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.. Prime Autumn with Big Tooth Maple ..
East Bear Canyon "off-trail" hiking can be compared to hiking sections of our Mogollon Rim- Barbershop Canyon and Dane Canyon with seasonal water flow and pooling within East Bear Canyon as of this August'12 hike description posting.
In Autumn, with surprisingly numerous large stands of "Big Tooth Maple" within the entire East Bear Canyon section, this LOOP should provide some excellent Autumn colors during prime season.
East Bear Canyon drainage is mostly easy to navigate with numerous animal routes to follow with some downed trees to negotiate. The lower East Bear Canyon secondary drainage "exit" point to reach remote FR9032E will require some tolerance and patience due to downed trees, overgrowth, and required route finding skills (see my posted 8/23/12 "official" GPS Route with key waypoints noted). It is highly recommended to download and follow this "official" 8/23/12 GPS Route posted herein.
The recommended, easier to navigate loop option (with less bushwhacking/tree downfall/route finding) for this hike description is to continue past the above noted lower East Bear Canyon secondary drainage "exit" point, continuing down the East Bear Canyon drainage to its intersection at Bear Canyon Upper then continue off-trail and uphill to intersect the lower end of FR300G (for this hiking route section to reach FR300G from the intersection of the lower end of East Bear Canyon at Bear Canyon Upper, it is highly recommended to download and follow the posted hike description "alternate" 9/27/12 GPS Route..with all key waypoints included). This recommended hike option (utilizing 1.8 miles on FR300G) now makes this a 5.1-mile loop.
Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.