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.
Iron Bear - Teanaway Ridge
- 6.5 miles, roundtrip
- Elevation Gain
- 1900 feet
- Highest Point
- 5489 feet
Hiking Iron Bear - Teanaway Ridge
Iron Bear - Teanaway Ridge
Map & Directions
Co-ordinates: 47.3557, -120.7176 Open in Google Maps