Hike to Bear Creek Falls

Montana Bear Creek Trail

Added by Meredith Baird

This is an easy, quick and rewarding hike in the Bitterroot Mountains. The trail is dog-friendly and, in the warm months, a perfect place to hang out, picnic, climb over the smooth rocks and swim in the various pools.

The trailhead is well established with a small campground and bathroom facilities.

The hike begins in dense forest and slowly climbs over Bear Creek through a canyon. You get your typical (but always beautiful!) Bitterroot scenery: jagged rocky mountains towering over you on each side.

At 1.5 miles, the trail opens up to the main waterfall. Depending on the time of year, it can be small or raging.

I love this hike because you have ample opportunity to bring out your inner child. Along the trail, the water streams over boulders and smooth rocks where you can climb, hop, skip and jump! Green and turquoise pools of varying depth form all around and make the perfect spot to take a dip.

Pack List

  • Swimsuit
  • Lunch
  • Sandals
  • Bear Spray
  • Water
  • Camera
Read More

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Share

Activities:

Chillin, Hiking, Photography, Swimming

Skill Level:

Beginner

Season:

Summer, Autumn

Trail Type:

Out-and-Back

Distance:

3 Miles

Elev. Gain:

400 Feet

Rating:

Features:

Dog Friendly
Scenic
Swimming Hole

Are we missing something?

Suggest an edit

How to Get There

8 months ago

Fun Day Hike

Bear Creek is a super accessible and scenic day hike. I went during early June during the runoff and the river was raging the whole time. The trail continues into wilderness if you feel like going farther that the falls or want to find a nice camping spot. Would highly recommend.

8 months ago

More Adventures Nearby

Hike to Apikuni Falls at Glacier National Park

Montana / Apikuni Falls Trailhead

From the parking lot follow the trail to the left to Apikuni Falls.

Kelley Dodge
4 Saves

Backpack Granite Peak

Montana / East Rosebud Trail

There are a few ways to approach Granite Peak. The most popular route is the Mystic Lake trail in West Rosebud. It lies primarily on opinion as to which route is the best, easiest, or most scenic.

Karissa Frye
6 Saves

Hike to Blaine Mountain

Montana / Doris Creek Trailhead

To reach the trailhead for this hike, it is about an hour's drive from nearby Kalispell. You will drive around Hungry Horse Reservoir on the West Side Road, and turn off onto Doris Creek Road.

Josh Osborne
3 Saves