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Bear Creek Lake is a 4.2 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Mackay, Idaho that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from June until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 4.2 mi Elevation gain 1,663 ft Route type Out & Back
Dogs on leash Kid friendly Hiking Nature trips Walking Bird watching Lake River Views Wild flowers Snow
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Reviews (27)
Photos (32)
Recordings (13)
Completed (49)
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Kirt Marlow
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Hiking
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Sarah Garcia
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 5, 2020
HikingGreat!Rocky

Great trail! Bring water and snack. A little rocky but totally worth the 7-8 mile trek (depending where you park). The lake is beautiful and worth every step.

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Mandee Kulaga
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJuly 25, 2020
Hiking

Did this hike a few days ago, and it was very hot and dry. Very exposed for most of the hike. Lots of water is a must! I did a different section of this trail (sort of the "upper" portion of #4092. It did not connect to the lake trail, but beautiful sweeping views of Warren and the surrounding valley from up top. This upper section was accessible from the Loristica campgrounds (parked down there and walked about a quarter-half mile to the trailhead). Road was definitely challenging, and you need good tires to drive it. Very sparsely traveled section of trail. Recommend bear protection. This upper trail was about 5 miles out and back. Nice but probably won't do again.

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Dana Wood
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 6, 2020
Hiking

We did this hike today knowing very little about it. We had been camping up Bear Creek and a friend mentioned the lake to us. We drove our ATV to the trail head and started up not having any idea how far it was and, because it’s not marked at the trail head, not even sure if we were on the right trail. We met a few motorcycles headed down on our way up and found out we were in fact going the correct way. My phone tracked 5.8 miles round trip. It was a nice trail, pretty steep but lots of shade. We took our 13 year old nephew and our two boys (ages 4 and 5). Our small boys did very well especially having very little hiking experience. We did take several breaks on the way up and it took us just under 3 hours to get there and about 1.5 down. Great time. Would definitely do again.

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Jayson Schafer
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 15, 2020
Hiking

Hiked this with girlfriend, a 10 year old girl and a 5 year old black lab on Saturday (June 13, 2020). Wasn’t really sure what to expect... travelled from Puyallup, Washington for the weekend to do a hike.... ugggggg. You’ll need at least an SUV or truck to get to the trailhead, really. A car can make it but the final narrow road to the actual trailhead is rough and tight. We actually parked about .5 miles down from the “trailhead” so that is calculated into this review. This trail is quite steep and rugged. But remember... our 10 year old made it (grumbling the whole way LOL). She’s a trooper. Trail was easy to follow. A few blow downs along the way that we had to maneuver... but not a big deal. The trail follows a creek almost the entire way.... so lotsa water available for the dog. (2 very easy crossings.... no wet feet) Trekked slow because the kid was dragging her feet and wanted to stop quite a bit. So it took us about 3 hours to reach the lake and my “MapMyRun” app clocked us at 3.5 miles exactly one way. It was cold at the top but stunningly beautiful. The lake is absolutely pristine and the towering rocks/cliffs/mountains surrounding are unbelievable. 7 mile round trip (not 4.something) You gotta do this hike!!!!!

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Matt Clearman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 2, 2019
Hiking

Great hike! Took me about 1:15 up and 45 down. Worth the drive - recommend SUV for the approach.

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Yael Leberman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 14, 2019
Hiking

Hiked a few days ago. Saw bear tracks but no bears! To avoid a collision we had a speaker and listened to Kendrick Lamar and talked loudly and a lot (nothing new there!) Bring bug and bear spray and look out for worms hanging from trees :) Just a heads up - there are no signs indicating Bear Creek on the main road so we took a guess and parked where there was a sign for another trail close to where the All Trails map said to start. It worked out and we hiked up Jeep trail no problem. Magnificent hike! The lake is cold but we jumped in briefly anyway. Highly recommend.

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nate lining
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 6, 2019
Hiking

This hike takes some effort but the views at the top are great. It's about 8 miles round trip. Like others have said, the lake is small but pristine. The surrounding granite peaks are impressive. I recommend the little extra effort it takes to climb up some of the little ridges around the lake. The views are great. We hiked this with a 5 year old (and a one year old in a baby carrier). The five year old had trekking poles (which I recommend for anyone) and she did most of the trail herself. She rode my back the last mile up and part of the way down, mainly so we could make better time. It took us 3 hours to get up and 2 to get down. The drive to the trail head would be tough if you don't have an appropriate off-road vehicle (decent clearance, 4wd, ect.). It was no problem for our Grand Cherokee. The road (jeep trail) to the trail head ends at the trail head. There is a sign there (although it doesn't say Bear Creek Lake Trail). About half way through the hike you'll see a sign that says Bear Creek Lake. We did see bear tracks near the top but no bears. Only saw two other people on the hike. Overall I highly recommend the trail if you don't mind a moderately strenuous hike.

