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

Bear Jaw Trail #26, AZ

no permit
357 46 3
Guide 46 Triplogs  3 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Flagstaff > Flagstaff NW
3.8 of 5 by 24
clicktap icons for details
Difficulty 3 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance One Way 2.26 miles
Trailhead Elevation 8,616 feet
Elevation Gain 1,069 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,198 feet
Kokopelli Seeds 6.25
Backpack Yes & Connecting
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Will recalculate on button tap!
9  2019-08-10
Abineau Bear Jaw Loop
30  2019-06-15
Abineau Bear Jaw Loop
15  2018-11-04
Rees Abineau
8  2018-11-04
Rees Abineau
7  2018-05-19
Abineau Bear Jaw Loop
22  2017-10-07
Bear Jaw Rees Abineau loop
7  2017-10-07
Reesy and Abby
5  2017-07-15
Abineau Bear Jaw Loop with some offtrail
Page 1,  2,  3,  4,  5
Author HAZ_Hikebot
author avatar Guides 16,882
Routes 16,052
Photos 24
Trips 1 map ( 6 miles )
Age 22 Male Gender
Location TrailDEX, HAZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Expand Map
Preferred   Jun, Aug, Sep, Jul
Seasons   Summer to Early Autumn
Sun  6:11am - 6:31pm
Official Route
10 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby

Likely In-Season!

Author Full Detail Guide

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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

  • FR22 Car Camping
    area related
    FR22 Car Camping
  • Kachina Peaks Map
    area related
    Kachina Peaks Map

Coconino FS Details
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.

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 of 23 deeper Triplog Reviews
Bear Jaw Trail #26
rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
This loops is a real gem in my opinion. I would honestly put it up there with some of the better hikes in Arizona and in terms of the Kachina Wilderness, its somewhat off the radar reputation and lack of crowds, probably makes it one of the better hiking options on the Peaks as well.

Gorgeous hiking conditions all day and big clouds. I don't know if it is the elevation, but the initial climb always hits me a little on this one, but other than that and the steep descent, you can't beat the trail conditions on this loop. Its a shame that we are in full fire ban mode, before the aspens have even gotten their leaves, but alas I feel this will be the new norm for us in AZ and the entire southwest. But hey let's keep rolling back those environmental regs and ignoring science in the name of corporate interests and profits, no since trying to slow it down, we will all be dead before it matters anyways. It was nice to get a hike knocked out in this area before the first dry lightning strike turns the Peaks and the surrounding forest into matchsticks.

Bear Jaw Trail #26
rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
Bear Jaw Rees Abineau loop
Matt and I headed up to retry our trip from last year that got interrupted with thunder and snow.

The aspens were a patchwork of perfect and absolutely gone with not much in between. I'd guess that there was a freeze early in the turning cycle and those leaves that had begun were stripped bare in subsequent wind storms. Those that hadn't begun before the freeze were in their prime colors.

The lower portion of Bear Jaw was ok, but once getting above Bear Jaw Canyon and all along the Wateline, it was mostly bare. We headed up to Rees, and I got a reminder of how steep this one gets. The weather was calm and perfect as we dropped down to the saddle to set up camp. A few side trips for evening sunset, moonrise an hour later, and sunrise the next morning completed the photoshoot before packing up camp and heading down via a new route (to me) staying just to the west of the bottom of Rees Canyon. I liked this route!

Once back on the Waterline we headed uphill to Abineau where I checked to see if the Abineau Spring Box was open so I could preemptively answer DA3's near-certain question about it: no.

The top of Abineau always sucks, but the bottom part was the gem. Still plenty of aspen in full color as well as a yellow brick road of litter along the trail. It was nice to see outdoorlover as well, who was on her way up.

On the drive out I took the west loop around the peaks wondering if the colors there had suffered the same freeze, and they had. There were pockets of perfection, but still quite a bit of drab bare trunks. Still one of my favorites, and a great night along the crown!

