Dogs - Leashed · Fall Colors · River/Creek · Spring · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife
Trails included in this hikeBear Creek Trail #5
OverviewWith just a short drive from Missoula or Hamilton, you'll find yourself with multiple options that allow you to escape into the Bitterroot Mountains. The Bear Creek Trail #5 is a moderately traveled, relatively easy outing for all ages along it's namesake creek which ultimately leads you to Bear Creek Falls. Along the way, you'll encounter large natural rock fields, a thickening coniferous forest, and a mountain riparian habitat along with the possibility to sight various animals or birds along the way. Once at Bear Creek Falls, visitors can either relax and enjoy the cold snow melt as it cascades over granite boulders or continue on along Bear Creek Trail #5 and into the Sellway-Bitterroot Wilderness.
Flora & FaunaWhile traveling on this trail you will see an abundance of native coniferous pine trees, deciduous hardwoods and, depending upon time of year, native wildflowers in bloom or green shrubbery. Deer and elk sightings are fairly common near the trailhead, but typically not so much once the trail folds into the narrowing canyon. This is where mountain goat sightings may be possible, especially along the cliff face north of the trail. Small critters and raptor sightings (bald eagle or osprey) are common while navigating to the waterfall. And yes, the trail's namesake does do it justice as bear encounters are possible all along the trail. So don't forget to bring bear spray and make noise as you go.
Family FriendlyThe trail is not overly difficult with very gradual, modest elevation gains. Kids may need assistance crossing over the occasionally downed trees which are now a part of the trail system.
Land Manager: USFS - Bitterroot National Forest OfficeShared by Shannon D.
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