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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.

Bearfoot Trail, AZ

no permit
135 19 0
Guide 19 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Payson > Payson N
3.3 of 5 by 6
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Distance One Way 5.8 miles
Trailhead Elevation 6,013 feet
Elevation Gain -318 feet
Accumulated Gain 656 feet
Avg Time One Way 3 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 7.99
Interest Off Trail Hiking & Perennial Creek
Backpack Yes
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
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15  2019-09-03
Rock Wall Bear Foot Loop
5  2019-08-17
Pine Creek Canyon upper
1  2019-05-25
Bearfoot-Pine Canyon
24  2018-10-04
Bear Foot Trail Plus
15  2018-09-01
Red Geronimo Milk East Pine Bear
12  2018-05-19
Pine Canyon - Bearfoot
3  2018-05-19
Pine Canyon - Bearfoot
2  2018-04-28
Pine Canyon
Page 1,  2,  3
Author markthurman53
author avatar Guides 75
Routes 475
Photos 5,651
Trips 400 map ( 3,956 miles )
Age 66 Male Gender
Location Tucson, Arizona
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Apr, May, Sep, Oct
Seasons   Spring to Late Autumn
Sun  6:10am - 6:30pm
Official Route
11 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
Long Haul to Paradise
by markthurman53

Likely In-Season!
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.

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2019-09-04 markthurman53

    One-Way Notice
    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.

    Most recent Triplog Reviews
    Bearfoot Trail
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Pine Canyon - Bearfoot
    Met Ray at the Pine TH for this one.
    Breezes kept the temps perfect.
    Since the reroute no longer takes you past Dripping Springs, We side tripped over to it, and it was ....dripping.
    We ran into, and talked to the guy that did this reroute.
    Pine creek has a nice flow at the Bearfoot Trail.
    Nice easy day of hiking.

    Bearfoot Trail
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Nice big loop around Pine. Clockwise from the Strawberry trail head: BF13 > PC26 > OS16/AZT25 > W251 > PS15.

    Bearfoot steadily improves along its length and the new bridge over Pine Creek is fiberglass art. Warm and very dry conditions, only a few meager patches of snow. The Pine-Strawberry fuel reduction program has done an incredible amount of work - several long stretches along this loop have nearly all the chaparral chopped down to a foot high, hundreds of acres have been thinned.
    Bearfoot Trail
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Bearfoot-Rockwall-Pine Point
    Two goals for the day.

    Get out to Peak 6979 and Pine Point to check out the views and find the old BSA Trail, "The Wise Trail" and attempt to follow it.

    Bearfoot Trail to Rockwall 608 to get up to the top. Next on 9388D until it faded out. From hear an easy .6 mile to Peak (Bump) 6979. A short walk past this you are on the rocky rim. Sweet views and what appears to a future goal of a cairned route down. = :next: [ youtube video ]

    Back up 9388D to where I'd penciled in where I thought the Wise Trail would be, if it existed. After searching the area where it looked like you could potentially get down, I stumbled on the trail sign the Scouts had made, as well as one of their metal tags hanging from a tree. The way down was not obvious from here. Being solo and losing light, I decided it was smart to save this for another day, from the bottom, up. I made my way back down the Rockwall Trail, to my awaiting ride.
    Bearfoot Trail
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Denny and Joe refused to hike with me 2 weeks in a row.
    The Dbacks kept me up late. I slept in until 6:00 and didn't hit the trail until 8:00.

    Got dropped off at the Good Enough Trail. First time on this one. It's in decent shape and a short steady climb to The Pine Canyon Trail. Passed up Wild Bill Spring on the way up.

    Pine Canyon Trail #26 yields great views down to Pine and back into the canyon. It's a super highway. A brief stint on the Highline trail and I was at the Pine TH.

    I had not been on the Oak Spring Trail #16 in over 7 years, since we did the AZT in 2010. It really has a lot to offer. You get to peak at "The Narrows" (on my list) on your way to the picturesque Bradshaw Tank and meadow area. The blind has been changed up from last time through, with the same familiar note inside.

    The drop and views into Oak Spring Canyon is what I'd remembered most about this trail. It did not disappoint.

    I was going to take a side trip to relive the Butterfly Whisperer moment [ photo ] [ photo ] , but I was on a timetable.

    I'd forgotten everything about the Walnut Trail #251. I'm sure there may be some walnut trees here, but most of what I saw were Oaks and Maples on the cusp of their seasonal turning. Worth a visit for sure.

    The Pine Strawberry Trail #15 is a MTB highway, yet I saw none. This is an enjoyable trail that has had some slight reroutes since my last time through.

    I finished up on the Bearfoot Trail.

    I saw 4 hikers total on an absolutely perfect weather day.

