Bear Creek Mountain

On Lorri's birthday we headed east in search of sun which we eventually found near Naches. The green trail map shows a trail up Bear Canyon which looked like a good place to get out and stretch our legs and enjoy the sun. The trail ended up being a bit of a disappointment. It is an old roadway converted to trail with no real view of anything other than the brush growing along it. We did see a couple of elk and the largest rattlesnake I have personally seen. The best part of the day was listening to the Washington Huskies upset the #3 USC Trojans on the scratchy AM radio… No, wait! The best part of the day was that it was Lorri’s birthday!

A Bear Canyon Rattlesnake

The next day we didn’t have to search for the sun at all and we found ourselves driving up FSR1200 near Rimrock Lake. From there we followed FSR1205 and 1204 and signs to Section 3 Lake. Section 3 Lake itself isn’t worth the drive but the area is quite scenic. The last couple miles of the road are quite bumpy.

The lovely Section 3 Lake

Where FSR1204 ends FST 1129 begins. The trail passes Section 3 Lake then gains a couple hundred feet of elevation before leveling off and reaching a junction with FST1128 (ca. 6200’) in just under a mile. The next 2 miles are through forest and open meadows with very little elevation gain reaching the junction with FST1130A at ca. 6400’.

Hiking on the Bear Creek Mountain Trail with Bear Creek Mountain in the background

FST1130A ascends somewhat steeply to the east ridge of Bear Creek Mountain then makes its way to the summit (7,337’) which is a former lookout site. This is perhaps the best view of the Goat Rocks but also has good views of Mount Adams and Mount Rainier.

View to the south from Bear Creek Mountain

100 Hikes in Washington's South Cascades and Olympics, Second Edition; Ira Spring and Harvey Manning; Pages 82-83