Always ask around about recent bear activity in the area to understand what precautions are warranted.
... but don't always believe what you hear.
When we went through North Cascades at Newhalem, the signs said it was bear habitat, etc. I asked the campground host if they had a way to store our food, since we didn't have the bear barrel. He told me they hadn't seen bears in years. Couple days later, when we found cell coverage, my wife had a fit. She'd found a journal of a guy who'd actually seen a bear in the campground we were staying within 10 days of our arrival.
At least we were almost out of food, so nothing bothered our gear.