This lake is a beautiful isolated spot and a good place for finding wildlife.”
— Megan Wilder
Features: Lake — Wildlife
Dogs: No Dogs
Quiet and pristine Swiming Bear Lake is also known as Cat Lake. It sits in a hollow, cradled by meadows above Cat Basin. Bear are abundant here and can often be seen meandering the hillsides or browsing the berry bushes. The lake itself offers very chilly swimming, but an easy shallow entry. Good campsites at that lake are also abundant.
From its junction with Cat Basin Trail, head north on Swimming Bear Lake Way Trail. The initial climb up the open hillside is steep, but eventually the angle moderates as the trail begins to contour towards the lake. This lake is so named because it was featured in Herb Crisler's Walt Disney documentary ("The Olympic Elk") from 1952 with a bear swimming in it.
Flora & Fauna
Mountain goats, bear, deer, elk and hawks.