Bear Creek Trail

MODERATE 50 reviews

Bear Creek Trail is a 5.5 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Victor, Montana that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, horses, and snowshoeing and is accessible year-round. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.

5.5 miles
849 feet
Out & Back

dog friendly


horseback riding

nature trips








Walk up the canyon trail into a temperate rainforest and see beautiful the beautiful river and streams. This trail does not reach a lake. From the Bear Creek Trailhead, this trail continues along Bear Creek for a little over 2 miles and then turns back. If you'd like to go further to Bryan Lake or Big Creek Lake, please search in this area on AllTrails.

1 month ago

I prefer snowshoeing this trail in the winter. Saw a mouse...whom I guess frequents this area often.

1 month ago

Here's the deal: the lake is actually about 8-9 miles in. The upper reaches of this trail are beautiful, but it's not a half day hike! The final ascent to the lake requires hiking through quite a bit of brushy trail, and overall, you're gaining around 2500 feet. The Montana CCC was there today, cutting deadfall. Much appreciated!

1 month ago

The hike was beautiful - I started not too long after sunrise and was treated to four sunrises as the sun followed me back into the mountains. However, I would be interested to see a recording of somebody who hiked to the lake, and wish that were listed as an entirely separate trail. This 5.5 mile trail does *not* feature a lake. Disappointed by the misleading reviews, photos, and general info provided about this one.

1 month ago

well all trails lied I walked 9 miles to find a lake almost got stuck in the middle of the forest all night great pics 7.1 miles in trail gets sketchy you wonder if your on a trail 2 river crossings a lot of trees are down over the trail

3 months ago

Enjoyed revisiting this trail and introducing it to a friend. we traversed close to two miles to enjoy the lower falls. I am on O2 (4L), but made it!
The creek was high, so I couldn't let the kids slide down the rocks into the swim pools. Our puppy enjoyed it too!

3 months ago

Easy. Beautiful. The creek is very high right now, but if you go later in the summer, there are some sweet swimming holes above the falls a bit. Lots of wildflowers today, and lots of people on the trail. Most folks only go to the falls, though, so if you hike further there's less traffic.

3 months ago

Absolutely beautiful.
Very easy to do. Not steep at all.

Heavily populated and not hard to find people.

4 months ago

Many of the descriptions people have posted are incorrect. This is a great hike with several potential destinations. The first are a series of falls about 2 miles in. This area is spectacular and fairly busy. Many hikers stop here. At about 3 miles you cross the creek on either a sketchy log or by wading. From there you have several miles of flat thick forest to hike through. At around 7 miles you reach a series of bedrock creek cascades that are gorgeous. This is a possible camp location as well. Once you progress beyond this, there are fairly frequent flat and relatively open areas if you want to camp below Bryan lake. At about 8 miles, you hit Bryan lake. When we did this trail in 2015, there were quite a few logs over the trail in the upper reaches. I don’t know if they have been cleared since.

Beautiful trail, RD to trail head was in great shape. The trail is icey, I suggest micro spikes. If your GPS tries to take you to Jackson LN it's incorrect.

Thursday, August 03, 2017

I'm not quite sure where the lake is - certainly not at the turn around to make it a 6.3 mile hike. Really scenic with great rock outcroppings for lounging. Guess I'll keep trying to find the lake!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

This is such a fun, exciting hike. The trail was overgrown with several fallen trees on the trail here and there, but the views are well worth it; Lake Bryan is spectacular.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Nice little hike with some good places to stop and just enjoy the view. Getting to the falls was somewhat of an adventure as I was with my small dog and it seemed the only way to cross the river was on a log. We ended up climbing up further and found the falls. Beautiful area

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Great trail, great for newbies.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Beautiful and enjoyable. My GPS said it was closer to 9 miles one way

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Great family trail with water hangout 1.8mi in

Thursday, June 09, 2016

distance shown is probably only to the falls...we went probably 6 miles in and didn't reach the lake like expected. probably should've done some more research

