Bear Mountain, 2002


Click on any image to enlarge.

January, 2002
The Bear Mountain trail is a short, steep, rewarding climb that offers great views. Lying west of Sedona in the Red Rock Wilderness, Bear Mountain is one of the best kept secrets in an area known for premier hiking. This hike offers superb vistas of the sandstone cliffs, pinnacles, mesas and canyons of the spectacular red rock countryside.

Bear Mountain Trailhead
The headwall
Looking Back
Looking back

The trail winds up a sandstone headwall and then ascends through high desert vegetation toward the pine-clad summit, which is not visible from the trailhead. Manzanita is a predominate trailside shrub, characteristic by its red bark. The trail is marked by frequent cairns as it meanders across a plateau that offers great views.

A look at the summit
Trailside manzanita
An elaborate cairn

Scenic hiking is the norm all along the Bear Mountain trail. In places, the path meanders close to steep cliffs that offer big views into deep, neighboring side canyons.

Great Views
Great views
Looking southwest
Loy Canyon
Looking into Loy Canyon

We followed the many cairns up angled sandstone slabs along our way. Finally, arriving at the vegetation shrouded summit, we wandered to its northwestern edge for a spectacular view into Red Canyon. Protected by the shade, patches of snow remained from previous storms. On the horizon to the north were the snow covered caps of the San Francisco peaks, some 30 miles distant.

Angled Slabs
Angled slabs
The summit view
San Francisco Peaks
San Francisco Peaks

After soaking in the views, we traipsed back down the mountain, marvelling at the sites all the way. The trail was relatively uncrowded and the weather was perfect, especially for a January day.

Heading Back
Heading back
Views all the way

| Home | Recent Hikes | Older Hikes | Family | Site Map |