Climbing Bear Mountain

December 5, 2018
Climbing Bear Mountain 2
Big Bear and Three Fingers


Big Bear Mountain is among the western-most peaks of the cascades, which makes it clearly visible along the skyline from many locations around the northern Puget Sound (Everett, Marysville, Arlington). It is located approximately 1.3 miles SSE of Three Fingers, and is the closest peak to the south of Three Fingers. It is a fairly remote peak within the Boulder River Wilderness area and is not very easy to access. This is why it is seldom climbed. On the plus side, if you are looking for solitude you can be just about guaranteed to not see anyone else on this peak! The route has it all; a road walk, brush bash, large creek crossing, old growth forest, steep climb, and (usually) a steep and somewhat exposed summit scramble on snow.

Getting There

Unfortunately this peak has only become more and more remote every year as damage continues to mount on the only access roads near this mountain. This has lengthened the road walking distance, but it is not unbearable. One could bring a bike, but it would not save you a whole lot of time (only about 1 1/4 miles of the road is rideable).

Drive the Mountain Loop Highway east from Granite Falls for about 6 or 7 miles and turn left on Tupso Pass Rd (Forest Service Rd #41). (You will see the sign for the Robe Canyon trail on your right.) Keep driving until the pavement ends, continue up the hill to the left. Follow this road for about 6 miles, you will go around a sharp hairpin turn to the left over a creek where the road will noticeably dip down. Soon after you will see a road fork uphill to the right. Park here or keep driving if you are brave! This is Road #4130, which later branches into 4130 (downhill to left) and 4131 (uphill to right). The road is not maintained and is only driveable about a mile and a half (due to several washouts). As of writing, there are several very large trees over the road and it is only driveable about half a mile. It is not really worth the extra half mile because there is nowhere to turn around and you will scratch the paint on your car (trust me I know from experience!). It would be easiest to park at the beginning of the road and just walk.

For the rest of the access information, see the route page.

Essential Gear

Ice axe, crampons, and helmet is not a bad idea.
theShepherds in "Climbing Bear Mountain" in WV
theShepherds in "Climbing Bear Mountain" in WV
BNSF SB Crude Tanker Trestle Bear Mountain Bridge Climbing
BNSF SB Crude Tanker Trestle Bear Mountain Bridge Climbing ...
Climbing Bear Mountain 2
Climbing Bear Mountain 2
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