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Bear Mountain Professional Review and Guide
"This is a less-used trail in the Red Rock–Secret Mountain Wilderness. It features some of the best views in the area. This trail is dry and exposed to the south for all of its length and is hot in summer. Be sure you carry plenty of water. As you start up the trail, you are looking at massive Bear Mountain directly ahead. The trail crosses several small gulches and is confused by false trails. Keep in mind that you are heading directly to the base of Bear Mountain (the trail is visible as it starts the climb) and you won’t have any problems. After a pleasant stroll across the flat, the trail climbs steeply up the talus slopes and surmounts the lowest cliff band via a break to the right. It then starts a gentle climb along the terrace to the left. Already the views are excellent—looking to the southeast you are now level with the top of Doe Mountain."
--Bruce Grubbs, Hiking Northern Arizona (Falcon Guides).
Bear Mountain trail is a 4hr/5 mile hike that is best to undertake in the early morning. I began hiking the trail at 6:45am and was the first person to reach the summit. On the walk back down I passed a few other hikers; however, it appeared that not all of them planned on reaching the peak. The trail first winds through a meadow and then climbs two ridges at the lower red rock level. The climb then makes its way up the white rock level which is a bit more difficult. The views of Sedona and Fay Canyon are great from many points along the trail. I felt that the trail was marked "ok" but there are a few areas where one may become confused for a minute or two. Overall it was a great hike which involved a moderate amount of difficulty that anybody in good physical shape can do...with lots of water and before the day becomes too hot in the summer
One of the most magnificent trails in the Sedona area. That being said, be prepared for some fairly steep climbs and several false summits. Once you finally reach to top it is all worth it. The views are spectacular
This is a great and challenging day hike with wonderful views of Red Rock country. The road to the trailhead is now paved and the parking lot filled-up by mid-morning on the Saturday we hiked. The parking area is used for both the shorter Doe Mountain trail as well as the Bear Mountain trail. While we met several people who had become lost, the trail isn’t too hard to follow if you pay attention. Sticking to the trail for 1800 feet of elevation gain over roughly 2.5 miles, some of which required scrambling up a series of rather steep chutes will reward you with almost constant views of the surrounding country along with great views into Fay Canyon. Once you reach the summit you’ll be able to see the snow-capped San Francisco Peaks to the north. Strongly recommend this hike if you’re in the Sedona area.
Great hike with excellent views of the surrounding area. I was at the trail head within 20 minutes from my downtown Sedona hotel. Yet on the trail (I started at 7:30 AM) I didn't see anyone on the way up except for a volunteer Forest Service ranger with which I had an excellent conversation about hiking in the area. On the way back I passed three groups of two hikers each. Great hike to stretch you legs and see the sights without taking all day to do it. I was back at the hotel by 11 AM.
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