This hike is for well conditioned hikers (know your limits). It's a good preparation for longer and higher treks in the Sierras.
The Bear Canyon Trail starts near the visitor center. It is 6 miles up to the top with an elevation gain of about 6,000 ft. The first 1 1/2 miles up to the Bear Canyon flat is quite gradual. After the flat, it is a tough climb for about the next three miles. The last portion is no picnic either. By now, you are tired from hiking, exposed to the sun, hungry, and dealing with the high altitude.
General Rating/Difficulty: Level 3+/4 VERY STRENUOUS for distance, elevation and speed; Click RATING TABLE (http://files.meetup.com/1554500/RATING%20TABLE.pdf) to read more about difficulty levels.
Duration/Distance/Elevation/Speed: 6-8 hours, 12 miles, 6000ft gain, moderate-fast
Terrain and Altitude: dirt, gravel, loose rocks and crossing stream, going from 4,000ft to 10,000ft.
Trailhead: at the end of a side street next to the visitor center.
Trailhead time: 6:45 - 7:00AM (early for parking, there will be another meetup group doing the same hike at the same time.)
Hiking time: 7:00 AM
Adventure Pass: not required to park your car in the village (carpool is recommended).
What to bring: 10 hiking Essentials (http://www.meetup.com/HikingOC/messages/boards/thread/9535234); wear hiking shoes, hat, sunscreen, bring water, snacks, a light lunch, at least 3 liters of water, and good attitude.
By joining the meetup, you agree to Meetup Terms of Service releases the Organizer and Assistant Organizers from any liability related to incidents that occur at Meetup gatherings YOU acknowledge THAT WE ARE NOT PROFESSIONALS. YOU ASSUME RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOURSELF AND YOUR SAFETY. Hiking is a rewarding and pleasant activity in nature, but there are certain dangers you should be aware of. Those include, but are not limited to, trip and fall injuries, bee stings, poison oak exposure, ticks and snake bites. By signing up for this event, you agree to hold harmless the hike organizer, assistant organizers and other participants for any injuries sustained during this hike