The Bean Creek Trail begins at the junction with Beverly Turnpike Trail #1391 and ends at the junction with the Stand Up CreekTrail #1369.
Setting: Creek valley, forest, meadow, ridgetop.
From its start at the junction with trail 1391, Bean Creek Trail heads uphill along the right bank of Bean Creek and then crosses it after 0.25 mile and heads up the left bank, often staying high up on a steep hillside above the creek. It passes through meadows and stands of trees.
At about the 2 mile point, the trail, now in open country, crosses the creek again and begins switchbacking up a steep mountainside through rocks and sparse trees to a rocky ridgetop on the southwest side of Earl Peak.
From there, it heads downhill to the end of the trail at its junction with Standup Creek Trail 1369. Water is available along Bean Creek and beyond the junction with 1369.
Mount Stuart dominates the eastern half of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, towering so high above its surrounding peaks that it can be seen from trails throughout the region. Bean Creek is one of those trails affording views of the spectacular rock slabs of Stuart. But there’s more to this trail than mountain views. Indeed, there are splendid views of Iron Peak, Earl Peak, and other summits in the Stuart Range. But it’s the little things that make Bean Creek special. A plethora of blooming plants—wildflowers of all varieties—grace the valley. And an army of wild critters calls the basin home, from mule deer to deer mice, from gray jays to pileated woodpeckers.
Cross Beverly Creek on the stout bridge near the trailhead and climb creekside on an old, overgrown roadbed. At 0.5 mile turn right at the first trail junction and start up Bean Creek valley. The trail drives upward through the tight valley, lined lightly with trees and carpeted with bear grass, buckwheat, and other blooming plants under the waving branches of the pines and firs.
Many of the trees that used to dot the hillsides can be seen rotting in piles at the bottom of the steep valley—dropped by a violent avalanche some years before. The trail continues a steep climb for nearly a mile, crossing the creek to access more cool forest and small forest meadows higher up the valley. The creek can be fast and tough to wade early in the year when melting snows swell the flow.
At 2 miles the trail leaves a stand of forest and erupts onto a broad swath of green, speckled with reds, blues, purples, yellows, and whites—that is, a vast grassy meadow filled with the odoriferous heads of blooming wildflowers.
At this point the trail forks. Stay left on the fainter trail to climb into the flower fields of Bean Creek basin. The trail leads to a wonderful camp along the creek, and then angles up into a garden of color, dotted with alpine firs and stunted pines. As you ascend the 0.5 mile from this last trail junction, you’ll find the meadows growing larger and the stands of trees growing smaller, until finally the meadow wins out and takes over all of the basin before you. Here, at around 5300 feet, you’ll be standing amid flowers that stretch across scores of acres.
Above the meadows tower the jagged tops of Earl Peak, Mount Stuart, and Iron Peak. Break out lunch, then enjoy a nap in the sun before heading for home.
From Seattle drive east on I-90 to exit 85 (East Cle Elum). Cross over the freeway overpass and turn right (northbound) on State Route 970. Cross the Teanaway River bridge, and in another mile turn left onto Teanaway Road. Drive north on Teanaway Road, veering right as it becomes first North Fork Teanaway Road and then unpaved Forest Road 9737 at 29 Pines Campground. Continue north for just under 4 miles before turning right (east) onto FR 9737-112, signed for Beverly Creek. Drive 1.4 miles to the road’s end and trailhead.
Local Trail Association
More Stats for Bean Creek Trail #1391.1 mountain bike trail
Altitude change-1,790 ft
Altitude min3,900 ft
Altitude start5,690 ft
Altitude end3,900 ft
Distance climb3,407 ft
Distance down2 miles
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Routes with this trail
|Trans-Okanogan WEST / EAST||51 miles|
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