While car camping on the Rim for 5 nights/6 days this was my second of two planned exploratory day hikes to checkout new to me- Bear Canyon (no bears observed in this upper cyn section either
Upper Bear Canyon as I define it in the HAZ hike description runs generally SW to NE for ~3.0 miles one way, bordered in-between West Bear Canyon & FR95 (on the west) and East Bear Canyon & FR139/139A (on the east).
Even though this first visit to the upper canyon section I did not complete my planned 6.0 mile round trip exploratory hike due to other planned area exploration (see my picset captions and GPS Route for details), it was very
obvious to me that this seldom hiked upper canyon section should prove to be another popular off-trail hiking area within our Mogollon Rim - Cabin Loop area, and can be compared to hiking certain off-trail sections of Dane and Barbershop Canyons.
In this upper canyon section that I had time to explore (less than one mile), I was particularly impressed with the significant amount of water pooling- water flowing in early June, lush green vegetation, obvious elk/deer active routes, a unique canyon surprise feature with a hidden, pleasant meadow area, and a small cascading slick rock area..all this within one of three miles too!
From the Rim Road (FR300), the pleasant and remote feeling of the 2.4 mile drive to this hike description Parking/TH Start at 7507ft was also a winner as was the interesting off-trail, route finding hike down to intersect Upper Bear Canyon drainage.
I will surely be back for more!