Monday, May 30, 2016

The 6.3 mi description is inaccurate. That's just to some falls which were okay but not astounding. The lake is 13 mi in, not 3. The trail is not very well maintained after about 6 mi.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Great short day hike. About 6 miles to the creek crossing and back. Top 2/3s covered with snow but passable. Saw 2 mountain goats up high on the north side.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Pretty hike. Not hard at least as far as we went - about 2.5 miles up. Pretty water falls. Pretty flowers. Well maintained trail. Ok for kids and dogs tho you'll want to take a leash because everybody else brings their dogs too.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Nice walk. Trail in good shape. If you bring your dog or kids the trail is a little narrow in some spots but everyone I met was nice and there was no problems.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Absolutely breathtakingly beautiful! At about 1.5 miles, there are nice flat rocks and a roaring cascade/falls. The wildflowers this time of hear are everywhere! Today we hiked a mile or so past the falls before we turned around. The trail surface is uneven and sometimes covered with water from little springs along the trail. Can be an ankle turner if you're not paying attention. Do stop and look up though, because the rocks rise over half a mile vertically from the creek. A great way to spend an afternoon! Date of hike: May 24, 2014.

Thursday, April 09, 2015

This is a gorgeous hike! We thought we might go to the lake but it does get super dense about 3 miles in. Saw four mountain goats! The dogs loved this trail and so did we!

Monday, August 25, 2014

This trail was easy and fun. There are rock-waterslides, pools, etc. High reward for little cost

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

This is a point to point hike starting at Bear Creek and connecting to Big Creek Lake.

The hike to Bryan Lake was largely uneventful with nice views of Bear Creek and the falls. Had to fjord the creek 4 times before reaching Bryan Lake. The hike up Bear Creek Pass was snow free except for the last few hundred feet but was no problem. The trail going down on the other side is steep and not in good condition. Passable but extra care needs to be given. The trail between Bear Creek Pass and Packbox Pass is lightly used, blow downs in abundance, and the vegetation is aggressively waging a campaign to reclaim parts of the trail.

There is a nice camping site near Packbox Creek the precludes the start of the climb up Packbox Pass.

The views on top of Packbox Pass are amazing and its a wonderful site to have lunch. The hike down along Big Creek Lakes offered nice views of the lake and there were several areas that would make good camping sites. There are a few creek crossings, some can be hop/skipped over, others require wet feet.

Note: The mosquitoes and flies were out in force and provided great motivation for staying on the move. This hike was done in two days but I would recommend 3 days with camping at Bryon Lake and Big Creek Lake. This trail is not for beginners.

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

It's actually a 2 mile hike to the Selway Bitterroot trail marker so a 4 mile trip out and back. The trail is dense and hard to get through about 1/2 mile after the trail marker into the NFS. Beautiful trail, lots of rock, heavy usage in July and August.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

This one of my favorites. You don't have to do the whole 23 miles. If you go up about 3 mile there is a nice spot to cross on to a rock in the middle of the river right before a waterfall.

The whole hike is beautiful and worth the trip if you can make the 23 miles and do an over night camp.

Friday, January 25, 2013

No doubt that Bryan Lake near the Idaho border is stunning, and the scenery on the 8+ mile hike up is beautiful, but my experience on this trail was tempered by some other factors--nearly all of them our fault. Hopefully my experience will instruct you on how to have a better one!

First, it was the last two days of a week-long backpacking extravaganza, so I started off tired. Second, it was cold and rainy. Third, this trail has quite a number of creek/shallow river crossings but as it's also for horses, there are no bridges, so all of us ran out of dry shoes and socks and had no way to warm our feet. Fourth, for all its beauty, Bryan Lake is basically a wind tunnel, keeping us cold and making a fire difficult to light even with a wind screen over our camp stove. Fifth, there was evidence that a grizzly bear was on our trail not too far ahead of us, so we had our bear bells jingling and bear spray close at hand; fortunately, we never encountered it, but we were always especially on guard.

Due to all of the extra energy we spent (shivering, maybe?), we ran through our food much faster than expected and decided to head back down the trail after one night at the lake rather than the two that we had planned. It's beautiful, but I'm afraid I didn't stop to appreciate much of the scenery. Still, I'd go back--just with better planning this time!

Friday, June 08, 2012

This is a beautiful trial, well keep and quite. I took kids on it and they love this hike. We go up to falls and back in 2 hours.

2 months ago

2 months ago

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