Explore the most popular kid friendly trails in Bitterroot National Forest with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Spectacular views for such a short & easy hike. Completed in under 1.5 hours round trip on the evening of 6/15/18. Snow is all gone, although it did hail during my ascent. Counted 22 not steep switchbacks and one longer stretch at the very end.

Make sure to use directions to bear creek OVERLOOK trail, different from bear creek trailhead. Looong & precarious dirt road up to the trailhead, not for the faint of heart. When you get to the end of the dirt road, there is a gate stopping further access. Do not follow the road past the gate, take the trail up into the forest on your left. There are two trails, one straight up and one slightly to the south that switches back and forth the whole way up. These two trails cross each other frequently, but the switchback way is nice and easy to follow. Enjoy the incredible views!!

Lots of wildflowers right now! Heavily trafficked. Past the second bench there is a side trail up to a rocky outlook on the south side of the mountain which was fun but dangerously steep on loose dirt in a few spots, you need good traction and balance and perhaps a touch of willingness to do some sliding on your butt coming back down. At the overlook at the end of the trail there are several spots to go exploring out on rocks to get even better views. Great trail overall.

Didn't make it to the waterfall, but pretty views of river, cliffs, and wildflowers.

Takes a little effort to get to the end but very cool once you do. Large open area where you could picnic, relax, rest, etc. The worst part I thought was the drive up. I have a fairly new car and the unpaved road is very rough. Glad I went on a week night after work as there didn’t seem like there was much parking.

hiking
4 days ago

There is a fair amount of water running on the trail, but it’s not impassible. Including my group, we saw 17 people hiking to the lake today.

This is such a fun place! Great for swimming towards the end of the hike! Curious...any particular time there are not many yellow jackets? I love this place so much but there were so so many yellow jackets and my daughter was stung twice on the trail. I want to go when they are not swarming :). Gorgeous place and easy trail. So much fun!

Awesome hike. My boys even said it was easy. Views are spectacular this spring!!!!

Very easy trail, recommend hiking well past the falls, where you enter into denser forest.
There are plenty of boulders, for climbing, on either side of the trails to up the ante of the beautiful, but effortless trail.

It's actually 6.7 miles in and out, a couple of creek crossings but nothing hard, snow at the end but the lake is gorgeous.... so worth it

Amazing trail.
1. $5 fee so have cash or check.
2. On the east side of the lake the water has washed out the trail. You can bravely venture across if you're sure footed (not recommended for kiddos, elderly or dogs who aren't water aware)...downstream 12 feet -ish there is a log you can cross (also not recommended for those mentioned above).
We had an amazing time on this hike and the waterfall area is worth every footstep. Gorgeous!

Breathtaking views! Hike over the boulders to get to the waterfall well worth it. Lots of hikers for a Tuesday. So many awe factors!!

Great kid & dog friendly hike. A couple water spots to dodge but nothing crazy. You can see a waterfall about 3 miles in. The regular trail was washed out but you can hike some boulders to keep going. That was a little too advanced for our 6 yo so we turned around at that point. Will definitely do it again.

This trail is wonderful, don't listen to the reviewer who claims there isn't much wow factor. The views are gorgeous. The trail is actually pretty easy, if you don't mind rocks and the distance to the falls. There was a lot of water on the trail in places when we went a week ago but you could avoid getting wet fairly easily. l
Lots of wildflowers. Not too many other hikers. This is one of my favorites of the Bitteroot hikes.

on Bear Creek Overlook Trail

26 days ago

Amazing hike, beautiful view would be really simple without snow. Still quite a bit of snow be prepared to step and fall in if you don’t have snow shoes also be prepared to have no trail to follow.

I agree with previous poster. it was a beautiful hike, but was surprised at the steep climb. Strenuous at times for an old gal like me, but the view was well worth the struggle.

Beautiful view the whole way! The trails were a bit more narrow and steeper than expected but still easy enough for a novice hiker such as myself.

Easy to follow, mostly level, and dead gorgeous. Great way to ease in to the summer hiking season.

First hike of the season. I did the full loop and had a great time. The trail was a bit sloppy in places from the snowmelt but was otherwise easy to follow. Free parking if you go between Labor Day and Memorial Day. Including a break for lunch, it took me just over 3 hours.

Still a great trail in December. Found minimal ice, completed in 45 minutes. the wind coming out of the canyon at the top was brutal at 30 degrees in the valley so dress warm.

Did this trail on horse back in summer 2016. Perfect!!

Great trail. Tons of great views and easy scrambling. When we went the creek was out of its banks so we had to take a few detours. About 6 miles in the canyon narrows and is more wooded. Tons of great rapids and scenery.

Roads solid ice, narrow, with cliffs had to bale on it today. Will return in the spring.

Spectacular view :)

hiking
8 months ago

Easy.. Haha Nooooo!! Snowy most of the way, alders covered in snow, draped over the trail in many places. Great view above the clouds, now that I am done I am feeling like a rockstar but damn that was a tough hike!!!

First four miles or so were pretty nice, nothing too extreme. But FUCK whoever rated this as an "easy" trail based on the last mile.

hiking
8 months ago

5 star view on this one. I highly recommend it.

hiking
8 months ago

Snow ankle deep, but gorgeous!! I did not leave myself enough time to make it to the lake, look forward to doing it again!! Awesome hike..
beautiful :))

Nice easy trail. Nice views of the valley and mountains

37 degrees, snow on the trail the last half mile or so.. great hike!!

hiking
9 months ago

It says it's easy but if you're older or have young kids this may be a little much. Steep in areas but short and sweet.

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