The top of Bear Hill provides a beautiful view looking northward towards North Saanich with views of Haro Strait in the distance to the right. The hike is steep but relatively short, gaining 130 meters elevation in a mere 750 meters of distance, but the rewarding view on a clear day is worth the challenge.
From the parking lot area along Bear Hill Road, walk past the sign and begin walking up the trail as it immediately climbs at a fairly steep pace. Watch your footing as you make your way over a combination of loose rocks and large, smooth rock that is part of the mountain but can be very slippery if it is wet. The first section of trail is largely forested but the vegetation begins to change part way up as the trees are a bit more sparse and the area more open. If you time it right in the late-spring, there are usually a beautiful array of wildflowers along the trail.
The trail will join at a junction, where another trail comes up from the right. Go left and continue up the hill on the route that is shared with hikers and horseback riders. Carefully make your way up between the rocky sections, occasionally looking back to see whether there is a view.
Eventually, the trail meets a more obvious junction. Take note of this junction so that when you return, you go the correct way in retracing your steps back to the parking area. Go left and continue uphill for a couple hundred meters, then go right and follow the trail until it opens up on a rocky outcrop. This is the peak of Bear Hill and offers the best view looking north over Saanich and out towards Haro Strait.
After you have enjoyed the view, walk back to the trail and go left, then right so that you return along the same path you took to the top. Be careful walking over the smooth faced rocks as they are often slippery. Go right at the junction and back down into the wooded area as you descend quickly and return to the parking lot area along Bear Hill Road.
The small, gravel parking area for Bear Hill is located north of Elk Lake but it can only be accessed along Bear Hill Road from the North.
To get there from downtown Victoria, drive northbound on Blanshard Street and follow it as it turns into Highway 17 and you leave the city. Just after passing Elk Lake on your left, turn left at the traffic lights for Sayward Road. After turning left and leaving the highway, immediately turn left onto Hamsterley Road, then make an immediate right onto Brookleigh Road. You will drive past the Elk Lake area to your left.
Continue driving along Brookleigh Road and go straight at the 4-way intersection with Bear Hill Road. The road weaves and comes to a stop sign at Oldfield Road. Turn right and follow Oldfield Road northward for about 1km and then turn right onto Bear Hill Road. Follow the road and make the first right turn, continuing up a small hill, along the narrow road. Watch for a gravel parking lot area on your left and park there. The trail begins just to the right of the parking area.
Dogs are permitted on the trail to Bear Hill but must be kept under control at all times. Please pick up after your dog and remove all excrement from the park.
There are no toilet facilities located at the parking lot area or anywhere on Bear Hill.