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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.

Abineau - Bear Jaw Loop, AZ

Guide 155 Triplogs  1 Active Topic
  4.1 of 5 
no permit
1 Active
1.1k 155 6
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Difficulty 3.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Loop 7.35 miles
Trailhead Elevation 8,532 feet
Elevation Gain 1,785 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,937 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 4-5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 17.04
Backpack Yes & Connecting
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14  2020-10-04
Bears basin
10  2020-10-03
Abineau - Bear Jaw Lasso Loop from Inner Basin
19  2020-10-03
Abineau - Bear Jaw Lasso Loop from Inner Basin
15  2020-10-03
Abineau - Bear Jaw Lasso Loop from Inner Basin
7  2020-06-24 Jim_H
9  2020-05-30 joebartels
13  2020-05-29 Ashleyannmarie
10  2020-05-02 BiFrost
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Author Misubri
author avatar Guides 2
Routes 0
Photos 193
Trips 4 map ( 20 miles )
Age Male Gender
Location Gilbert, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   May, Jun, Sep, Oct → 8 AM
Seasons   Summer to Early Autumn
Sun  5:12am - 7:45pm
Official Route
6 Alternative

by Misubri

Likely In-Season!
This loop trail is about the closest thing I have seen in AZ that resembles the Colorado Rockies. You start the trail in Ponderosa pines but end in Douglas firs with Aspens all the way. You will also notice that the Aspens in the lower elevations are very white, but the bark goes from light green to khaki as you gain in elevation.

The trail starts from the end of a parking loop, which has more than enough space for the few people that seem to use this trail. The route is always well defined and maintained. After you go a short distance, you come to a trail marker with a register. The trail signs indicate Bear Jaw Trail to the left and Abineau to the right. Considering that your goal is to reach the highest point that passes a meadow looking up at Humphrey's Peak, you can go right on the Abineau Trail, which is shorter but is also much steeper. Or you can go left, up the Bear Jaw Trail that is longer, but the ascent is more gradual.

I went to the left and came back using the Abineau Trail. Doing this on Memorial Day, there were just a few patches of snow. I crossed a small snowfield at the meadow. Returning on the Abineau Trail was a bit risky. The steep decline in places and being covered in ice and snow made it slippery.

The only disappointing thing on the whole trail was that air pollution on that day was awful. So visibility, looking out to the horizon, was minimal. Besides that, I would put this trail in my top 10.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

Lightning Kills
Stay off the mountain when thunderstorms are forecasted. July and August are notorious for quick unexpected storms. Lower the risk by being OFF the mountain before 11am on a clear morning. Stay safe, read the NOLS Backcountry Lightning Safety Guidelines.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2003-05-31 Misubri
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Coconino FS Details
From the Abineau and Bear Jaw trails, on the north slope of the San Francisco Peaks, you can see all the way to the Grand Canyon ninety miles away. These two trails provide a scenic loop hike through forested canyons. Both lead to an old road that runs along the base of a long talus slope topped by Arizona's highest point, the summit of Humphreys Peak. The climb along either trail is steep and steady through stands of mixed conifer and aspens. The road completes the loop by providing a connecting route from the top of one trail to the top of the other. From this high perspective the Grand Canyon appears as an wide gap in a broad plateau that stretches from the foot of the mountain to the horizon.

This route passes through an area that is colorful at all seasons of the year. In late Spring, alpine wildflowers such as lupine, rocky mountain iris, penstemon and paintbrush color the trailside meadows. Sunflowers add a slash of yellow in Summer and groves of aspen paint the slopes with crimson and gold during the Fall.

There is a chance to see a black bear here-perhaps the best chance you'll have in the area around the Peaks. Seeing sign of these big shy animals along either trail is not uncommon. Mule deer and elk are also plentiful. Common birds are juncos, Steller's jays and Clark's nutcrackers. In Spring and early Summer the forest's best singer, the hermit thrush, will serenade you along your way.

Click to View Forest Service Map

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
FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

To Abineau Trailhead
East Approach
Country Club & US-89
North 11.9-miles on US-89. Turn left, cross HWY & on to Fire Road 545 0.6-miles
Turn right on Schultz Pass Rd, follow 1.0-mile
Turn right on E Butler Ave, follow 6.2-miles
Continue 1.3-miles on Fire Rd 418

West Approach thru Flagstaff
N Humphreys St & N Fort Valley Rd: Turn Left
Follow 18.7-miles to the second turnoff for FR151 at mile marker 235.2
Follow FR151 1.6-miles (well maintained). Take a left on FR418.
Follow FR418 3.1-miles to FR9123J. Turn right onto FR9123J and follow 0.5-mile to the trailhead. The parking is area is large. There is a short walk to the trail signage.

Bonus Tip
FR151 is Hart Prairie Road. This is a great loop to drive in the autumn. You can see aspen leaves turn golden yellow alongside the road.

From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) 174 mi, 3 hours 6 mins
From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) 279 mi, 4 hours 46 mins
From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) 26.7 mi, 45 mins
90+° 8am - 6pm kills
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