    Walnut Canyon's maples are just starting to turn.
    Bearfoot Trail
    rating optionrating optionrating optionrated 2rated 2
    I hiked south from the Cinch Hook Trailhead, at the intersection of AZ-87 and FR 6038.

    I could hear Pine Creek from the top of the Rim. That had me wondering if I would be able to cross the creek, or if it would be a raging torrent like the one that killed that poor family in nearby Ellison Creek last week.

    Despite the recent heavy rain, Pine Canyon Trail #26 was not muddy and footing was never an issue. However, plant droplets had me soaked by the time I reached the bottom of the switchbacks. I only had to duck one fallen tree, but there were several more hovering just upslope.

    Halfway down the switchbacks, I saw some colored bits in the dirt & leaf litter. I kneeled down, discovering there were scads of plastic beads. Thankfully, who ever dropped them on the trail also dropped a small plastic tub. It took me about 15 minutes to pick them all up. It also inspired my hike video’s music selection. :D

    With all the vegetation along the canyon bottom, by the time I got to Pine Creek, I was even wetter.

    Pine Creek did appear up a bit, but not much. It was nowhere near a raging torrent. The massive tree that previously served me as a bridge, did not appear safe to cross, so I searched a bit for a dry crossing. There were too many trippy plants to either side, and I was wet anyway, so I rock-hopped across.

    New signage has been installed all along Pine Canyon Trail #26. I stopped by Tiny Cave, where I took my first break. Lacking hundreds of 12 year old girls, it was blissfully quiet, the only sound the peaceful rush of Pine Creek.

    Pine Canyon Trail #26, between Cinch Hook Trailhead and Camp Lo Mia, is one my Top 10 Arizona Hikes. :y:

    The recently installed Bearfoot Bridge is a half mile south of Tiny Cave. The bridge has a dedication plaque and some bear prints in the cement. It’s a really nice build. Apparently, there is also a “livestock crossing”, though I have never seen any cattle or sheep in Pine Canyon, while neither elk, deer nor bears comprende ingles.

    Despite the Bearfoot Trail #13’s sun exposure, it was quite slippery, due to a thin mud layer, in many spots.

    The wierdest thing I saw all day happened when I stopped to admire an oddly twisted manzanita. As I looked up — it was quite high — I spotted half a deer leg hanging in its branches.

    Once Bearfoot Trail #13 gets up a couple of hundred feet, it starts twisting to an absurd degree. More twists than the plot of a daytime soap. There multiple twists where one side of the twist is only only 10 yards, and less than 10 ft. elevation difference, from the other side of the twist. The trail also drops, or ascends, several contours, for reasons I could not fathom, when it seems like it would have been easier to follow a contour. Those odd ups & downs add up to 2/3s of this hike’s total gain. Not to criticize, because the trail crew really did a fantastic job. :)

    Since I started spending more time photographing flowers, I’ve figured out that they are one of the best places to look for wildlife. (Bugs, obviously, not mammals.) Bird song serenaded me throughout the day. During one break, I tried to lure the birds in by scattering crushed vinegar chips, but they weren’t buying it. At various times, I saw deer, elk and bear scat, but the only big critters I saw were a pair of female elk having lunch across AZ-87 from Old Country Inn in Pine, where my wife & I stopped for post-hike linner and rehydration.

    Hike Video: [ youtube video ]

    Quantity is low, but variety high.
    Bearfoot Trail
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Bear-East End-MRP-Pine Canyon
    I've had this one drawn up for quite some time. I was always interested to explore a bit more of Milk Ranch Point and find a way to connect MRP to the Upper Pine Canyon TH.

    The East Rim Trail is still steep one. I was shocked to actually run into someone else on the way up. Or should I say, he ran into me. I chatted with Ryan for a bit before he disappeared above me.

    I tied a bunch of old FR's together with some off trail, to follow the western side of MRP. There are quite a few spots where you get some decent views. Around the NE portion of this track, the breeze picked up a bit and I could hear a rumbling in the distance. I checked the radar on my phone and there was a big one coming my way.

    I skipped lunch and decided to try and get off the rim before it hit. A good thought, but no luck. I hiked in a steady rain with Sky Crackles in the area. Luckily only one crackle that did not allow me to count between light and sound. I did a quick 360 to look for hits and saw none.

    I had planned to try the area close to the rim on the north edge of Pine Canyon, but the storm had me wanting to stick to the middle ground.

    Finally on the Pine Canyon Trail, I started down the switchbacks. I found a rock outcropping to get partially out of the rain and sit for a moment. After 20 minutes, the rain let up enough for me to complete my hike.
    Bearfoot Trail
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Cinch Hook Area-Pine Canyon
    Farther's Day Weekend hike with my son Ben and the Dood.

