Bare Mountain (one-way track)
This is a beautiful hike, but there will be challenges that come along with it. The first is that although it seems like it would be an easy drive from North Bend, the road is in poor condition, and so it will be a long and rough ride.
The hike, itself, begins on loose rock, which is uncomfortable to hike on and will challenge your muscles and balance. Fortunately these conditions will not continue during the entire hike, but they will be waiting for you at the end.
Also, the trail will require you to cross Bear Creek, which is typically not a problem, but it could if there has been a lot of rainfall, since one of the crossings is on a log that can get very slippery. So carefully consider the weather conditions before pursuing this hike.
Another potential challenge is that much of the hike in late spring and early summer is edged with head-high bracken fern and cow parsnip, which can be very wet from dew or recent rain. Hiking pants will prevent you from getting wet and scratched. Also, trekking poles are useful for balance and to push the overhanging growth aside so you can see the trail and avoid tripping on roots or stones or stepping into small holes in the trail.
For all of the challenges, you will be rewarded with a magnificent 360 degree view of rugged peaks surrounding you.
If you are doing this hike in the late summer, bring a container to take home some blueberries.
From I-90 about 30 miles east of Seattle, take Exit 31 (North Bend) and head north.
Cross the railroad tracks and turn right on North Bend Way, go two blocks, then turn left onto Ballarat Ave. Stay on that main road as it changes directions (and names) several times.
In about four miles, take the left branch of the Y. The sign says "Dead End" and "Next 24 Miles."
The pavement soon ends, and you will have a 20-mile drive on rough roads that often have potholes and may be dusty.
About 17 miles from the Y, turn left and cross a bridge over Lennox Creek. Then turn right onto Forest Road 57, where the "57" sometimes is obscured by vegetation.
On Road 57, it's another 3.2 miles to the Bare Mountain Trailhead. It will be on your left at an elevation of 2,100 feet.
Parking is available in a wide area on the right side of the road or along the shoulder. There is room for perhaps six or seven cars, plus two more on the left at the trailhead itself. There are no facilities here.
Parking Pass/Entry Fee: Northwest Forest Pass
This would be a tough hike for children for the reasons stated in the above hike description.