The Old Bear Hill Road Trail follows an old road up the hillside to the top of Bear Hill before descending back to the road and the Giant Forest Museum
. The trail starts on the Alta Trail
, near the junction of the Soldier Trail.
The trail is a double wide dirt track that starts to climb gently up the hillside past Giant Sequoia trees. The trees are close to the trail, offering good photo opportunities, but also in the forest around you. You can see people hiking along the Alta Trail
below you on the right for the first 0.25 of a mile of the trail.
At roughly 0.4 miles, the trail intersects with the Bear Hill Trail
at the top of Bear Hill. If you go to the right, this will drop you back down to the Alta Trail
, but if you go to the left, the trail will take you deeper into the Giant Forest and ultimately end up at Moro Rock
. Because you are hiking through the Giant Forest, the trail is entirely shaded, providing relief from the heat and sun.
On the summit of the hill, there are some weather instruments off to the right side of the trail that you can view if you are interested, or you can continue straight ahead and begin your easy descent back toward the road and museum. Keep your eyes out for sequoia pine cones on the ground throughout this section. They're not the large ones, but the smallest of the cones on the forest floor.
The trail winds down and emerges at Crescent Meadow
Road. You can cross the road and follow the Moro Rock Trail
to the right back to the museum, or you can hike along the road, just be careful of cars as the road is very busy. This trail is great for creating loops in the Giant Forest, allowing you to create various hikes depending on the capabilities of your crew.
Giant Sequoias and other large evergreen trees are found in the Giant Forest, which provides shade for this hike. Wildflowers of various varieties can be spotted off to the side of the trail.
Squirrels, chipmunks, turkeys, deer, and black bears call the Giant Forest home, so keep your eyes open as you traverse the trail.