Bear Canyon Trail

MODERATE 20 reviews
#25 of 89 trails in

Bear Canyon Trail is a 8.1 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Bozeman, Montana that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
8.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,463 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

birding

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

lake

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

muddy

rocky

Off of I-90, take the Bear Canyon exit. Head west, just under the under-pass and head south on Bear Canyon Road. Proceed to the end, where the trail-head is located.

hiking
6 days ago

Not a bad hike, but the trail itself is also used by ATVs (though I didn’t see any while I hiked it). It will end up taking you back to a beautiful lake! The trail runs through thick woods the whole way and there is a creek that parallels most of it. This is a very gradual hike that could make for an easy backpacking trip or day hike. There are a TON of mosquitos, so bring plenty of bug spray!

If you’d like to avoid ATV and motorcycle traffic and take a single-track trail in, go up New World Gulch and cut east once you reach the intersection with the overgrown forest service road. You’ll reach this intersection after crossing the east side of Mystic Lake. This’ll also add a few more miles to the trip.

hiking
2 months ago

First it's important to note there are 3 trail heads in the parking area. Bear Canyon is down the road a bit more, the parking area is directly in front of New World Gulch and another trail. I took New World Gulch by accident for a little while, I turned around after a ton of snow, mud, slush, and eventually a stream too big to cross....mostly because I had on trail runners instead of full hiking boots. The snow and water made it hard for me to find the trail and keep on the trail.

Bear Canyon was a great trail until I needed snow shoes. I was knee deep in snow and had to turn around (again!). Easy trail to follow. More open than the New World Gulch trail.

Early morning was empty. Quite busy by the time I came down around 1pm . Lots of climbers headed to a crag.

hiking
Wednesday, July 05, 2017

I did about half this trail today. There was absolutely no one else there for 80% of my walk. The trail is nice and hilly, not just up but up and down. Lots of sun which wasn't as welcome on this extremely hot day. Enjoyed my walk anyway.

hiking
Friday, September 25, 2015

I did this as an overnight backpacking trip with a friend. Not too steep of a hike but if there is any snow melt or has rained recently, expect mud. There are also parts of the trail where a nearby creek has eroded part of the trail away and you will cross the creek multiple times. It is a very scenic hike, however, and we didn't run into too many people. The lake at the top is pristine and the fishing was good. We had what we assume were elk come through our camp at night, with one coming within feet of our tent. As with any wilderness area, I'd recommend you bring bear spray or an appropriate firearm. The mountains are not a park and I have seen a bear on this trail before :)

Friday, October 31, 2014

This trail is an easy trip and close to Bozeman. Plan for many hours to complete the trip at a moderate pace. I live at the trailhead and have hiked it for 44 years!

Fran Noel

hiking
Tuesday, November 26, 2013

It was a fun trail with beautiful trees and streams and has trails to lead to some lakes. However we thought it would be a nice day hike however the "loop" is much longer than expected! It also turns into an gravel road which can be alarming! But if you stay on that and leave yourself plenty of time for a day hike... It is enjoyable! :)

hiking
Sunday, January 02, 2011

The Bozeman Creek acess to Mystic Lake and Bear Canyon is basically a road and tons of people use it everyday. There is some good spots for mountain biking. We rode horses up to Mystic Lake this way and it is longer then the Bear canyon trail head but a lot less steep. We went over the divide to Hyalite which was nice. The trail to Bear Lakes is muddy, boggy, deep ruts, etc. and this was August when I did it. It is in the trees so it is a nice hike just might want to bring extra shoes to cross the mud.

mountain biking
Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Pretty fun mountain bike trail, although it becomes more of an ATV trail towards the top of the peak and very steep.

hiking
Monday, September 13, 2010

This trail is located outside of Bozeman; NOT Red Lodge.

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

cross country skiing
5 months ago

hiking
Saturday, November 19, 2016

backpacking
Monday, June 06, 2016

backpacking
Monday, June 06, 2016

hiking
Sunday, May 29, 2016

Friday, May 27, 2016

hiking
Friday, September 20, 2013