Hiked this trail in early January and while starting off easy it presents with a steady uphill climb until just before the oasis. The views of San jacinto peak were quite beautiful and the diversity of cacti also stunning. Well worth the jaunt.
It's a great hike but if you go all the way to the oasis it's not easy. The track the shows 4.4 miles one way is correct but the elevation gain is much more than 134 ft, just look at the graph, starts at 2300 ft and end at 1300 ft. Just a warning this is a difficult hike, take lots of water in warm weather.
A good trail with a variety of levels. There are two ways to go: One way (the main way) takes you up some rocky terrain, then downhill you'll pretty much be walling down soft sand the whole time. If you choose this path, I'd rate it as a moderate hike. But if you go the opposite direction, you'll be climbing uphill in all soft sand, then down the rocky terrain. That would make the hike a lot more difficult, rating it as "hard."
There's not much to see except a lot of dirty desert, rusty metal scraps and broken glass...unless you're lucky enough to encounter some Big Horn Sheep.
My wife and I headed out a little later in the day so we took it pretty quick up the trail. It was a great hike for both of us. Never been up there and we really enjoyed the hike. Gorgeous sights to see and the views are outstanding. Weather was cool and coming back later in the afternoon just before sunset was really nice and our first experience in that situation. I would recommend doing that to anyone. Take a head lamp if you do. Trail is really rocky and several switchbacks. The trail is nice and always easy to see after you leave wash area on the way up. If you have it, use Google maps to track yourself. It helped us find the oasis to see how we progressed along the trail. Take plenty of water and snacks.
This was a really fun trail with spectacular views of the Coachella Valley and Salton Sea. The beginning was a bit tricky to navigate due to poor signage but after you start ascending, it is obvious where the trail is. Perfect weather, not too hot, about 60 degrees. Had the trail pretty much to myself except for the beginning and ending mile. Oasis super cool in the middle of nowhere.
There are two trails to Bear Canyon Oasis. The one going to the South is Bear Creek Canyon Trail and the other one going to the Northwest is Bear Creek Trail. The scenic trail is the one going to the South (Bear Creek Canyon Trail) which is a total hike into the desert wilderness. The other one on the NW is more of a Residential zone type hike along the edges of the city next to the wash, majority of people will be parents walking their baby pushing a stroller, kids bike riding and joggers. Note they provide drinking fountain, shaded table and bench. There's trashcans and doggy trash bags. There's parking on the east and residential street curb parking on the West side. Trail map reference are provided, no cost to hike or park.