Hike to Bear Creek Falls

3 miles 400 ft gain  - Out-and-Back 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.

Read More

Tags

Chillin
Photography
Swimming
Hiking
Dog Friendly
Scenic
Swimming Hole

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

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.

Stay Nearby

Kooskia, Idaho

Magruder Rangers House

Overview Magruder Rangers House is one of seven buildings still used by Forest Service trail crews and wilderness rangers, but it is open to the public through parts of the year. It provides visito...

Florence, Montana

Larry Creek Group Camp

Overview Larry Creek Group Campground is located in western Montana's Bitterroot National Forest. It is a great location for an extended family or group getaway, providing access to many fishing, h...

Darby, Montana

Woods Cabin

Overview Woods Cabin offers a unique chance to camp in the forest, in a rustic, old-time setting, while enjoying all the summer and winter activities that are available from the shore of scenic Lak...

Kooskia, Idaho

Powell Campground

Overview Powell Campground provides direct access to the Lochsa Wild and Scenic River, one of Idaho's most scenic waterways. The Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness lies on the opposite side of the river....

Nearby Adventures

  • Hike to Bear Creek Overlook

    At the start of your hike, stay to left and meander your way through a shaded forest of Douglas fir and lodgepole pine.  Your steady uphill climb features about two dozen switchbacks with pockets of vibrant wildflowers and a meadow of fallen trees...

    5 miles 1160 ft gain

  • Hike to Mill Creek Falls

    The trailhead is easily visible from the parking area and ascends into a narrow canyon surrounded by dense forest. Mill Creek is not much more than a trickle at the beginning, but slowly gets larger and follows the trail the entire hike. About a h...

    6 miles 650 ft gain

  • Hike Blodgett Canyon Overlook

    The drive up forest service road 735 can be a little sketchy. Caution is advised during winter months or if the road is wet or muddy. The road dead ends at the Canyon Creek/Blodgett Overlook trailhead. There is ample parking space and an outhou...

    3 miles 400 ft gain

  • Backpack the Sweeney Creek Trail

    The hike into Duffy Lake was approximately 7 miles with ~2600' gain. The first mile or two is fairly steep, then it will wiggle up and down the mountain until it drops down into the drainage to the lake. You can hike to Holloway Lake too if the tr...

    14 miles 2600 ft gain