Bear Flats via Bear Canyon Trail

MODERATE 74 reviews
#33 of 202 trails in

Bear Flats via Bear Canyon Trail is a 3.5 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Mt Baldy, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

3.5 miles
1,276 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash



nature trips

trail running




wild flowers


This is part of the Mt. Baldy Trail that reaches the summit. Bear Flats is 1.5 miles from the trailhead and opens up as small meadow within the mountains

2 days ago

Once you find the trail it’s nothing but awesomeness. Views, wildlife, limited foot traffic, and shade. Once you pass bear flats be prepared for an epic hike to baldy summit

4 months ago

Interesting hike today - was relaxing at Bear Flats when a deer stopped by. After deciding I wasn't a threat, the deer proceeded to graze all around me for about 10 minutes before deciding to move on. Made for an awesome morning on the Old Baldy Trail.

4 months ago

Really light traffic today. Saw 1 person on the way up and 1 on the way down.
Great hike to get the blood pumping. Lots of shade and some good views from the switchbacks. Plenty of Bird life.
Up in 60min.

6 months ago

Such a gorgeous, clean, & enjoyable hike! Great for a family and even the dog. The trail follows the trickling creek most of the way. Keep an eye out for icicles and frost around winter. There are great look out points once you round the sunny side of the mountain. Curve back around the shaded side (creek side) and follow the trail up to Bear Flats. It is uninspiring without a view, but it’s a great shaded area to rest and have some lunch. The hollow tree is interesting. Took me about 2.25 hrs with slow pace and plenty of stops to enjoy the woods.

10 months ago

Beautiful, well maintained trail with multiple terrains - it is a little confusing to find as you need to walk up a road through a private neighborhood to find the trailhead. Once you reach the meadow, would recommend going about .5-1 mile further, the views are worth it. There are tiny waterfalls, streams, red woods, and stunning canyons and mountains.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

It was a nice hike but a little disappointing how the hike ends

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

This review isn't really complete because we ran out of time today (went to see San Antonio Falls first and my companion needed to be home for an appointment). We only made it about halfway to the campgrounds.

The road leading to the trailhead is private, so you need to park at the base where the church is. They display a sign saying hikers welcome, and since a service wasn't in session, parking was easy. The first part of the hike is obviously the private road to get to the actual trailhead. Once you're on the trail, it's interesting to see the cabins hidden up on the canyon walls. Often times you can only find them due to the hidden stone stairways leading to them. The creek at the start of this hike is peaceful with a few smaller waterfalls. We diverted a few times from the trail to enjoy the creek since we knew we would run out of time.

The views start to impress at the second set of switchbacks. Unfortunately, this is where we needed to turn around.

We went at noon on a Tuesday and were the only hikers for our short section of the hike.

The loss of the single star is because of climbing the road to get to the trail. I plan to try to complete this hike another day and give a more fair rating.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Really fun and gorgeous but it's all uphill and a large part is switch backs. If you are hiking for the exercise this is great but me and my girlfriend were just going for the views and the calm so it was a little rigorous for us

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Very peaceful trail, with great views all the way up. At the end of the trial is a big tree not a view but the whole hike you get a great scenery.

Saturday, March 04, 2017

nice short incline hike, love to wander off the trail a bit enjoy nature and the silence.

Sunday, November 06, 2016

Very nice hiking trail for my dog, she enjoyed it.

Monday, October 17, 2016

I summited Mt Baldy via this trail and it's quite the workout to put it lightly. The view on the way up to the summit is great - takes your mind away from how tired your body is feeling. >_

Friday, August 26, 2016


Sunday, August 14, 2016

Cool little fern gully otw up to Baldy via the Old Mount Baldy trail. Very pretty and lots of shade until this point. Looked like there were some camping spots too. The trail to get up to Lookout Mt. is also right off of the flats.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Did this trail all the way to the summit then to west Baldy and down. I've heard this trail be called "the Baldy death march" and it lives up to the hype. 6,000ft elevation gain in 6 steep as it gets for hiking miles. I brought 4 liters of water as well as the essentials. Definitely the most challenging trail up Baldy and I would not recommend to the inexperienced or out of shape. Also *expect to add a extra mile each way due to no parking allowed at trail head.* 14 total miles according to my gps.

Monday, July 11, 2016

It's a Nice trail, it's another way to go to MT San Antonio really difficult, need a lot the water.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

A steep hike with excellent views. I came across a rattle snake near the end so be alert!

