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Bear Flat Trail #178 - Tonto NF
12 Photosets

2020-02-15  
2016-05-14  
2016-05-14  
2015-10-24  
2015-10-10  
2015-05-02  
2015-04-08  
2014-10-13  
2014-09-26  
2014-07-11  
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2012-11-11  
mini location map2014-09-26
12 by photographer avatartopohiker
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Bear Flat Trail #178 - Tonto NFPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 26 2014
topohiker
Hiking32.49 Miles 5,107 AEG
Hiking32.49 Miles   12 Hrs   25 Mns   3.12 mph
5,107 ft AEG   2 Hrs    Break
 
Partners none no partners
This was my first time to the Hell’s Gate Wilderness. The trail-head was nice and cool. I crossed the Tonto creek and got on a spur trail that looped me to the old jeep road. Boy that road is steep! After the Mescal Ridge intersection, the Bear Flats turns into a single track until it leaves the Wilderness. Then it turns back into a ranching road.

The Bear Flats trail is like the old joke “I walked to school uphill both ways”. The Bear Flats trail has a bunch of rolling hills. You bounce around between 5,500 and 5,800 for most of the day. The neat thing is that there’s a lot of shade on this trail. You’re in a thick forest for most of the trail.
There’s numerous tanks everywhere. I went to the end of the trail at FR200. I took FR200 to Fisherman’s Point and went down to Haigler creek. I then headed to Haigler Canyon campground and had lunch by the creek.

I went back on Bear Flats trail and went down the Big Ridge Trail. Up to this point it was a mostly sunny day , but now the clouds rolled in. It started to rain, then it poured. Then there was two quick flashes, then 2 huge booms. I decided it was time to start heading back. The rain stopped about 45 minutes later. I went down Mescal Ridge trail for a bit as well. Usually I don’t hike on a new trail in the dark, but this one was pretty easy to follow with a flashlight.

The last drop into the Tonto was steep. I’m not sure if it’s harder coming up or down this section. It was an interesting hike. I’ll be back to finish off the Mescal Ridge & Big Ridge trails.
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"Everywhere is walking distance...If you have the time"
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