Bear Creek “Trail”

 
 

This hike starts by following a trail adjacent to Bear Creek which leads quickly above tree line. The trail is unmarked and a bit steep in places but relatively easy to follow. For beginners or those seeking an easier hike, the end of this trail is a good stopping point and a nice spot to picnic with beautiful views. However, experienced hikers and fit participants will enjoy climbing another 500-1000 vertical feet onto a broad plateau. Those on half-day tours can roam and sightsee around the plateau as time permits, while those on a full-day tour can follow the plateau for miles without having to gain much additional elevation. You can view colorful rock formations and interesting cliffs in the Ruby Creek drainage as you approach a couple cirque glaciers at the head of Bear Creek, and adventurous hikers can cross over to the plateau on the opposite (south) side of Bear Creek and follow it back to the highway for an interesting loop hike. There are abundant Dall sheep in the area, caribou, and I once encountered three wolves on the plateau! It can get a tad windy on this route at times.

Route Length (half-day): up to 2 miles (one-way), 1000-2000 feet elevation gain
Route Length (full-day): up to 5-6 miles (one-way), 2000-3000 feet elevation gain