Can Polar Bears Climb Mountains? [ 9 Facts You Need to Know! ]

Grizzlies live in the mountain forest habitat. And obviously, these bears can climb mountains and do so very often. However, is this the same with polar bears?

Here’s what you need to know…

Yes, polar bears can climb mountains. In the arctic regions, in which they live, they climb different kinds of tall mountains occasionally. 

However, these creatures aren’t built to climb mountains. But they climb mountains much better than they could climb any tree.

Since we say polar bears can climb mountains, you may be curious why they do so. Why will these bears go up in the mountains?

Let’s find out next! 

Table of Contents

Why Do Polar Bears Climb Mountains?

First, polar bears rarely climb mountains. They are marine creatures and mostly stay near the ocean or icy areas of their arctic habitat. 

Still, they climb mountains for a few reasons. One of them is to hunt and search for food, especially land prey animals. 

A polar bear might also need to cross over mountains to another habitat. This means they sometimes climb mountains when migrating or traveling. 

Above all, there’s very little they do on mountains.

What Mountains Do Polar Bears Climb?

Can Polar Bears Climb Snowy Mountains?

Mother Polar Bear and Her Cubs Climbing a Snowy Mountain

Yes, polar bears can climb snowy mountains. This is a very common mountain in the polar bears’ region. 

Snow covers these mountains for about three to six months every year. It might seem difficult for them to climb, but it’s not. 

Polar bears have wide and large paws to help them climb the snow on the snowy mountain.

Do Polar Bears Climb Cliffs?

Polar Bear Climbing a Cliff

Yes, polar bears climb cliffs in their habitat. They do this mostly when searching for food. It’s not a very common thing for them to climb cliffs. 

Funny enough, polar bears won’t hesitate to climb cliffs when they are hungry. One male polar bear was spotted climbing a cliff above the Arctic Ocean. 

It was a risky move, and he did this intending to feed on seabird eggs. In addition to this, scientists spotted polar bears climbing cliffs for the first time in Nunavut, Canada. 

Do Polar Bears Climb Icebergs?

Polar Bear Standing at the Top of an Iceberg

Yes, polar bears climb different kinds of icebergs in their marine habitat. These are simply mountains of ice.

In addition, polar bears climb icebergs commonly in their habitat. This is because it’s located in the ocean where polar bears mostly stay. 

Interestingly, these bears will swim a lot and then climb icebergs. They stay on icebergs and hunt seals too. Polar bears make these sea mountains their home. 

Can Polar Bears Climb Rocky Mountains?

Yes, polar bears climb the Rocky Mountains, especially the Arctic Rockies. These Rocky Mountains (or the Rockies) are common in parts of Canada where polar bears live.

In addition, they are the largest mountain system you’ll see in North America. Just like other large mountains in the Arctic regions, polar bears climb the Rockies when traveling or searching for food.

Can Baby Polar Bears Climb Mountains?

Yes, baby polar bears can climb mountains. However, they do not climb all mountains as adult polar bears would. 

There are cases of baby polar bears climbing snowy mountains. However, mountains like cliffs can be too dangerous and difficult for them to climb. 

Furthermore, what takes a baby polar bear up high in mountains is usually migration or travel. It’s sometimes part of their survival training. 

Do Polar Bears Live in the Mountains?

No, polar bears do not live in mountains. They are marine animals that live in the Arctic region, especially in ice-covered waters. 

Polar bears will rest, breed, and hunt on the Arctic sea ice. They rarely go up in the mountains and certainly don’t make shelter there. 

Are There Polar Bears on Mount Everest?

Mount Everest - Not a Home For Polar Bears

No, there are no polar bears on Mount Everest. Owing to the way snow almost entirely covers this mountain, it’s not strange to think polar bears live there.

Well, the fact remains that Mount Everest isn’t located in any of the polar bear’s habitats.  However, some other species of bears live around Mount Everest.

They are the Himalayan or Asiatic black bears. Moreover, you’ll find animals like red pandas, snow leopards, Himalayan Tahr, and Himalayan goral, etc.

Do Polar Bears Live in Glaciers?

No, polar bears do not live in glaciers. These landforms are large sheets of snow and ice and they originate entirely on land.

Of course, you’ll find glaciers in the Arctic region which is the polar bears’ habitat. However, they are located in the mountains, and that’s not where polar bears shelter.


To sum up, polar bears can climb mountains. However, this isn’t what these bears are built for.

Polar bears rarely climb mountains. And when they do, they do so for a few reasons.

Mostly, they climb mountains to search for food, especially land animals. Moreover, they go across mountains when migrating.

Polar bears climb the different mountains in their habitat. They include snowy mountains, cliffs, rocky mountains, and icebergs.

Climbing mountains is something baby polar bears also do. Though they don’t climb as well as an adult does.

Remember polar bears don’t live in mountains. Their habitat remains the sea ice, which is the icy part of the Arctic near the ocean.

Similar to polar bears, giant pandas can climb mountains. However, unlike polar bears, panda bears can climb trees pretty well.

Though both creatures have lots of similarities, they are also different in many ways.

Find out  more in our article – Giant Pandas VS Polar Bears – Similarities and Differences