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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.

Little Bear Trail #112, AZ

no permit
63 13 0
Guide 13 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Flagstaff > Flagstaff NE
3.8 of 5 by 10
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Difficulty 2.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance One Way 3.58 miles
Trailhead Elevation 7,620 feet
Elevation Gain 866 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,118 feet
Avg Time One Way 2 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 7.31
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Inaugural Calculation on Button Tap!
10  2018-09-15
Little Bear Loop
24  2017-09-23
Little Eden Loop
10  2017-08-19
Dry Lake Hills Loop
15  2017-08-19
Dry Lake Hills Loop
6  2017-08-19
Dry Lake Hills Loop
7  2009-07-10
Sunset Trail #23 - Flagstaff
18  2009-07-10 Jim_H
19  2008-08-03 mtnlver
Page 1,  2
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
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Preferred   May, Sep, Oct, Jun → Any
Seasons   Late Spring to Late Autumn
Sun  6:13am - 6:25pm
Official Route
3 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Meteorology Nearby

Likely In-Season!
This trail was officially dedicated in the summer of 1998. Much of the trail, which links Sunset and Little Elden Trails, was constructed by devoted trail volunteers including mountain bikers, hikers, equestrians and several other organizations. It appears that all of their hard work has pad off as this is quickly becoming one of the more popular trails in the area.

As the trail climbs through the ever present ponderosa pine and Gambel oak trees that inhabit much of Flagstaff's surrounding landscape, it gradually winds through Douglas-fir, limber pine and pockets of aspen trees at the top. Additionally, you will encounter the occasional rocky mountain maple along the trail which during the fall season will blaze with color. Two vistas along the trail offer outstanding views of Sunset Crater located 8 miles northeast (as the crow flies) and in the distant background the painted desert acts as a colorful backdrop.

Many wildlife species make their home in this area including mule deer, elk, porcupine and black bear for which the trail is distinctly named after. In addition, red-tailed hawks, raven and the occasional turkey vulture will dazzle you with their aerial acrobats. Please remember to minimize your impacts on wildlife by viewing from a distance, keeping your dog(s) on a leash and limiting noise levels to a minimum.

Trail Etiquette: Please remember that you share the trail with other users and that trail courtesy and safety is your responsibility. Be sure to observe all rules and regulations, stay on designated trail, and minimize your impacts by not trampling vegetation and avoiding muddy areas. Also, hikers and mountain bikers should yield the trail to equestrians, and mountain bikers should yield the trail to hikers.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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

2008-06-11 HAZ_Hikebot
  • Kachina Peaks Map
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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
Little Bear Trail #112
rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
Dry Lake Hills Loop
This typically easy for me hike was among my most difficult, in the end it was among the most rewarding.

2.9 mi on Rocky Ridge Trail #153
Appropriately named compared to other tails in the area. I'd imagine some mountain bikers enjoy the course as the rocks have a firm hold making it more fun than irritating.

left 0.25 mi on Oldham Trail #1

left 3.5 mi on Brookbank Trail #2
Immediately climbs up into the Dry Lake Hills. The only good ascent picking up 700 ft in 1.25 mi. Lots of courteous mountain bikers passed by announcing their presence and the number remaining in their group.

right 0.35 mi on Sunset Trail #23 - Flagstaff
Pines thinned for this short 200 ft descent. Passed several runners throughout the day. Two chicks at the top of this trail got our attention minutes after passing. We realized how impressive their pace was considering they just topped out a 200 ft ascent.

left 3.55 mi for the entire Little Bear Trail #112
Dense pines returned. Then they thin before what looks like a monster descent. Views of NE Flagstaff are scenic, especially now with fields of yellow wildflowers.

I deemed this trail the "find" of the day 1.55 mi in, the next 3 miles slapped back hard. The monster descent joke was on us. This trail drops 1,118 feet in the subtle fashion. There was no quick drop. The grade is steady throughout. Most will enjoy, the dragged out switchbacks were just wearing on me.

Anyone that has hiked with me knows I can whine like no other. This slow down grade just wasn't pumping blood thus amplifying every ache along with lack of sleep. B & D absorbed more of my nonsense than any human should fall victim.

left 4.9 mi on Little Elden Trail #69
Bruce thought this would be a 500 ft ascent to Schultz Tank. It turned out to be a ridiculously subtle 350 ft. In all fairness these trails are designed for mountain bikers and ascending period was better than slow descending.

I mentioned earlier our friendly mountain bikers would give way to afternoon riders. Less announced their approach, none notified group number remaining and their speed was blazing at times. No issues, we're friendly aware hikers. Just pointing out morning nets better results in my experiences when hiking popular mountain bike areas.

continue 4.2 mi / -920 ft for the entire Schultz Creek Trail #152
This is a cool trail weaving next to the dry creek and nearby road. Pines provide shade throughout.

Bruce knew I needed an easy course. As much as it dragged out and amplified various pains the net result was monumental. After the hike my left fist which had been clenching for months is now sometimes at ease. I can move my fingers outward for the first time. Albeit ever so slow, this new hope is a lot to take in. Huge thanks to B & D for putting up with the world's biggest baby. They monitor me, the footing, among other tasks helping me sit, stand and the constant struggle with my pack.

One improvement on hydration was a success. I have an idea that should put pack stress to rest and we believe a little change in nutrition will make it easier too.

