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3 Bears Track

Enjoying the west coast of Dunsborough

Soaking up the view

The 3 Bears Track is one of the few places around Dunsborough, Yallingup and Margaret River that you can go four wheel driving. It is a magnificent track, which is used by many people to access the incredible surf break, known as 3 Bears.

Where is the track?

The 3 Bears Track runs from Cape Naturalist down to Yallingup (or just off Caves road). It can be done in reverse, depending on your preference.

Big waves at 3 bears

A surfers paradise

How do I get to the track?

Most people start the track from the North and head south, but this is entirely up to you. If you are starting from the North, head out Cape Naturalist road, and turn left onto Sugarloaf Road. The track starts on your left about 500 metres down the road.  There is a power pole, and a sign that says Leeuwin Naturaliste National Park. Follow the track south, and it will either end up in Yallingup or just off Caves road, depending on what tracks you take. My suggestion is to stick to the coastline!

3 Bears surfing spot

You can't beat it

How difficult is it?

The track itself is not too difficult at all. A large majority of it is compact sand, but there are a number of spots where it is rocky and the sand can be soft in places. With reasonable wheel placement, even soft roaders (with minimal clearance) shouldn’t have any issues. I’ve seen Foresters easily do the track, but just watch your tyre pressures and avoid any big rocks! The sand can be soft in sections, and it is worth lowering your tyres down a bit for the rocky sections. Take it slow, and enjoy the scenery!

For most vehicles, 20 PSI should be enough. Of course, you can go lower depending on how soft the sand is. I know a lot of people don’t let their tyres down, which is fine if the sand is hard. However, if it means you chew the track up then you are damaging it and making it harder for people in the future. In Winter, the track can develop some reasonable sized puddles. They don’t usually get much taller than around 300mm, but it pays to go through them slowly!

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Stunning views west of Dunsborough

Take your camera!

Is it worth doing?

I highly recommend this track. I’ve done it a few times, and still love doing it. If you go when the weather is terrible, you can see how powerful the ocean can be. The waves come smashing in to the rocks and being on the west coast, there is zero protection. On a day where the weather is good (and the waves are usually still decent sized!) you will love the colour of the water, the gorgeous beaches and plenty of incredible views. Half way through the track there are toilets, and some stairs that lead down onto the beach where the surfers hit the water.

Next time you are down at Dunsborough, Yallingup or Margaret River, be sure to check the 3 Bears Track out. This part of our coast is truly magnificent.

12 comments… add one
  • Thomas Ridden September 29, 2013, 5:35 PM

    Great track, would highly recommend for beginners/those after an easy, fun drive.
    Went down it today with a Forester and an L series, never had a drama.
    Thanks for the writeup!

  • Aaron September 29, 2013, 8:54 PM

    Hi Thomas,

    Great to hear you had a good time; it’s an awesome area down there.

    Aaron

  • brunz July 11, 2014, 3:43 PM

    Just watch your line on the rock desent before the cliff section Igot a 120 prado 2″lift and some how managed to bang up my exhaust no holes just a lil on the flat side now but very nice and chilled out track and if your in the area there is a little “doodly” of a track on carters rd about 1.7km coming from caves rd on the right not much to see but Geez I had fun on a steep hill climb little hint on 2nd low locked and plant you’re foot down

  • Aaron July 11, 2014, 4:09 PM

    There are some bigger steps to avoid, that’s for sure. The track you mention sounds fun! How good are the views on 3 bears though?!

  • Leo Hyde October 21, 2014, 10:52 AM

    Went down with a patrol, xtrail and forester with no issues. The xtrail let its tyres down a small bit at the start. However just after 3 bears surf spot we got turned inland for the second half the track. Is there a way to stay on the coast all the way to yallingup?

  • Aaron October 21, 2014, 9:03 PM

    Hey Leo, we had the same problem last time we did the track. I think you have to stick to the tracks closest to the coast; I’ve done it both ways in the past, but the last time we took the left track (as you would normally) but it took off inland and we popped out near the cave. Next time, take the right hand track and it will take you along the coast further. You won’t get all the way to Yallingup, but you come out pretty close. How good are the views?!

  • Leo Hyde October 22, 2014, 4:33 PM

    I forgot to mention that going south just after 3 bears surf spot there was a fork; we took the right hand fork but turned around at an ‘authorised vehicles only’ barricade. If that hadn’t been there I think we would have ended up on the same track that the cape to cape walkers use. The views are great!

  • Aaron October 22, 2014, 5:19 PM

    Maybe the tracks been modified? Next time I am down that way I will do the track and have a better look around. I’ve heard the cape to cape walk is amazing too.

  • Nick Currie February 21, 2017, 4:36 PM

    Looks amazing, Is there anywhere to camp along this track?

  • Aaron at 4WDing Australia February 22, 2017, 5:41 PM

    Hey Nick,

    I don’t believe you are meant to camp along there. The Cape to Cape track (hiking only) has a few camp sites though

    Aaron

  • Barry Owen January 5, 2018, 6:09 PM

    5 Jan 2018. Stock 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee
    Just went through there today. The last time I was there was about ten years ago. I entered through the Sugar Loaf end. The entry ranged from quite hard to soft with a few rocks thrown in. Later it became quite rocky but nothing difficult. About two thirds the way to the Bears car park there is a keep left sign that wasn’t there last time. It lead to quite a steep decline that was chopped out in places. As long as you know some basics you shouldn’t have any problems going down, though as with any track this can change daily. the rest of the run through to the car park was quite easy with a range of soft and hard surfaces. Most of the exit through to Hemsley road was only slightly more difficult but there were a couple of spots that required more tact to get through the rocky outcrops. If you are careful and pick your lines without rushing you shouldn’t have any problems. About 3/4 the way out we came across a Mitsubishi Challenger hung up on a rocky outcrop. After helping them get unstuck we walked the rout as well as the side goat trail and both came to the conclusion that a stock 4×4 might make it but not worth the risk so we back tracked about 200 meters and bypassed the obstacle through another side track running parallel to just past it, I think we weren’t the first to make that decision. Even though this track had a few challenges it is a great track for the novices as there are regular vehicles through the area if you do happen to get stuck. Just try and be aware of how much ground clearance your vehicle has

  • Aaron at 4WDing Australia January 5, 2018, 6:29 PM

    Hey Barry,

    Cheers for the update. I haven’t done the track in a while either! It’s a fantastic track, isn’t it?!

    Aaron

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