A freeze and high winds over the past couple of weeks have left a lot of the aspen bare. If they hadn't started their turn before the freeze they were in prime color, especially on the lower Abineau trail.
Bear Jaw Trail #26
rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
Great to see Humphreys on the North side again, with its snow fields in July. On Bear Jaw Tr I saw a group of about half dozen butterflies/moths that are nearly invisible (pale grey) when they are not actively flying and their wings are folded up. Then they take off and fly, and the other side of the wings is bright periwinkle blue! Gorgeous. Seemed like quite a few dead trees along this trail, and they don't look like they were killed by fire. Wonder what's killing these trees - Age? Insects? Drought? Climate change? Hope someone is studying this.
Bear Jaw Trail #26
rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
A final hike with the pups and Jackie before I make what is becoming my annual summer exodus from Arizona. A fair amount of hikers out, but nothing overwhelming. The trails in the loop were all in pretty good shape, with only a little deadfall to contend with on Bear Jaw. The highlight of this loop is still the top of Abineau in my opinion, a great little area. We did some further exploring around here and took an extended break to allow the pups to play in the snow. We ran into a guy taking a break in the same area, he recognized the dogs and had been following our hikes for a few years on HAZ, so we chatted it up some there and then again at the trailhead. A good final hike with the pups, I am going to miss them, Montana bound first thing tomorrow morning.
Bear Jaw Trail #26
rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
Inner Basin via Bear Jaw
We had to get out of the Phoenix heat for the day so we headed up to Flag. There were only a couple cars at the TH when we arrived which was unexpected. We took Bear Jaw up to the Waterline and then headed over to the Inner Basin. There were a lot of people in the Inner Basin. Once in the Inner Basin, we cut over to the old road that heads up towards the Cirque. We took lunch at Bear Jaw Spring and then headed back. There was a little water flow near Bear Jaw Spring but I think it was just snow melt in one of the adjoining drainages. I think the spring itself get sucked into the pipes right at the source. We could notice some of the smoke from Kendrick on the way back down Bear Jaw but it wasn't too bad.
Bear Jaw Trail #26
rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
What was supposed to be an overnight up on Rees got thwarted by bad weather. After carrying a fully loaded pack up to the Waterline trail, watching lightning flashes and listening to thunder clapping along the way, I checked the radar one last time and decided that to continue was not my idea of fun.

Got back to the trailhead just as it started to rain. It lasted for two hours and I drove around and enjoyed the scenery from the dry and warm cab of my truck. Hindsight is 20/20, and it didn't look too bad on the east side of the peaks. Perhaps I should have stuck it out? Nah. I'm comfortable with the decision.

Humphreys and Agassiz got hammered, resulting in a picturesque snowfall, while the lower elevations on that side of the world picked up a good accumulation of hail.

I settled on a spot to camp in Hart Prairie just as the sun was setting providing a magical couple of minutes of post-storm light.

This one's not going anywhere. It's still on my list to spend the night up there.
Bear Jaw Trail #26
rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
Would I do this hike again? Every day? Yes.

This is simply probably my favorite hike that I have done in Arizona. It's close with the Kachina Trail but this trail is a bit more difficult and more sustained climbing.

My trip got off to an inauspicious start as I realized I had forgotten my hat. I haven't hiked without a hat or something on my head in a VERY long time. I was bummed but it turned out OK.

FR 151 and FR 418 are actually pretty good roads. My SUV made it just fine and even I didn't worry... :y:

When I got to the Trailhead it was 37 degrees. When I arrived home it was 97 degrees. Yikes.

Back to the hike... I chose to go up Bear Jaw first and then to descend Abineau. Although I say that I wouldn't have wanted to ascend Abineau, next time I might do it just for the challenge as it is MUCH steeper.

I marveled at the views along the higher parts of the trail and the aspens are not at peak but probably middle peak, maybe. I saw one hunter and there was one other vehicle at the TH which I believe may have been a fellow HAZ'er Preston Mc.

I got back to the TH, took my pants off, switched to shorts and readied for my next adventure about 2 miles down the road...
Bear Jaw Trail #26
rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
Beautiful day for a hike in Flagstaff! Went up Abineau and down Bear Jaw. Aspens had some color.

Came in from 180, on the northern 151 route. FS151 and 418 are in good shape with just pot holes here and there. FS9123J is rough, but I would say passable in a car, rain ruts in the parking area would be the biggest obstacle, but you can drive in and out without having to cross them.