Substantial in areas with an excellent variety. Extreme fields of yellow looking down at NE Flagstaff.
Little Bear Trail #112
rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
Dry Lake Hills Loop
Up to the High country to enjoy the Temps.
53 degrees to start, mid 70's most of the day, hitting the low 80's in the exposed sections

Along the Rocky Ridge #153 trail there has been a lot of thinning going on. This trail roller coasters up to the Lower Oldham Trail, that we were on for just a stones throw.

Brookbank #2 climbs to the NW, affording good views of Mt Elden. Once you get up around peak 8747, the views open up to "The Peaks". On the Sunset #23 Trail for a snippet of time, we made our way over to the Little Bear #112.

This was my first time on Little Bear #112 and it had some big pluses and minuses. It goes through the old burn area, so you loose the trees. For me at the top, this was actually a plus. The views are huge as the trail follows on the side of the mountain. There of signs of reforestation, with scads of cone protected, 18" tall pine saplings planted everywhere. This trail drops almost 900', taking more than 3.5 miles, through exhausting switchbacks. I say exhausting, because the JBM was in full force once again.

The Little Elden Trail #69 / AZT, is a pleasant trail making its way up to Schultz Tank and the Sunset TH. We passed Thelma and Louise on Horseback.

The Schultz Creek #152 Trail is a gentle downward grade, in the pines, taking us back to the truck. We saw 5+ elk on the way down.

I couldn't count the number of mountain bikers we saw on this hike. They were out in full Fource...

The phrase that pays, two weeks in a row.
"What I meant to say was, Thanks"

Did we have a good time,
There's no Talon.

Substantial in pockets. there was a cornucopia of color.
Little Bear Trail #112
rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
Went back out with my local friend to do the mirror image loop of Wednesdays hike. Today we did a Sunset-Little Bear- Little Elden Springs loop. It was really nice again, and the weather stayed dry for one more day. It really is a shame the FS never did any burns in the area, or any follow up burns from the one they did 3 decades ago that prompted them to post 2 signs talking about prescribed fire and how they planned to conduct more in the area. There are lots of large old trees over dense grass for a good part of the hike. Now, because they haven't burned in 30 years and the wet conditions of the 1980s, there are tons of young trees filling in lots of the open space. With out management this area will eventually look just like the crappy forests that are everywhere else around here: dense dogs hair thickets with dead and dying old growth trees. Its not uniformly bad, and there are still nice open areas, but there are plenty of areas that are headed down the path, especially along the Little Elden.
Little Bear Trail #112
rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
Included this trail in a pleasant moderate loop hike on the north side of the Mount Elden trail system. Began from the Little Elden Trailhead. Hiked on the Little Elden to the Little Bear up to the Sunset Trail. Up and mostly down the Sunset to Schultz Tank and back to the trailhead on the Little Elden. There is a very good mixture of aspen, fir, oak, and pine trees along the whole route. There are also a few good views and scenic meadows to make it interesting. My favorite part was the upper Little Bear and the first part of the Sunset that I hiked. Ran into three mountain bikers and one horseback rider along the way but no other hikers. A little overcast at first but it turned into a beautiful day to be outside in Flagstaff.
Little Bear Trail #112
rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
Little Bear is probably one of the best kept secrets in Flag. Its a great alternative to the top of Elden. (Lookout Tower).

Lots of snow still in spots (east facing shade areas had up to 3 feet!) This is a popular mountain bike trail and be advised - lots of fallen trees blocking through out the trail. It will need some TLC after a very wet winter.

Did the 12 mile loop that connects the Little Elden, Little Bear, Sunset & The Heart. Didn't see a soul!

Little Bear Trail #112
rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
ok....told myself I'd do this trail again in the fall - and glad I did. I also discovered my new favorite "loop" to do in Flag.

Begin at the Horsecamp T.H. (7400') then catch The Little Elden for 0.6 miles then hop on the Little Bear for 3.4 miles (oh, at 8330' there is a kickass place to chill over looking Doney Park) then the trail ends at The Sunset - hop on that and take that till it ends to the Heart Trail(0.8) At this point you can turn back or go all the way up to Elden Lookout. (another 3.5 miles round trip)

On the return take the Sunset past Schultz Tank to the Little Elden Trail then back to the Horesecamp T.H. Total distance is 10.7 miles w/ an 1600' gain in about 4.5 hours.

The time is now - end of Oct. - The colors are awesome!

Little Bear Trail #112
rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
If you're ever in the Flag area, the Little Bear Trail is a must! Located off of 89 just N.E. of Flag, like 30 mins. from downtown.

The neat thing about the Little Bear is that it connects with other trails in and around the Mt. Elden/Dry Lake region. (just an awesome region to explore)

I'd highly recommended going up Little Bear (1000' gain) then take the Sunset Trail to the top of Mt. Elden (9300') and chill at the Lookout Tower. Then head back down the same way, but take the Heart Trail down which connects to Little Elden and eventually to the Trail Head.

This is an awesome loop to do - you have everything - views, beautiful aspens and very green lush surroundings. You will however encounter many Mountain Bikers on your way up Little Bear - but they are courteous and give plenty of warning that they are coming.

I tracked it to be about 14 miles of very well marked trails.

(will be doing this one again in October to view the color changes)


Permit $$

Map Drive
Paved - Car Okay

To hike
Drive 5 miles northeast of Flagstaff on US Highway 89 to Elden Spring Road (Forest Road 556) and turn left (west). Continue on this road approximately 3.5 miles to the Little Elden Springs trailhead on the right (north) side of the road. Park at this trailhead and follow Little Elden Trail #69 west about 1.5 miles to the junction of Little Bear Trail.
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