Length: 15.6 miles RT
Elevation Change: - 4000'
Season: - Late spring thru early fall
Difficulty: Very Difficult due to the steepness and length of hike
Permit: NW Forest Pass Required
This is an excellent hike for endurance. Yet, it is also an excellent adventure hike.
The trail begins at the Wyeth Campground trailhead. Just follow the main trail out of
the parking area for a short distance, until it comes to a junction with Gorge Trail #400.
Make a sharp left at this point and continue on Trail #411.
You will have to cross a major stream within a short distance, and depending on the time
of year, this could be a bit of a challenge. After crossing the stream, the trail wanders
for just a bit before picking up steam and starting the incredible 1000 feet per mile ascent
up Wyeth Ridge.
After climbing 3840' in the first four miles, you then keep left and descend 500 ft before regaining the elevation as you
approach North Lake. The climb up the Wyeth Trail offers excellent
vistas of the Columbia River Gorge. North Lake is a shallow little
lake surrounded by forests and the cliffs of Green Point Ridge.
Continue on Trail #411 to the left. After another half mile you will break out into an open
area where you get great views of Mt. Defiance to the east. Continue along a short distance
and the trail will climb to a juntion to North Lake.
Here you could walk over and see the lake, but to get to Bear Lake, just continue on Trail #411.
Ironically you will come to a road. After the winter snows melt, you can access this area via
Forest Road 2820. For now, just bear to the left and follow the signs to Bear Lake.
You will lose about 100' in elevation that you have to regain as you walk back out.
By the way, this lake bears this name for a good reason, no pun intended. Always be prepared
for wildlife encounters. I recommend pepper spray for bears and cougars.