Aspens were starting to turn yellow.
Bear Jaw Trail #26
rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
I was going to go to the Parson's Trail with Lily and a friend today. Chumley said something the other night about how hot it would probably be. I can't possibly listen to ALL of Chumley's opinions so I didn't check the weather until last night-- holy crap... its was gonna be hot. Last minute I decided to go check out this loop. Its been on my to-do list for a while. This is a great loop. There were plenty of hikers but no so many that it was not enjoyable. If fact, we started a little late and seemed to be doing to loop the opposite way of most people so we pretty much passed everyone as they were coming down. Everyone was really friendly and Lily met lots of friendly dogs. We got a little nice chilly rain on the way down. This is a great little loop!
Bear Jaw Trail #26
rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
Rees Peak via Bear Jaw

I was going to be in Flagstaff for the weekend and wanted to get a good hike in, but wanted to avoid the popular and crowded options. That ruled out pretty much anything that's a trail! I think most people who hike Rees begin in the Inner Basin, but after OHs recent camping trip report, I decided that was a crowd I'd like to avoid.

In no hurry to start the day, I got to the Bear Jaw trailhead around 10 and was happy to see only about 5 other vehicles in the lot. Signing the register I noticed somebody had written about a "huge" bear sighting on Friday. A few minutes later I passed a hiker finishing the loop counterclockwise who told me he had seen a huge bear in Abineau Canyon earlier in the morning. I know there's not a lot of bear in the Flagstaff area, but it's nice to know there's a healthy one in this area. I hope the population is able to expand a bit!

I cruised the Bear Jaw trail up to the Waterline Road and just went straight up from there. The first 500-700 feet of elevation were choked with a lot of deadfall and travel was a real chore. Lots of bouncing left and right to get around things, and plenty of climbing over. Eventually the forest thinned out, but it also steepened. I wasn't sucking wind as hard as in Colorado a couple of weeks ago, but I still took plenty of short breaks just to catch my breath. Near the top, I wasn't gaining more than 50 feet before taking an oxygen break!

Along the way, I got a text from a trusted friend who suggested that I couldn't hit Rees without also hopping over to Abineau. Though that wasn't the plan, that seed was now planted. Once hitting the summit of Rees, the jaw-dropping views of the Inner Basin and the rest of the peaks were amazing. I enjoyed a short break there, but decided that Abineau would be worth the attempt. There was rain visible to the west of the peaks, and an occasional distant rumble of thunder. I was a bit leery of the weather, but after looking at the clouds for a while and determining that they were moving slowly away from me, I decided to continue on.

The route between Rees and Abineau is loose and steep. Both down to the saddle, and back up to the peak. Travel is slow but steady. Abineau does not have the trees Rees has and offers 360-degree views. I could see dozens of people on the summit of Humphreys just a mile away. This peak had a register that was very recent and only had three names. I searched for another one but couldn't find anything else. I found this to be a bit strange.

After photos, a well-earned summit beer, and some snacks, I headed down along a ridge that appeared to have the most moderate slope on the topo contours. As on Rees, the upper part was steep but more open, and the closer I got to the road below the more deadfall that needed to be negotiated. The descent wasn't too bad, but climbing this route would have been steep.

Back at the road, I contemplated heading up the road to descend Abineau--primarily in hopes of spotting the bear. But I wasn't in the mood for the extra mileage, so I headed back to Bear Jaw and hobbled back to the car. Some light sprinkles added to the breeze and the refreshing sound of the quaking aspen. It was a perfect day and the cloudiness provided the perfect relief from the warm June sun.

I might have to do this one again sometime :)

Permit $$

Map Drive
FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

To Abineau Trailhead
From Flagstaff, head north on SR 180. Follow about twenty miles to the second turnoff for FR151 at mile marker 235.2 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. Anyhow back to task, follow FR151 just over a mile and a half. Take a left on FR418. Follow just over three miles to FR9123J. Turn right onto FR9123J and follow just over a half mile to the trailhead. The parking is area is large. There is a small walk to the trail signage, but it's within view. On the drive in I noticed several homes along the way, must be nice!

Misubri writes: From Flagstaff go north on US Highway 180 for approximately 18 miles. Turn right on Forest Rd. 151 (well maintained). Then continue 1.6 miles and turn left on Forest Rd. 418. Drive 3.1 miles to the signed turnoff for Abineau Trail. Turn right and go .3 miles to the trailhead.

You can also reach the trail head by going north on US Highway 89 and instead of turning right into Sunset Crater National Monument, turn left to come to Forest Rd. 418. Then it is about 8 miles to the trailhead.

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
2+ mi range whistle
blow it hard
help comment issue

end of page marker