animals on Earth. They can be deadly to humans and are one of the most dangerous bear species in America.

However, this doesn’t mean that black bears should be feared or avoided at all costs. They’re quite docile creatures if you give them space and time to get used to your presence around them.

Can You Outrun a Bear Downhill?

You can outrun a bear downhill. However, it’s not going to be easy. The bear will probably be able to outrun you because of its size and strength.

You can try running as fast as you can, but if the bear is that much faster than you, then it’s not going to matter how fast you go—you won’t get away.

Can Usain Bolt Outrun a Bear?

Usain bolt can’t outrun a bear. Bolt can run faster than a bear in the 100-meter dash, and he has been clocked at 9.58 seconds in his career. The bear has a fairly good chance of catching him if it is not distracted by something else.


Let’s face it, most of us aren’t going to encounter many bears in our day-to-day lives. However, bear attacks are becoming more prevalent as humans encroach on their territory.

Knowing how fast they can run is probably an important piece of the puzzle. While we can’t be sure exactly how fast these bears can run, they’re probably faster than you’d expect. 

List of Sources

Black Bear

Bear Identification

Bear Attacks

Staying Safe Around Bears

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