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This is likely a great time to hike this trail!  Check out "Prefered" months below, keep in mind this is an estimate.

Bear Canyon Upper - West Bear Canyon Loop, AZ

Guide 20 Triplogs  3 Topics
  3.8 of 5 
no permit
320 20 3
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Difficulty 3 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance Loop 5 miles
Trailhead Elevation 7,571 feet
Elevation Gain -425 feet
Accumulated Gain 740 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 5.0 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 8.7
Interest Off-Trail Hiking & Seasonal Creek
Backpack Yes
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Inaugural Calculation on Button Tap!
24  2021-08-22
Bear Cyn Main at East Bear FM FR139A- Mogollon
19  2021-06-19
M-Rim FR398End2W BearLwr2MainBearExplore
45  2020-10-29
Hunting Fall Color
15  2020-10-05
West Bear Canyon (Minimal Autumn)
7  2020-09-29 outdoor_lover
21  2017-08-26 Grasshopper
3  2017-07-25
Camp Grasshopper - Mogollon Rim-C/Site#4
25  2014-09-29 kingsnake
Page 1,  2,  3
Author Grasshopper
author avatar Guides 47
Routes 486
Photos 8,946
Trips 550 map ( 5,407 miles )
Age 76 Male Gender
Location Scottsdale, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Expand Map
Preferred   May, Sep, Oct, Jun
Sun  6:09am - 6:29pm
Official Route
9 Alternative
Historic Fire Perimetersacres
🔥 RIM 200911.3 mi*
🔥 2017 Bear Fire11.68
🔥 2016 Pinchot Fire3.9k
🔥 2014 General Fire2.1k
🔥 2009 Rim Fire2.5k
🔥 1990 Dude Fire21.4k
🔥 View All over Official Route 🔥
*perimeter length in miles

excellent autumn colors
by Grasshopper

Likely In-Season!
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Upper Bear Canyon and West Bear Canyon off-trail hiking can be compared to hiking sections of our Mogollon Rim - Barbershop Canyon and Dane Canyon with significant seasonal water flow and pooling in the Bear Canyon Upper sections as of this June'12 posting. In Autumn, with surprisingly numerous large stands of Big Tooth Maple within the West Bear Canyon section, this LOOP should provide some excellent autumn colors. West Bear Canyon is mostly easy to navigate with only the lower ~1/3 mile section requiring moderate rock/boulder scrambling with creek downfall to negotiate. From its intersection with lower West Bear Canyon, Upper Bear Canyon is nicely shaded in the afternoon with numerous, active animal routes to follow. It is recommended to download and follow the "official" GPS Route posted herein.

For the stronger hiker with off-trail route-finding ability, you can combine this loop hike with the Bear Canyon(Middle) hike guide for a longer 12+ mile "lollypop" loop hike... if planning this option, it is recommended to start/end from the Bear Canyon (Middle) Park/TH Location unless planning a shuttle hike which is also an option.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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2012-06-24 Grasshopper
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    High Clearance possible when dry

    To hike
    From the Phoenix area- Drive Hwy 87 north through Payson, Pine, and Strawberry.. approx 10.5 miles north of Strawberry on Hwy 87 at MP281.1, turn right at signed FR300 (the Rim Road), and continue on FR300 for ~13.2 miles to the intersection with easy to miss but signed FR398. Turn left onto FR398 and continue for ~0.30 miles to road left side Parking/TH Start for this off-trail hike (at waypoint 34.44440 -111.23384). It is highly recommended that you download and follow the Driving Route (with key waypoints) posted above to this hike description;
    page created by Grasshopper on Jun 24 2012 2:26 pm
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