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Alexis Kingston
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 5, 2019
HikingBlowdownOff trailRockySnow

We did our research before enduring this hike however, we struggled to find the start and went way off trail before we found the trail where it crosses the creek. You will get your feet wet as the trail intersects the creek at least three times. This trail is definitely for intermediate to advanced hikers and I wouldn't recommend bringing beginners. There are two sections where there is avalanche damage that you must maneuver but someone had cleaned it up so it does follow the trail. The rough hike was worth the destination. Bring bear protection as this lake is aptly named.

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Rob Jones
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 22, 2019
HikingBlowdown

Did trail in late june 2019. Was snow free all the way up. The lake at the top is small but looks fantastic. There's some great views of higher mountains surrounding the lake. There was a sign of bear paws at the top but no sightings on the trail. We struggled to find the route near the start. There was a few sections covered by debris from avalances. We missed the trail on the way up and had to wade in the creek but once the trail crossed the creek we picked up the trail again. Near the start of the trail head if you clamber over the trees you'll find the track. (probably keeping at least 150ft from the creek) Well worth the wet feet!

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Steph Magee
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 9, 2019
Hiking

I hiked this trail on June 9, 2019. It says it’s 4 miles but I tracked about 7 miles. We parked a little further from the trailhead and also had to backtrack a few times. Avalanches have completely obliterated the trail in two locations. It was fun trying to get around it all with my dogs in tow. Technically this trail isn’t open until July 1st so I don’t think maintenance has been in. I’m not going to let that effect my review. There’s several stream crossings but they weren’t too difficult. At this time, there was still a lot of snow toward the top. Some was hard but every once in a while I’d take a step and my leg would fall 2’ down into the snow and I’d have to crawl out (I’m short!). The views at the end were amazing! The lake is more of a tiny pond but it was all gorgeous. The lake is still covered in ice and there’s snow everywhere but the mountains were stunning and it was a beautiful day. A bit chilly up there still so pack a sweater!

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Olivia Cox
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 12, 2018
Hiking

Great hike! Fairly steep but great views at the top and through out the hike.

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Mari Palacio
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 6, 2018
Hiking

Beautiful trail! Steep hike but the lake at the end and views throughout make it totally worth it.

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Wes Big Poppa
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 24, 2018
Hiking

Great Hike and beautiful lake. My 6, 8, and 10 yr. olds did awesome. 1 Hour and 55 min to hike up And 1 Hour and 10 min to walk down. Official trailhead starts at the end of an old Jeep Road. Very hard to drive to the trailhead. Walking the Jeep trail adds another 2 mile to the overall distance. Side by sides or 4-wheelers will take you right to the trailhead.

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Carmen Ramirez
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 3, 2017
Hiking

Very difficult, good thing it wasn't too long. Beautiful lake at the top.

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Sumit Charaya
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 29, 2017

great hike. so much elevation but it is so worth it in the end.

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U G
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 28, 2017
Hiking

Great and a steep hike. View at destination is just amazing. If you have a Fitbit smart tracker, it would take approx. 11000 steps and 200 floors to reach at the top.

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Margaret Ratliff
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 8, 2016
Hiking

It is a strenuous hike but worth the effort. Beautiful views and a lot of shaded areas. Hiked it on a hot morning but was a pleasant experience

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kyna Cardwell
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 13, 2016
Hiking

It was beautiful. My husband and I enjoyed the hike. The elevation gain going in was hard but ok. It was totally worth it when we got to the lake. It was beautiful there was still a small amount of snow on the ground.

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Dave Schwindt
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 15, 2014
First to Review

It is a beautiful trail, with a gorgeous lake at the end. I highly recommend it to families.

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Megan Ruggles
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Hiking
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Michael Tadych
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Hiking
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I Wilson
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Hiking
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Trevor Gillhouse
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Hiking
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Chris Thomerson
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Hiking
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Alexander Naranjo
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Hiking
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