“A steep and technical trail that heads up the western ridge of Bear Peak.”
— Brian Smith
Birding · Views · Wildlife
Find the lower terminus of this trail at a junction in Bear Canyon with the Bear Canyon Trail
and the Green Bear
Bear Peak West Ridge is a slightly less steep, slightly less technical approach to Bear Peak than the Fern Canyon
trail. That said, this trail is still very steep and technical as it climbs about 1,200 feet in under two miles.
Initially, the grade is fairly manageable and the trail is very easy to follow. Toward the final 1/3rd of the ascent to Bear Peak
on this trail, you'll enter into the burn zone from the 2012 wildfires. At this point the grade steepens, switchbacks become much tighter and the terrain becomes generally much more technical.
Eventually, you'll pop out into a talus field just below the summit of Bear Peak. From here it's essentially a rock scramble to the well-defined summit.
Flora & Fauna
This trail travels almost exclusively through ponderosa pine forest. Mule deer, rabbits and black bears are all common in this area. Towards the higher reaches of this trail's elevation, it enters a distinct burn zone followed by a mountain-top scree field.