Return Home

Little Bear Trail

October 9, 2021
Type : hike
Length : 2.3 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain : 250 ft.
High Point : 1,350 ft.

The trailhead is in Lake Chelan State Park - drive right upon entering the park and eventually you will see a bathroom facility with some parking spots, and a sign indicating the start of the trail. I have wanted to hike this trail for awhile, but have stayed away in the summer, imagining it will be difficult to find parking (I’m not sure if that is actually the case). This fall provided the perfect opportunity for Little Bear Trail - clear skies, moderate temperatures and no crowds.

Scroll down to begin

Trailhead for Little Bear Trail
Trailhead for Little Bear Trail
Cool overgrown tree on the trail
Cool overgrown tree on the trail
Tunnel underneath South Lakeshore Road
Tunnel underneath South Lakeshore Road
The trail parallels the road, with a path carved through a dense cluster of tree/brush and over a small creek before passing underneath South Lakeshore Road via a tunnel. After a little more hiking, we came to an intersection and opted to head left. The trail continued through the forest for a while, before starting to open up into a mix of trees and grass, providing our first glimpses of Lake Chelan.
Glimpses of Lake Chelan and fall color
Glimpses of Lake Chelan and fall color
Moss growing on a branch
Moss growing on a branch
There was some fall color in the trees and bushes, but not a ton. The trail was in good shape, and this lower section was flat. While the later part of the trail opened up, the first part was in the shade and would be a good place for a quick hike in the heat of the summer, especially with small children.
Nice view of Lake Chelan and Slide Ridge
Nice view of Lake Chelan and Slide Ridge
There was a tiny bit of uphill as the trail looped back West, and being a little higher up afforded more view of Lake Chelan. There were also a number of benches along the Little Bear Trail, offering places to rest to soak in the view. As we headed West, we entered back into the forest and were treated with muted fall colors.
Bench with a view
Bench with a view
Back in the forest
Back in the forest
Tall pine trees
Tall pine trees
Dried up stream crossing
Dried up stream crossing
We finished the loop, and made our way through the tunnel and back to the car.
A great hike for the family, with minimal uphill.