From Evergreen Trail Guide
Fantastic Views with some fun, but steep single track.
Verslowrdr 12:07, 3 August 2011 (PDT) I've done this as an out-and-back on Iron Bear now twice. We weren't in a big hurry but I was with pretty strong riders both times, and it's been around a 7 hour trip. Wear shoes you don't mind walking in because there's plenty of hike-a-bike. Views from the top are AMAZING... you've got front row seats to the Stuarts, plus various Alpine lakes peaks and Rainier, Goat Rocks, and the top of Adams in the distance.
How to find it
Take exit 85 off I-90 (second Cle Elum exit). Turn left/north over I-90, right/east at the T-junction onto 970. Stay on 970 for approx. 6.5 miles, turn left/north onto Teanaway Road. Drive north to end-of-pavement at 29 Pines Campground (13 miles). Bear right onto gravel North Fork Teanaway FS road. At Y (1.25 miles) turn right onto Stafford Creek Road, drive to road end (3.3 ROUGH miles). There is a loop at the road end, with the entrance at "6 o'clock", the Miller Peak TH is at "10 o'clock" and the Iron Bear TH is at "12 o'clock".
Spring finds the trail melting out and still hard to ride without lots of snow hiking (see below). Depending on the year, it should be in good shape by mid to late June. Some sections are dry and dusty by May.
6-26-11 Snow from junction of County Line trail to summit. Lots of nasty blowdowns along creek on Miller Peak trail. Recent chain saw work on first part of Iron Bear trail. Creek running on Iron Bear. Wild flowers are in their prime.
7-30-11 Out-and-back on Iron Bear- snow and blow downs CLEAR. Wildflowers wrapping up but trail conditions still good.
Clockwise description. Head up Miller Creek. After about 2 miles, the trail leaves the easy creekside and begins to switchback up to the ridge. You pop out on the ridge at about 5200 ft, your view of the summit still blocked by a nob to the north. The trail contours back around the west side of the ridge and climbs to meet the junction with the summit spur trail at about the 4 mile point. Brief trip up to the summit yields excellent views. Coming back down, make a left at the junction and traverse the south face of Miller Peak to the SE ridge. Follow the ridge down to a saddle at about 5000 ft. Follow the road to the right and almost immediately turn left back to the trail. After climbing a bump in the ridge, stay right at the junction. The trail follows over a smaller bump and down to the next saddle where you turn right for the final leg down Bear creek to the trailhead. Our odometer showed 14.2 miles including the summit.
Verslowrdr 12:03, 3 August 2011 (PDT) Out-and-back on the Iron Bear side is 19 miles round trip.
Local Points of Interest
Cle Elum and Roslyn are the nearest towns and both have restaurants to sate your post-ride hunger.
As you drive West through Cle Elum, look for mexican on the left. It is excellent.
There are three ways you can ride this trail. CW and CCW both of which are a lollipop with the stick being the trek to the peak which I estimate is about 500 feet of mostly hike-a-bike. CW is a much steeper climb and loose during the dry season. The descent is sure to leave a smile on your face for the entire drive home. CCW is loose but a much “easier” climb. However, the descent for CCW is quick and riddled with switch backs that some may find displeasing or difficult.
There is an alternative and that is ride it as an out and back using the CCW direction to peak and the returning the same way. This way you get a climb that is mostly rideable and a descent that is a blast. The out and back will add a bit more climbing to the ride but it may be worth if you hate a lot of hike-a-bike.
New post: We chose CW, you get the climbing done early in the day and there is a lot of shade most of the way to the summit. Going CCW the switchbacks would be fun for intermediate and advanced riders but I would still choose CW if I went again because the Bear Creek descent is so much fun. Lots fast cruising with a stretch that requires almost no braking and just a little pedaling to maintain speed. Shorter but similar in fun level to Ape Canyon or the east end of Nason Ridge.
This is for information about the trail's history with respect to mountain biking, the land owner, etc.