Bear Mountain – Harrison

Bear Mountain – Harrison

Bear Mountain is one of the fun hikes close to Harrison Hot Springs and Sasquatch Provincial Park Campground, on the north side of the Fraser Valley, BC. The hike itself is a bit of a grind; It starts on a forest service road, and just keeps slowly climbing up the whole way. It would be a good hike for sunny days as so much of the route is shaded. We visited on a gloomy day and were rewarded with a few minutes of sunshine and fabulous views near the top.

Bear Mountain trail map

The map below shows the route up Bear Mountain next to Harrison Lake. See my  strava recording here.

Bear Mountain – The basics

Distance: 18km (alltrails distance) My strava recording said 20km.
Elevation Gain: 
1100m ish 
High Points: 
1050m (this is before the viewpoint, which is at 1020m)
Time: 5 hours. (We took 5.5 hours with 30mins break at the top)
What to bring:
Plenty of water, and bear spray.
The 10 Essentials
Facilities: Nothing, although Sasquatch Provincial Park is nearby and there are loos there.
Dogs: Great for dogs
How hard is it? Moderately hard. It’s an unrelenting uphill slog until you reach the lake.

Panoramas from Bear Mountain – Harrison

I’ll start with these so you can see why you might want to visit this lovely area.

Bear Mountain – Getting started

The trailhead is at the bottom of a forest service road, on Rockwall drive, 5km from Harrison Hot Springs. It doesn’t show up on google maps, but the GPS coordinates are 49°19’57.7″N 121°45’02.9″W. Park at the bottom, without blocking any driveways and begin your walk up the old service road. There is a closed gate with a “no trespassing” sign – that’s not the way!

Old RN Mine

You’ll see a yellow bulldozer on the first corner of the FSR. Then, after a few minutes, you’ll reach the RN Mine. The mining company, Bear Mountain Gold, is still operating here. The gate was open and there was no-one around when we visited at the weekend. Just be aware if you come when they are working, the gate to the trailhead may be locked.

After the mine, you should take the trail that forks off to the right. The FSR is a little more wild and overgrown from this point onwards.

You’ll cross a washed out section of trail (with views down to Harrison Lake.) Soon after that, if you peek into the trees you’ll be able to spot a wrecked car.

Bear Mountain Waterfall

About 2km along the trail you’ll reach a pretty waterfall that cascades down the cliffs, plus a second smaller waterfall. The surrounding rocks are blanketed in moss. It’s gorgeous.

Overgrown but gorgeous

The further along the Bear Mountain trail we walked, the more grasses and bushes take over the path. This is fabulous for flowers, but you may want to wear long hiking pants if you visit later in the summer!

There are soooo many gorgeous wildflowers along this trail in early summer!

Harrison Lake views

At 850m(ish) elevation, there are some great views of Harrison Lake. This would be a good destination if you don’t have time to hike to the top. You can see over to Mount Agassiz (aka the Harrison Grind), which is another great hike.

After the viewpoint, the trail goes back into the trees and up around one last large bend in the road. It’s steep, but keep going! After this, the trail plateaus out so it is easier going beyond Bear Lake. We didn’t stop at the lake, but we did meet a beautiful toad.

After Bear Lake, continue along the path into the forest. It is flat for a while, then climbs up to the highest point, within the trees. The best views on Bear Mountain are not at the summit – so you need to climb down to the Bear Mountain viewpoint

Bear Mountain Viewpoint

This is what makes Bear Mountain worth the slog up! The viewpoint is lovely! There is an ugly tower and a helipad, so you’ll know you’ve found the right spot.

The views are great (even on moody days!) You can see down to the Fraser River. Hope is in one direction, with Chilliwack in the other. It is always cool to see the giant sediment-filled river and the valley that it has shaped to the south.

Heading back

You need to retrace your steps back to the trailhead. It’s just a bit faster and easier now you’re heading downhill the whole way. The trail is flat enough to make running down a good option, if you’re not too tired.

Other trails near Harrison Hot Springs:

We were camping in Sasquatch Provincial Park when we attempted this trail. If you are staying in the area, there are quite a few other great hikes near here.

What do you think? Does Bear Mountain look like the kind of challenge you’d relish, or would you prefer one of the easier adventures nearby? Click on the pins below to save this for later.

Bear Mountain - Great workout hike in the Fraser Valley, BC (Canada) Bear Mountain - Fun hike near Harrison Hot Springs, BC (Canada)

24 thoughts on “Bear Mountain – Harrison

  1. When I saw this post I thought it was about Bear Mountain on Vancouver Island. So it was fun to see this other mountain site. We missed this one when we visited Harrison Hot Springs. But then the eagles and Sasquatch drew our attention. Not sure we could do that long an uphill hike. But the views would certainly be worth it.

    1. Ooh is there one on Vancouver island as well? There is a bear mountain in Mission too. I guess there are lots of bears to name mountains after!? Harrison Hot springs is lovely isn’t it 🙂

  2. We used to live in the PNW and miss doing hikes like this. While we have yet to do a 5 mile hike with the kids, those views would probably convince us! Lol

    1. Oooh if it was with kids, there are some fun easier ones first around the lakes (like Hicks Lake) down below this mountain. If you like the mossy trees and general PNW rainforests, you’d love that too. <3

    1. It’s not bad is it!? I think the nearby Campbell Lake trail is slightly better value (in terms of effort to view ratio) as it is easier, but still has fab views… But we loved Bear Mountain.

    1. Oh yaaay! I hope you have an amazing time here Cosette! Let me know if you have questions or need advice for possible hikes.

  3. Wow, this looks like such a beautiful hike! I love your photos and all the detail you provided on how to reach Bear Mountain. Those views are spectacular!

  4. Josy this looks epic! such a stunning scenery and amazing hike with gorgeous views! Hopefully , one day, I will be lucky enough to visit that beautiful place.

    1. Yeah, I guess those were there when the forest service road was still in use!? It must have been a dangerous road!

  5. Great article on Bear Mountain hike! It’s nice to see you share the details about the trail, the landmarks, and the breathtaking views along the way. Your description of the hike as “unrelenting uphill slog” gives a realistic picture to the potential hikers, and it’s good to see that you highlighted the need to bring essentials like water and bear spray. Your photos are fantastic, especially the one with the waterfall, it’s beautiful. The tip about the best views not being at the summit but at the viewpoint is a great one, I’m sure many hikers will appreciate it. Thanks for sharing this article and your experience with the Bear Mountain hike!

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