Monday, March 28, 2016

Fun little trail especially if you plan to go to the lodge after. On the way up there are plenty of great views of the mountains and scenery. The flats is a great place to hang out or bring up lunch. Just pack out what you pack in!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Great little hike, and a good one to use to measure progress. Great southern views halfway up after the first round of switchbacks. Awesome hike if you wanna earn that cold beer at the lodge after!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Great views, cool houses to see along the path just before the trail starts.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Nice little hike. Its mostly shaded and used little; we only saw a group of three and a solo hiker the whole time. The best view is about half way to Bear Flats where you're on the south side in the sun; you get a nice valley view. Its a climb and can be strenuous if you're packing in a little one.

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Hiked up to Baldy from Village. It was fun... A lot of other hikers I knew were on the trail. It makes it feel safe to go up there alone. Weather was perfect. Not too hot or cold. Carried microspikes for nothing. NO SNOW

Sunday, March 09, 2014

This was an unbelievable day of hiking.I can't believe it is February and the trail is completely free of snow. However there is a storm due next weekend and I suspect all that will change. So, I feel very fortunate to hike today in this pristine wilderness and forest. This is such a beautiful hike. I went with two friends and we summited Baldy. Well worth the effort. Bye Baldy for awhile …I smell SNOW!!!!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

This was a warm day on Baldy. I was all alone! Hardly met anyone. THere was still Ice on the ridge and it was quite windy at that juncture. I turned around at that point. I know other people made it to the top today but not I!!. Next time!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Finished up the peak trail to Badly and passes right through the bear canyon trail. Nice little hike before hitting the switchbacks up to the top

Monday, November 25, 2013

Hiked this trail on Sunday all the way to the ridge before Mt.Baldy. There was a lot of snow on most of the trail after Bear Flats. As i was gaining elevation it became icier and slippery. I decided not to do the ridge since there was an increase in cloud cover over the summit and the area was foggy. As I was climbing the clouds were gathering behind me as well. I didnt want to get socked in from behind with fog or inclement weather. However, the weather was not to cold. As I started down, the change in the weather caused a brisk wind to start up. By the time it escalated I was already heading to warmer elevation. The ridge was completely covered in snow and ice and didnt not appear safe for traversing without microspikes.
I hope to try this trail next weekend if the weaather hold out. Hiking in snow is an awesome workout and the scenery is spectacular!!!

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

This trail leads to Mt Baldy 6mi with 6,000 elevation gain. Weather was clear. Windy at the top. Not many people on the trail. Minimal snow.

Friday, October 04, 2013

This Hike was just Amazing. It's a little tough, but really awesome. We went some other Hike at first but since it was closed, we came to this one. We got here around 11:30, so it was too late to go all the way. However going up to Bear Flats is awesome and for even intermediate hikes, it's little challenging but doable. Planning to go all the way next time.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Same as below, this is a review of the full Baldy summit.
Every time I do Ski Hut trail, I think I should go do Bear Flats. Today I did, left the car at 8:30am, right away you know this is a tough hike, it just never seems to end. I passed a couple groups going up, and a met a few individuals coming down. It's much lighter traffic than the other routes. A group of 5 mountain-bikers were coming down a mile below the summit, I have never seen MBs on Baldy before, who knew. With a 20min food break summited at 12:40pm.
I recommend this hike, but it's a killer...

Monday, July 29, 2013

I looked for the Bear Canyon to Mount Baldy trail to review but I guess no one has set it up. Six miles to Mount Baldy, 6000 foot elevation gain. The trail is relentless until near the top. It starts between the visitors center and the church in Baldy village. Winds along a road and then the trail starts. The first part is mostly shaded. Until you go past Bear Flats and then its switchback after switchback up the side of Bear Mountain until you hit the top of the ridge. No shade. Then it's up the ridge line and you go through the saddle between Bear Mountain and Mount Baldy (not as long as the Devil's Backbone) but great views. You end up on the saddle between Baldy and West Baldy and it's an easy climb to both. Of Baldy Notch, Manker Flats - this is by far the most intense (Register Ridge is next for me). I started at 5:30 and even then it got pretty hot. I came down the same way (as I did not want to walk along the road for a couple of miles between Manker Flats and the village). The other option was the 3 T's trail down to Ice House Canyon and then the 2 plus miles to the village from there. That I'll save for a cooler day this fall.

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