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Swimming Bear Lake Way Trail

Intermediate
 3.0 (1)

This lake is a beautiful isolated spot and a good place for finding wildlife.


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Map Key

0.5

Miles

0.7

KM

Point to Point

5,021' 1,530 m

High

4,679' 1,426 m

Low

344' 105 m

Up

3' 1 m

Down

14%

Avg Grade (8°)

28%

Max Grade (16°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Lake · Wildlife

Description

Quiet and pristine Swiming Bear Lake is also known as Cat Lake. It sits in a hollow, cradled by meadows above Cat Basin. Bear are abundant here and can often be seen meandering the hillsides or browsing the berry bushes. The lake itself offers very chilly swimming, but an easy shallow entry. Good campsites at that lake are also abundant.

From its junction with Cat Basin Trail, head north on Swimming Bear Lake Way Trail. The initial climb up the open hillside is steep, but eventually the angle moderates as the trail begins to contour towards the lake. This lake is so named because it was featured in Herb Crisler's Walt Disney documentary ("The Olympic Elk") from 1952 with a bear swimming in it.

Flora & Fauna

Mountain goats, bear, deer, elk and hawks.

Shared By:

Megan W

Trail Ratings

  3.0 from 1 vote

#26419

Overall
  3.0 from 1 vote
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Trail Rankings

#1,284

in Washington

#26,419

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1,401 Since Mar 19, 2015
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Photos

View of the Lake and campground upon approach.
Aug 26, 2017 near Port An…, WA

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Aug 22, 2018
Katie Ashmore
Incredible hidden lake, no bears though :/ 1mi