Follow an old roadbed for approximately one mile, crossing Bear Creek twice before entering the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. The first crossing may be hazardous during spring snow melt. Leaving the forest behind, traverse open avalanche slopes above Bear Creek to milepost 2 on a barely visible roadbed dating back to early mining days. Enjoy wonderful wildflower displays in late June followed by a forest of head-high bracken fern in July. Plan on getting wet if the trail crew hasn’t brushed the trail. Look up-valley for tailings and old mine adits dating from around 1905. At milepost 2 at 3,650 feet leave the old road grade and climb 1,700 vertical feet in 46 switchbacks to summit Bare Mountain the former site of Bare Mountain Lookout.
The trail is on a south-facing slope with excellent views all along the trail. Starting in mid-summer, brush and ferns overhang and obscure the trail in places. Once you reach the summit enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding peaks and valley below.
From Seattle, WA travel east on I-90 to exit #31 (North Bend). Drive north, towards North Bend Way. Turn right on North Bend Way, then turn left on Ballarat Street. Follow the main road to a "Y", (about 4.0 miles). Turn left onto the North Fork County Road (#57). Continue approximately 18.0 miles to a junction where Forest Service Road #57 turns left and crosses the river. At the next junction follow Forest Service Road #57 to the right and continue for 3.0 miles. Park on the right side of the road and the Bare Mountain trailhead is on the left.