I hiked up Bear Mountain last week on a beautiful sunny day. We took the smoother Appalachian Trail both ways, rather than the more rugged Major Welch Trail; of course, it's still a lot of stairs.
However, by doing the hike on a Friday, we avoided the crowds that take over on the weekends. A few other hikers were out, but the top was nearly empty when we arrived. Everyone at the top, too, was a hiker - no cars or motorcycles had driven up.