Hike 02
The Mt. Hood National Forest
Bear Lake Hike
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Map of the Bear Lake Hike

Length: 2.6 miles round trip
Elevation Change: 228' gain then 150' loss
Season: Late Spring thru Fall
Difficulty:   Moderate
Permit:   NW Forest Pass Required


 Click for PDF Topo Map of this Hike 

The southern approach to Bear Lake is quite simple compared to the grueling climb out of the Columbia River Gorge on the north approach. From the trail head it is a short half mile walk through dense forest to the junction to the lake. Soon you will come out into an open rocky area before re-entering the dense forest. As you descend to the lake, you will get occasional outstanding views of the lake and Mt Bear behind it. This is a short yet very rewarding hike.

Mt. Defiance rises to the east of Bear Lake
How to get there:

 Click for PDF Directions Map of this Hike 

These directions take you from Hood River, Oregon. Whatever direction from which you arrive at Hood River, follow the sign of old US Hwy 30 into town. From the west turn right on 13th Street and follow it up the hill until it merges with 12th. If you are approaching from the east, on US 30, turn left on 9th and follow it up the hill until it merges with 12th. Either way, follow 12th south out of town on what is called Tucker Road or Hwy 281, which is also referred to as Dee highway. About 6 miles out of town you will cross the Hood River. Immediately after the bridge, bear right and pass Tucker Park. In about another six miles you need to bear to the right again following signs to Lost Lake. However, as soon as you cross the railroad tracks, bear right again and follow signs to Punchbowl Falls. This road renames itself Dead Point Road, which is also Forest Road 2820. Follow FR2820 about 11 miles up to the base of Mt Defiance. The trailhead to Mt. Defiance, Rainy Lake, and North Lake is on your right, parking is on the left.

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