Bear Mountain – a hiking trail in Harrison
Closest City: Harrison Hot Springs
Park: n/a (near Sasquatch Provincial Park)
Dogs Allowed: Yes
Camping Allowed: Yes
4 X 4 Needed: No
Class: Full Day
Round Trip Trail Distance in KM: 20.4
Hiking Time in HR: 6-8
Average Grade %: 11.3
Elevation Gain in M: 1,062
Highest Point in M: 1,029
Map and Elevation Profile
(this track for just one way up)[sgpx gpx=”/wp-content/uploads/gpx/BearMountain.gpx”]
Bear Mountain is an intermediate level hike near Harrison Hot Springs. The steepness is akin to Garibaldi Lake for some perspective.
The trailhead/parking lot is a 10 minute drive from the main Harrison strip, and about two hours from downtown Vancouver. There is no public transportation to the site.
For transit-accessible hikes, see this blog post.
The trailhead is at the very end of a small gravel, residential road. There is no official parking lot. Park off to the one side by the sign.
The hike follows an old forest service road that used to access a now-abandoned mine.
After the first 1.5 km you will reach a waterfall. This is the best spot along the trail to fill up with water if you’re needing any. There are a few small creeks but they are not very fast-flowing and possibly dry up during the summertime.
After another kilometre or so you will come to the first and only set of viewpoints. Soak them up because it’s nothing but a forested road until you reach the lake and the top.
Once you are about 3/4 of the way to the top, you reach a junction to right to visit Bear Lake, or left to carry on up to the end of the trail. We stopped for lunch at Bear Lake but it’s really not a great spot. There is no clearing or beach or anything to sit down at. And even in May there were lots of bugs. There are probably leaches in the lake. It’s a pretty spot, but nothing exceptional.
If you visit the lake, head back the hundred metres or so to carry on up to the top. Those gorgeous views await you in another 4 km. The first 2 km is along the road that is much more overgrown than the first leg of the hike, and then the trail meanders through the forest.
Make sure you have a gps device/offline map as the trail is not marked through the forest and the trail is not very discernible. I saw a total of two markers. Someone put up some flagging tape in a variety of colours, which does help. There is excellent cell service the entire way.
At the top there is a radio tower and a helicopter landing pad looking out over the Fraser River with the gorgeous Cheam Peak in the distance.
There are a few small flattish areas in the clearing where you can set up a tent. Note, this is not a designated campsite. Pack out what you pack in, and make sure you have rope to tie up your food to deter wildlife.
This is an out-and-back hike. Carry on back the same way you came.
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