Gorgeous views, a flowing creek and a lightly trafficked hiking trail are a dream come true for many hikers, including myself. Bear Canyon trail has all three of these magnificent things. Bear Canyon is roughly an 8.1-mile out-and-back-hike if you take the turnaround before hiking toward the Bear Lakes and the Chestnut Mountain trail. According to Alltrails.com, this is a moderate hike that includes many activities along the way to partake in, including sightseeing and fishing. The best conditions to trek this trail are from March to October. It is always a good idea to hike in a group of at least three and carry bear spray. Bears will have a greater presence on the trails and in the backcountry as they begin to come out of their winter hibernation.
To keep the trail as beautiful as it naturally is, Bear Canyone is open to foot traffic only from April 1 to July 16. Afterward, mountain bikes are allowed on the trail. In the spring months, the trail can also be quite muddy and, as humidity sets in, bugs are also going to be fairly active. So yes, even though you might think you’re invincible to bugs and bug bites, bringing bug spray is always a good idea to prevent you from looking like a walking pufferfish. As a popular place for cross-country skiing in the winter, the trail also features some steep switchbacks. To avoid the switchbacks, hikers can opt to follow the creek. The creek path, however, is not all smooth sailing as it is fairly narrow with many rocks lining the path.
This trail is dog friendly, with dogs permitted either on or off-leash. Just remember to clean up after your pup to keep this trail clean and to preserve its natural beauty. Hiking shoes are always recommended especially after rain, and when snow is expected. With snow appearing late into spring and Montana’s inability to pick a season and stick with it, wearing waterproof hiking shoes might be something to consider no matter when you go. Remember to try and create as much room as possible when other hikers are passing by considering the rocky and tight trail.
For more information on this hike, and for directions to the trailhead, visit https://outsidebozeman.com/trails-tours/hiking-trails/bear-canyon-trailor Alltrails.com for the best up to date reviews on trail conditions.