Monday, June 20, 2022
The final hike of our four-day sisters weekend was up to Iron Bear, a peak on Teanaway Ridge.
We knew this was going to be a busy trail, so we packed up camp and headed out first thing. The trailhead parking is interesting here. There’s a wide area on the left to park about 0.2 before the end of the road. Just beyond that is a spot where the creek crosses the road and you have to “ford” the creek, however it’s not deep. Just beyond that ford, straight ahead, is another parking area. If you turn right and head uphill, there’s a final parking area at the end of the road where the trail starts. This is the spot where you have to drive through the creek:
We parked at that very first parking area and road hiked up to the start of the trail:
The trail starts out in a lush green forest:
We knew we would see good wildflowers on this hike and they started off right from the beginning:
Soon the trees opened up a bit and we started getting a look around:
The flower show continued as we climbed up:
We started getting more views as well:
We reached the junction with the Teanaway Ridge Trail, where we turned north. This was a confusing junction for a lot of people because this sign doesn’t say that Iron Bear is NOT on the Iron Bear Trail, but is instead along the Teanaway Ridge Trail :
After the junction we headed out onto this ridge:
This open rocky area was full of bitterroot wildflowers:
As we climbed we got better and better views. That’s Mt. Rainier:
The vegetation opened up:
Just before the summit was this strange section where it looked like trail crews tried to use cinder blocks to stabilize the tread:
We made it!
What a view:
We had a view of the same mountains as yesterday, the Stuart Range, except today’s view was far better. The most prominent peak in the middle is 9,415′ Mt. Stuart:
I think this is looking south or southwest:
Red Top Lookout in the distance. If we hiked south on Teanaway Ridge we would eventually get there:
We still had a 4+ hour drive home today, so after enjoying the summit for awhile we headed back down. I took more wildflower photos along the way:
Great hike! There were a surprising number of people for a Monday but it was worth braving the crowds.
Gaia stats: 6.8 miles, 1,800′ elevation gain