At A Glance

TRAIL LENGTH: 5+ miles, round-trip

ELEVATION GAIN: 1,700 feet

HIGH POINT: 3,500'

BEST TIME TO VISIT: Summer or Fall

POPULARITY: Lightly used

GOOD FOR: hikers 

WATCH FOR: road conditions, no cell reception, slippery bridges

FEES & PERMITS: Northwest Forest Pass or America the Beautiful Pass

NEAREST RANGER: Snoqualmie Ranger Station


COORDINATES: Mill Location: N47° 38.496' W121° 29.506'  Donkey Engine Location: N47° 38.552' W121° 29.249'

LOCATION: In King County, near the end of the North Fork Snoqualmie River, on the edge of the Alpine Lake Wilderness.

HIGHLIGHTS: Mill remains, mines, waterfalls, mountain river

HISTORIC SIGNIFICANCE: The Bear Basin Mine was a gold and silver mine operated by the Snoqualmie Mining Company in the first half of the 20th century.


Driving Directions

FROM I-90:

  • Take exit 31 for North Bend
  • Turn north on Bendigo Blvd S/Hwy. 202
  • Continue on the same road as it becomes North Bend Blvd N
  • Turn right on E North Bend Way
  • Turn left on Ballarat Ave N
  • Follow the main road as it curves right and becomes SE 108th St/NE 12th St, 
  • Follow the main road as it curves left and becomes 428th Ave SE.
  • At the Y, go left onto N Fork Rd. It becomes rough, but passable gravel road.
  • Follow for about 23 miles.
  • Turn right on NF-57.
  • The trailhead will be on the left, just before the end of the road.

Trail Directions


  • Locate the Bare Mountain trailhead.
  • Follow the trail up switchbacks through the forest for about .75 miles.
  • Carefully cross the logs over Bear Creek.
  • Continue upwards on the trail for about .5 miles.
  • Cross the creek on again on a bridge.
  • Continue on the trail for one mile as it emerges from the forest to a brushy slope. 
  • Instead of going up the next switchbacks, continue straight onto the miners trail.
  • After about .2 miles the remains of the mill can be seen on the right, below.  
  • Follow the trail into the woods. After another .1 miles, turn left at the fork.
  •  Follow the path to the artifacts of the mining camp.
  • There are two narrow footpaths through the brush heading north. Take the first you encounter.
  • After about .1 miles, cross the small creek on a makeshift bridge of metal pipes.
  • After crossing the creek, proceed up hill for about 200 feet to reach a campsite.
  • Locate a small path through the forest northwest of the camp.
  • Follow the path up through forest until it reaches a rocky slope.
  • Climb the slope for about .14 miles to the engine.


  1. Mining mill remains
  2. Plane and mining artifacts
  3. Steam donkey engine


Do you have historical document or sources about this basin? We'd love to know! Please contact us under the About section.