    Got dropped off South of Cinch Hook above the rim and 'splored the area a bit. Hit some FR's to some viewpoints and did a bit of offtrail to keep it real.

    Tickled the General Crook for a bit before heading down the Pine Canyon Trail. It was good to get under tree cover at it was a warm one even in Pine. Pine Creek is still running, cool, clear and refreshing.

    Always great to hike with my kids.
    My youngest was out of town and my oldest is serving out of country.

    Short Vid :next: [ youtube video ]
    Bearfoot Trail
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Pine Canyon - Darling Rocks - Bearfoot
    First time hiking the Southern part of the Pine Canyon Trail #26.

    There has been a lot of recent trail work with re-routes and added switchbacks. They have done a nice job going through the tall pines with this trail. I passed not a single hiker on the trail on this perfect weather day.

    Pine Creek was flowing and we had a relaxing lunch next to it.
    Bearfoot Trail
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Went backpacking on April Fool's Day with 9 (nine) other members of the Arizona Backpacking Club (ABC) this weekend taking on the Pine Canyon Trail near Pine and Strawberry, Arizona. We left cars at the Bearfoot Trail just east of the town of Strawberry and then carpooled and drove 10+ miles to the Pine Canyon TH. We went through a gate and parked 100+ yards beyond the gate. Everyone got their backpacks on and then it started snowing! We all said to ourselves.....APRIL FOOLS! Luckily, it only lasted about 30 minutes. There were 3 dogs on this trip. A Toy Poodle named PokaDot, a Cockapoo named Mazie and a Black Lab, named Bella. They were all awesome dogs and I’ll talk more about them later. (I love dogs although I don’t have any….). This backpacking trip is considered a beginners trip because it was actually a pretty easy hike for the most part—only 4 miles the first day and 6 miles the second day. The first day was all downhill. Downhill can be more challenging sometimes than uphill. My thighs were screaming as the trail was rather steep with loose rocks, climbing over many fallen trees across the trail, and some creek crossings. It gave me a great workout on the thighs! It was an absolutely beautiful hike and I loved it. We found a perfect camping spot just before the Girl Scout Camp (Camp Lo Mia) beyond the “Tiny Cave” for the ten of us near Pine Creek. The water was flowing wonderfully. We built a campfire and set up camp with plenty of room to spread out; filtered our water in the flowing Pine Creek, and had our dinners. Our trip leader, Wren, brought three chicken legs and asparagus and grilled them over the fire. Now that’s what I call a good backpacker’s meal! Sure beats my Ramen Noodles with dehydrated chicken! We sat around the campfire until around 9 p.m. and then all hit their sleeping bags. It got cold that night—down in the high 30’s and most had cold feet but all survived the night. (Those with dogs I think fared better because of the extra heat—hence the group ….”Three Dog Night.” We had a leisurely morning getting up around 7 a.m. Wren regenerated the camp fire because it was mighty cold. After breakfast, we broke camp and hit the trail at 9:30 a.m. and took the Bearfoot Trail for 6 miles. The trail was mostly uphill but wasn’t too steep. We reached end of Bearfoot Trail at our first parking spot where some left their cars. The drivers (me included) headed up Highway 87 to the northern parking area at the Pine Canyon TH and drove back down to the group near Strawberry. We all headed to “That Brewery” for lunch. All were pretty hungry. The food and beer were EXCELLENT! Had a nice drive back to Phoenix and called it a very successful and fun weekend! ... 525/
    Bearfoot Trail
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Six of us hiked the Bearfoot Trail today. What a beautiful trail. To make this a one-way hike, we left a car at a small pullout just in front of the Camp LoMia entrance which is at the end of Pine Creek Canyon Road. The turnoff from Highway 87 is clearly marked. It's towards the end of the town of Pine and about 2 miles before you reach the trailhead. The entrance to Camp LoMia is gated with a large no trespassing sign. However, before the gate, there are posted directions for hikers to follow the Friendship Loop around the camp. We then headed to the Bearfoot Trail parking another vehicle in the small pull off just after milepost 270. The entire trail was a delight and very clearly marked. The trail ends at the new bridge and intersects the Pine Creek Canyon Trail on the other side of the bridge. We turned south and followed the trail a short distance to another fairly new sign which pointed us in the direction of the entrance to Camp LoMia. The Camp entrance at this end is also gated but the same map was posted for the Friendship Loop. This is a very informal undeveloped trail but it was clearly flagged all the way back to the south entrance of the camp and our vehicle. Total distance for our hike was 7.6 miles with about 1,000 feet elevation gain. Great day!

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    Highway 87 0.5 miles east of the town of Strawberry. Park off to side of highway near the passing lane on the north side of the highway right near mile marker 270.
    page created by The_Eagle on Sep 04 2019 1:25 pm
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