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Bear Creek Trail

Bear Creek Trail

Trail Overview

With a shuttle, the Bear Creek trail starts with a five-mile, 1,800' climb on Summit Trail to Slate Mountain. After the Bear Creek turn off, it's (almost) all downhill to Coy Flat (descent of ~4,000').

Typical ride time with shuttle: 3.5 to 5+ hours

Trail Description

The shuttle route for the Bear Creek trail starts from esentially the same place as Camp Nelson, but in the opposite direction, on Summit Trail toward Slate Mountain. The climb is fairly steep and takes most riders between 1.5-3 hours to reach the top of the climb,just below 9,000'. The descent to the Bear Creek crossing is about 15-20 minutes of fast and smooth singletrack in the high-country.
After crossing the creek, a short climb puts you at the top of the downhill. From here to Coy flat, the terrain will change so many times you won't believe you're on the same trail. From ridgeline, to sequoia groves, to fast and twisty berms, then to a younger part of the forest, and when you round a corner, it changes to an exposed traverse through some amazing manzanita. With all this change in topography, Bear Creek is the longest, steepest, most strenuous and technical trail in the area, which also makes it the most fun.

Phil climbing up to the first third of the climb where a view of the Needles can be seen

Phil climbing up to the first third of the climb where a view of the Needles can be seen

View of the Needles

View of the Needles

Summit Trail climbing in Fog

Pat climbing up Bear Creek on a foggy day

Bear Creek Climb

Shidan climbing up Summit Trail on the way to Slate Mountain

Hanging out at the break spot near the top of Slate Mountain

Hanging out at the break spot near the top of Slate Mountain

Steven and Ian crossing a tributary to Bear Creek

Steven and Ian crossing a tributary to Bear Creek

 

Rider on Bear Creek Trail Enjoying the View

Rider on Bear Creek Trail enjoying another view of Needles

Shidan riding near the middle of the downhill

Shidan riding near the middle of the downhill

Riders entering a sequoia grove on Bear Creek Trail

Riders entering a sequoia grove on Bear Creek Trail

The amazing Sequoia grove on Bear Creek is full of mature trees

The amazing Sequoia grove on Bear Creek is full of mature trees

Ian arriving at the break spot

Ian arriving at the break spot

Danie, Shidan and Katie taking a break at the giant burt Sequoia where we usually take a break and regroup

Danie, Shidan and Katie taking a break at the giant burt Sequoia where we usually take a break and regroup

Giant Sequoia Tree about half way down Bear Creek

Giant Sequoia Tree about half way down Bear Creek

1997 Bike Magazine with Bear Creek

Rob Luke, Tom Taylor and Shidan Towfiq photographed by Bill Freeman and published in a 1997 issue of Bike Magazine on Bear Creek near the Coy Flat exit