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Bear Canyon

Central Washington

Location

Central Washington -- Yakima
View map below

Length

6.4 miles, roundtrip

Elevation

Gain: 1130 ft.
Highest Point: 3200 ft.

Rating

3.29 out of 5

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Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Discover Pass
 
 

Follow a stream between steep sided basalt cliffs up a shady canyon in the transition zone between the Cascade Mountains and the dry shrub-steppe grasslands of eastern Washington. The area provides seasonal refuge within the Oak Creek Wildlife Area for a variety of large mammals including elk, deer, mountain goats, bighorn sheep, cougar, and black bear. Take care with dogs and small children as rattlesnakes are encountered frequently in the canyon during the warmer months.

From the parking area (no facilities), head up the gravel road following the creek for 0.5 miles. Cross the creek twice on rocks and logs and head into the canyon transitioning to trail at this point. 0.3 miles later the trail is washed out, but press onward, crossing back and forth across Bear Canyon Creek on rocks and logs five times over the course of the next 0.5 miles before the trail again becomes solid. Continue up the canyon another 1.9 miles along the course of an old roadbed with frequent unbridged stream crossings through microcosms of sagebrush, white oak, black cottonwood, aspen, and ponderosa pine to the end of the trail at a junction with road NF-275.

WTA Pro Tip: Take a left onto NF-275 at the end of the trail and follow the road uphill for 0.6 miles to gain a better view of the canyon and surrounding hillsides.

 

Bear Canyon

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 46.7064, -120.8905 Open map in new window

Trailhead

Central Washington -- Yakima

Bear Canyon (#)

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Oak Creek Wildlife Area

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Guidebooks & Maps

Best Desert Hikes: Washington (Bauer & Nelson - Mountaineers Books)

Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Yakima

Getting There

From White Pass, head east on Highway 12 for 27.7 miles and take a left into the gravel parking area at the sign for Bear Canyon trailhead. From Naches, head west on Highway 12 for 10.8 miles and take a right into the gravel parking area at the sign for Bear Canyon trailhead.

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Discover Pass
 

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Bear Canyon

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