“Toughest sustained climb in the Lawtonka Trail system, which provides the longest downhill as well.
— Larry Wolcott
Head up the gravel road, Merry Circle Drive, to a set of steep switchbacks up a rocky climb that will make your lungs and legs burn and ultimately take you to the summit of Bear Mountain. Once at the peak, you'll have awe inspiring views of the town of Medicine Park and Lake Lawtonka.
The trail then descends from the summit via a somewhat rugged trail. After the downhill section levels out, the trail continues at a more consistent elevation, but continues to offer up a plethora of bowling ball size rocks to navigate. The east end of the loop also provides more sweet views of the surrounding canyon and has a steep crag that you can climb if you have a little extra time and energy.
The finishing section consists of more rocks, quick climbs and descents, with a tree-covered bumpy downhill called Itchy-Scratchy to finish it up.