Bear Creek Lake

MODERATE 18 reviews
#3 of 26 trails in

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.

Distance: 4.2 miles Elevation Gain: 1,663 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

lake

river

views

wild flowers

snow

hiking
13 days ago

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

hiking
2 months ago

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.

hiking
2 months ago

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.

hiking
blowdown
off trail
rocky
snow
2 months ago

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.

hiking
blowdown
2 months ago

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!

hiking
3 months ago

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!

hiking
Sunday, August 12, 2018

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

hiking
Monday, August 06, 2018

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

hiking
Sunday, June 24, 2018

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.

hiking
Sunday, September 03, 2017

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

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

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

hiking
Monday, August 28, 2017

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.

hiking
Friday, July 08, 2016

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

hiking
Monday, June 13, 2016

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.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

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

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
Friday, June 16, 2017

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