Bear Gulch Trail is a 1.9 mile loop trail located near Paicines, CA and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and rock climbing and is accessible year-round.
Directions from Bear Gulch Visitor Center: Follow Moses Spring Trail southward .6 miles to the caves.
Fun easy hike through the caves up to the reservoir. Caves are really cool, narrow with stairwells. Best to have a flashlight but iPhone will work. Reservoir is reminiscent of the lion king - lots of water snakes.
Did most of this trail, but went up High Peaks and Down Juniper canyon then .2 out to Peaks View and back to make it 10 miles even. It took 6 hours stopping to take pictures and eat lunch. It is an awesome trail and the ability to add High Peaks into it is absolutely worth it. Would love to do it again and add the North wilderness into it as well
Did the full Bear Gulch Trail from an overflow lot on a busy weekend. The beginning is sunny before you enter the wooded gulch and it is a decent walk uphill to reach the visitor center before continuing on into the caves. It adds a couple miles to the hike but is nothing too strenuous.
Bring a flashlight for the cave (or cellphone) and when you get to the reservoir turn around if you're doing the quick trail (there's a loop).
Also it was quite busy, they had shuttles running from the Visitor Center to the Bear Gulch trail.
Very fun trail. Saw on previous review that a 2 year old went on it so we also brought one. He had a fantastic time and loved the big rocks as he said. There was one scary moment where the trail was a little slanted and our lil man slipped and almost tumbled down but we scooped him up before he could fall down. So if you do bring kids be careful at certain areas where easy slipping can occur. Other than that caves are great. Very family friendly. And had a great time!
A great trail. The trail is pretty easy. The caves were really fun. My two year old walked the entire hike.
Really easy trail which lets you enjoy the scenery. Beautiful rock formations and colors. Short and very easy trail.
Bear Gulch trail was a fantastic warm-up on a chilly saturday morning. The trail strolls up through the canyon, through the Bear Gulch cave (if you want) and ends up at a pretty little reservoir. We got there early (8am) and were able to get a spot in the top parking lot, but it seems to get crowded pretty quickly so you could end up parking far away if you get there late in the day.
Also (noting the review below) wanted to add that we did this trail on a Saturday so you might just have to ask the ranger if it'll be open or closed that day
A pretty easy hike filled with beautiful formations, cave exploring, and rock climbing opportunities. I also suggest taking a quick detour to the reservoir, which was pretty as well and leads right back into bear gulch caves.
Trail closed on Saturday