Mount Bear

Mount Bear

Saint Elias Mountains | Christine Baker

Mount Bear, a prominent peak in the majestic Saint Elias Mountains, stands as a testament to the breathtaking beauty and power of nature. Located in the southeastern region of Alaska, this magnificent mountain range stretches over 1,500 miles along the border between the United States and Canada, treating visitors to a display of unparalleled scenic grandeur. With an elevation of 14,831 feet, Mount Bear is the fourth tallest peak in the Saint Elias Mountains, and its majestic presence contributes to the awe-inspiring landscape that draws adventure seekers from around the world.

Nestled within the spectacular Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Mount Bear offers a challenging and rewarding experience for mountaineers and outdoor enthusiasts alike. The pristine wilderness surrounding Mount Bear provides an excellent habitat for a diverse array of wildlife species, including grizzly bears, wolves, caribou, and Dall sheep. This rich biodiversity further enhances the appeal of this incredible destination for those interested in experiencing Alaska’s untamed beauty up close.

The journey to reach the summit of Mount Bear is not for the faint of heart, as it involves traversing through treacherous glaciers, navigating steep terrain, and enduring extreme weather conditions. However, those who undertake this formidable challenge are rewarded with unparalleled views of the surrounding Saint Elias Mountains, as well as an immense sense of accomplishment. It is this combination of rugged beauty and exhilarating adventure that makes Mount Bear an essential destination for anyone seeking to experience the majesty of Alaska’s wilderness.

Mount Bear is a remarkable testament to the awe-inspiring power and beauty of nature. As part of the Saint Elias Mountains in Alaska, it offers visitors an unforgettable experience that combines breathtaking scenery, diverse wildlife, and thrilling adventure. Whether one is a seasoned mountaineer or simply an admirer of nature’s wonders, Mount Bear is sure to leave a lasting impression on all who have the privilege to witness its grandeur.

Fast Facts

Saint Elias Mountains | Christine Baker

Country: United States

State/Province: Alaska

Mountain Range: Saint Elias Mountains

Parents: Saint Elias Mountains

Elevation: 14,831 feet / 4,520 meters

Prominence: 5,054 feet / 1,540 meters

Isolation: 20.1 miles / 32.4 kilometers

Nearest Higher Neighbor (NHN): Mount Slaggard

Fun Fact: Mount Bear is one of the top 20 highest peaks in the United States.

Flora and Fauna

Mount Bear is a pristine and captivating ecosystem that boasts an impressive variety of flora and fauna. This breathtaking region provides a unique opportunity for researchers, nature enthusiasts, and tourists to explore the rich biodiversity that thrives in the area. The delicate balance between the plants and animals in this region is a testament to the natural harmony that exists within Mount Bear’s ecosystem.

The flora found in Mount Bear is highly diverse, with the region hosting a range of plant species that have adapted to thrive in the challenging environment. Notable examples include various species of conifers, such as spruce and hemlock, as well as deciduous trees like aspens and birch. The understory is equally fascinating, with an abundance of ferns, mosses, lichens, and wildflowers creating a tapestry of color and texture throughout the landscape. The presence of these plants in Mount Bear not only adds to the area’s visual appeal but also plays a critical role in supporting the complex food web that sustains the region’s fauna.

Both dew and sap cling to purple hemlock cones in Anchorage, Alaska. | Susan R. Serna

The fauna that inhabits Mount Bear is equally diverse and impressive. The region is home to large mammals like moose, black bears, and grizzly bears that roam the landscape in search of food and shelter. Moreover, smaller mammals such as beavers, otters, and snowshoe hares can often be spotted near rivers and streams. Mount Bear also serves as a crucial habitat for a variety of bird species, including majestic bald eagles, peregrine falcons, and various songbirds that fill the air with their melodious tunes. Additionally, the region’s waterways are teeming with fish such as salmon, trout, and Arctic grayling – all of which provide a vital food source for many of Mount Bear’s predators.

In conclusion, the flora and fauna found in Mount Bear demonstrate the remarkable resilience and adaptability of nature in the face of harsh environmental conditions. The abundance of plants and animals that call this region home is a testament to the area’s ecological significance and serves as a reminder of the importance of preserving and protecting these unique ecosystems. As more people become aware of the beauty and diversity that Mount Bear has to offer, it is our responsibility to ensure that future generations can continue to marvel at and learn from this extraordinary landscape.

Grayling (Thymallus thymallus) | Rostislav Stefanek


Known for its breathtaking beauty and pristine wilderness, Mount Bear is home to two significant glaciers – the Klutlan Glacier and the Barnard Glacier. These glaciers play a vital role in shaping the landscape and maintaining the region’s delicate ecosystem.

The Klutlan Glacier is one of the most prominent glaciers in the region, stretching over 40 miles (64 kilometers) from its origin on the slopes of Mount Bear. This massive ice sheet has been continually forming and advancing for thousands of years, making it a crucial component in understanding climate change and glacial dynamics. The slow-moving Klutlan Glacier has carved out a stunning landscape as it descends from the high peaks of Mount Bear to its terminus in Canada’s Yukon Territory. Researchers and adventurers alike are drawn to this remarkable glacier for its awe-inspiring beauty and scientific significance.

Adjacent to Klutlan Glacier is the equally impressive Barnard Glacier. Originating from the same ice field that feeds Klutlan, the Barnard Glacier is another testament to the powerful forces of nature at work in Mount Bear’s glaciated landscape. Stretching over 20 miles (32 kilometers) in length, Barnard Glacier’s sheer size and dramatic ice formations make it a popular destination for mountaineers and researchers studying glacial processes.

In conclusion, Mount Bear’s glaciers, Klutlan and Barnard, are not only visually stunning but also scientifically important. These immense ice sheets provide valuable insight into climate change and glacial dynamics while also playing a critical role in maintaining the region’s ecosystem. As climate change continues to impact our planet, further study of Mount Bear’s glaciers will be essential for understanding how these natural phenomena evolve and adapt to our changing world.


Mount Bear trails consist of various paths that cater to different levels of expertise and endurance. As you traverse these trails, you will be captivated by the majestic beauty of the surrounding environment, including glacier-carved valleys, lush alpine meadows, and crystal-clear lakes. In addition to the picturesque scenery, Mount Bear trails boast a diverse range of wildlife, such as grizzly bears, caribou, and golden eagles, providing visitors with an authentic Alaskan wilderness experience.

The more experienced adventurers may choose to embark on the challenging Mount Bear Summit Trail. This trail requires technical mountaineering skills as it leads climbers to the summit of Mount Bear at an elevation of 14,831 feet. The exhilarating ascent rewards climbers with panoramic vistas of the Alaska Range and its surrounding wilderness.

Safety is paramount when exploring the Mount Bear trails. As these trails are situated in a remote region of Alaska, visitors should take necessary precautions to ensure their well-being. This includes carrying appropriate gear, familiarizing oneself with the terrain and weather conditions, and respecting local wildlife.

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