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Iron Bear - Teanaway Ridge

Central Cascades > Blewett Pass
47.3557, -120.7176 Map & Directions
Length
6.5 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain
1900 feet
Highest Point
5489 feet
Calculated Difficulty About Calculated Difficulty
Moderate/Hard
  • Wildflowers/Meadows
  • Mountain views
  • Dogs allowed on leash
  • Ridges/passes

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

None

In spring and early summer, the flowers are so profuse and beautiful that you would think that a gardener had planted them. And because this area is usually clear of snow long before many others in the region, hikers can attain Iron Bear Pass, the Teanaway Ridge and views of the Stuart Range and Mount Rainier while much of the Cascade Range is still snowed in. Continue reading

Rating
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Hiking Iron Bear - Teanaway Ridge

In spring, enjoy abundant wildflowers and views of Stuart Range on these trails east of the Cascades.

This is an ideal trail to enjoy abundant wildflowers and mountain views in May or June when the weather on the west side of the Cascades is dreary. Simply cross the pass to find it sunny and warm on the east side.

Springtime is such a popular season for hiking this trail that the US Forest Service closes it to motorized use from April 1 through Jun 15 each year. If you're hiking from October to April, visit on a weekday if you'd like to avoid encounters with motor vehicles.

This trail description is based on a hike starting from the Iron Creek trailhead, found at the end of Forest Road 9714, a three mile long dirt road with a few potholes. You will ford Iron Creek about 200 yards before you get to the trailhead. If your car has low clearance you can park at one of turnouts just before the ford.

The Iron Bear Trail starts in forest, then proceeds through low shrubs, including serviceberry and snowbrush. In spring, there are many wildflowers, such as balsamroot, penstemon, paintbrush, and forget-me-nots along the trail. If you are a wildflower fan, you will recognize a lot more species. In 1.8 miles, you'll gain about 600 feet before you reach a four-way junction at Iron Bear Pass (elevation 4500 feet).

Take the right trail heading north onto Teanaway Ridge Trail 1364. The sunny, exposed south side slope of the ridge is where you find lovely pink petals of bitterroot. In about 1.5 miles you will gain about 1000 feet and reach an unnamed peak at 5489 feet. There are a lot of rocks to sit on and enjoy lunch. On a clear day you will be able to see Mount Rainier to the south and jagged Mount Stuart to the west.

With so many flowers and great mountain views, this is certainly one of the most beautiful hiking trails around.

WTA Pro Tip: The Iron Bear Trail can be accessed from two trailheads--Iron Creek or Bear Creek. The Iron Creek trailhead is three miles from Hwy 97, less than a two hour drive from Seattle. No fee is required to park there, but there is no toilet available this trailhead.

Miller Peak trailhead is at the end of Road 9703, off the North Fork Teanaway Road and it takes about two and a half hours to reach it from the Puget Sound area. A Northwest Forest pass, interagency pass or day use fee is required, and a toilet and campsites are available at the Miller Peak trailhead.

Hike Description Written by
Yas Obara, WTA Correspondent

Iron Bear - Teanaway Ridge

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 47.3557, -120.7176 Open in Google Maps

Before You Go

See weather forecast

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

None

WTA Pro Tip: Save a copy of our directions before you leave! App-based driving directions aren't always accurate and data connections may be unreliable as you drive to the trailhead.

Getting There

From I-90 take exit 85. Go left to cross the freeway, and make a right onto 970, passing the Twin Pines Drive-In. Hwy 970 veers left. 9.4 miles past the Twin Pines Drive-In, turn left onto Hwy 97 and continue for 9.9 miles.

Turn left onto FR 9714 for 2.7 miles to the end at the trailhead for Trail 1351. At the end of FR 9714 you will ford a stream just before you get to the trailhead. The last 200 yards of road is a bit dicey but you can park in several turnouts just before you get to the ford.

The Iron Creek trailhead is three miles from Hwy 97. No fee is required to park there, but there is no toilet available this trailhead.

More Hike Details

Trailhead

Central Cascades > Blewett Pass

Iron Bear (#1351), Teanaway Ridge (#1364)

Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, Cle Elum Ranger District

Guidebooks & Maps

100 Hikes in Washington's Alpine Lakes Wilderness (Mountaineers Books)

Buy the Green Trails Mount Stuart No. 209 map

Buy the Green Trails Liberty No. 210 map

Download a map to plan your hike

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Iron Bear - Teanaway Ridge

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