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Bear Mountain Trail #54


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Bear Mountain Trail #54

Hiking Trail

Bear Mountain Trail #54

by: Honza
Location:  Sedona, AZ          Longitude:  -111.8654    Latitude:  34.8937
Located in West Sedona, this is a serious trail with some serious views
Features and Interests:   Unparalleled Sedona views, along with San Francisco Peaks bonus, with some unique geology.
Flora/Fauna on this Trail:
  Fabaceae  Fabaceae
Note: This is a difficult, unshaded hike. Do not attempt with snow or in summer heat.

This out and back trail provides the finest views and geology of any hike we've done in Sedona. The trail starts on flat grasslands with wildflowers lining the spider web maze of erosion ditches. Within a quarter mile, you will start the trek up the Bear Mountain over 4 distinct climbs.

The first climb is up the beautiful 350 ft or so orange sandstone which is topped off with a lighter Apache Limestone. This first climb is perhaps the most difficult as it's immediate and steep!

The more level trail continues up to another steep ravine which is difficult near the top. Coming up the mesa like area, you will be greeted by Manzanitas atop the Coconino Sandstone. Don't forget to turn around frequently to enjoy the amazing views! Continue following the cairns to the first signs of pines.

After a small descent, you will come up to a very fascinating multi-directional swirl of sandstone...beautiful example of geology in action. The cairns will take you to the right of this formation on a steep ascent with spectacular views to the right...watch your feet as the surface is quite uneaven!

Beyond this sandstone lies the final ascent to the top of Bear Mountain. It's a technical climb to the top of the Kaibab Limestone island.

Once on the top, you will see the San Francisco Peaks ahead and also the bulk of Bear Mountain past the saddle. Catch your breath, and come back the same way enjoying the never ending views.
Trail Distance:  5.1 miles round-trip
Elevation:  4570ft - 6450ft   (change 1880ft)
Trail Difficutly:  Expert - very strenuous, rough and tough trail
How Crowded:  Occassional passing
Season:  September to June
Accomodations: (on site)   ToiletsTake the AZ 179 to downtown Sedona to the Y with AZ 89A. Take a left at the roundabout and head West for 3 miles to Dry Creek Road. Turn right and head north just under 3 miles to the end of the road/stop sign. Make a left at this Boynton Canyon Road intersection for 1.5 miles. At the T intesection, take the Boynton Pass Road left about a mile to the Bear Mountain and Doe Mountain Trails parking area on the left. The trail head is across the street from the parking lot. NOTE: Red Rock Pass is required which you can get at the trail head of this hike, and at most gas stations and Ranger Stations.Paved road or trail to the trailhead
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Trail Ratings and Comments