Boise National Forest

Bear River Trail

Currently, there are sections of this trail that are hard to find, so be sure to have the topography maps, a compass, and the skill to use them. There are also sections which are narrow along steep hillsides. Except for a steep section in the middle of the trail, and the extremely steep end, this trail is a gentle hike along the Bear River. Rugged valley walls make for spectacular scenery, and views from the top of the trail are panoramic. The first 0.5 miles is an old jeep trail which is currently open to travel. Park your vehicle either at the junction of FS road 372 and the jeep trail, or drive 0.5 miles to the jeep trail's end where there are two large campsites. The first mile of this trail, including the jeep trail, is level. At 0.6 miles, the trail crosses a small stream. This crossing is difficult because the trail has been eroded on the hillside. The trail crosses another small stream at 0.7 miles, and then briefly becomes a double track at 0.8 miles. At 1 mile, the trail crosses a small stream on a brige, and in another 0.6 miles, crosses another small stream. At 1.8 miles, the trail passes a USGS benchmark at the corner of sections 5, 6, 7, and 8. The approach to the crossing of Rockey Creek, at 2.2 miles, is difficult to find. Stay close to the base of the hill and cross a wet area with springs just before the crossing of Rockey Creek. The trail on the other side of Rockey Creek is also difficult to find as it crosses a lodgepole pine flat with numerous trees down. Again, stay close to the base of the hill and continue up Bear River drainage. At 3.8 miles, the trail crosses Bear River to the south side. This crossing is relatively easy. In another 0.2 miles, the trail crosses Cub Creek. Shortly after the Cub Creek crossing, the trail climbs in switchbacks and then narrowly contours along the hillside above the canyon of Bear River. The terrain opens up again, and the trail crosses Bear River to the north side at about 5 miles. the trail is very faint after this crossing. Stay away from the river and continue up the drainage. At approximately 5.8 miles, there is a stream above the trail which disappears into the rocks before it reaches the trail. Earlier in the year, the stream may flow above ground. In another 0.7 miles, the trail crosses a large flat gravelly area which looks like it may be flooded during the spring runoff. At 6.8 miles, there is another stream which waterfalls off a short cliff above the trail, but disappears before reaching the trail. The stream probably flows above ground in the early summer. At 8.2 miles, the trail is not evident as it crosses the mouth of a drainage with a large deposit area. Looking east, one can see the road, which is the trail's end, high on the hillside. Once on the other side of the deposit area, head in a east northeast direction, away from Bear River which swings to the south, to another stream at 8.6 miles at the base of a steep hill. Cross this stream and look for the trail which cuts steeply up this slope. The trail is evident for about 0.5 miles. Continue climbing the hill in an easterly direction following game trails, staying between two minor drainages. At 10.2 miles, the trail reaches its end at FS road 312, the road into Graham.Note: Because numerous sections of this trail are not evident, and the presense of few rock cairns and tree blazes, it is advisable to have the topography maps for this trail, a compass, and the skill to use them.