The animal was first spotted around 7:30 a.m. by residents who saw him climbing over fences and wandering through yards in the area of Henrietta and La Crescenta avenues.
At one point, the approximately 300-pound bear walked up the La Crescenta Avenue ramp onto the 210 Freeway, which forced the temporary shutdown in both directions.
The bear also lingered at a nail salon, and padded down the running track at Crescenta Valley High School during his 2.5-mile jaunt through the suburbs, authorities said.
Authorities tracked the bear's whereabouts by land and air. The "Alert LA County" emergency telephone notification system was used by deputies at 8:40 a.m. to phone more than 4,000 area residents of the bear in their neighborhood.
After a couple of hours, authorities surrounded the animal at Sunset and Hermosa avenues and hit it with tranquilizer darts.
"He's going to be down for a couple of hours," said J.C. Healy, a warden with the Department of Fish and Game. "We put a fairly decent amount of drugs in him, we're going to bring him up to a nice secluded place in the forest and he's going to wake up and walk away."
Last month a bear was euthanized after being struck by a car on the same stretch of freeway.
The Associated Press and City News Service contributed to this report.