Long Haul to Paradise
The Bear Foot Trail connects Highway 87 at 0.5 miles East of Strawberry to Pine Creek and the Pine Canyon Trail #26. The trail is signed at 6 miles.
The trail follows along and below the rim and just above the private property with cabins / houses. This is a fairly open trail until the last third as you approach Pine Creek. There are views to the east of Milk Ranch Mesa and Point and to the South down Pine Canyon toward Payson.
Upper Pine Canyon is very plush and a popular spot in late spring to Fall. The problem is that there is no easy way to get there unless you have access through the private property of lower Pine Canyon. The Bear Foot Trail is one of two access trails to upper Pine Creek, the other being the Pine Canyon Trail and both involve a 6 mile hike in.
The trailhead along Highway 87 is 0.5 miles east of the town of Strawberry. There is a passing lane just before strawberry and alongside is the trailhead. Two trails depart from this trailhead, the Bear Foot Trail and the Rock Wall Trail.
The Bear Foot Trail starts out heading north but after a little meandering around a ravine will eventually head in an easterly direction. This trail can be a little frustrating in that it does a lot of what I consider needless meandering and very long gradual switchbacks. The trail is in excellent condition and allows for sightseeing without having to necessarily stop.
The first third of the trail follows above highway 87 in a juniper forest. The next third is along a Juniper forest again but the under growth has been cut back probably as a protection against wildfires since houses are just below. There are great views to the Southeast along this stretch when you pass over ridges. More really ridiculous switchbacks in this section.
The trail passes a water tank and then the last of the houses, from here the last third of the trail drops you into Pine Canyon. Pine trees become more prevalent and the views become scarcer. The west slope of Milk Ranch Mesa is the prominent view. At 6 miles in the trail crosses a metal bridge and the junction with the Pine Canyon Trail.
Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.
This hike is listed as One-Way.
When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
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.
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