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Bear Mountain Trail #54
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mini location map2018-12-25
20 by photographer avatarddgrunning
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Bear Mountain Trail #54Sedona, AZ
Sedona, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 25 2018
ddgrunning
Hiking5.50 Miles 2,141 AEG
Hiking5.50 Miles   4 Hrs   39 Mns   1.25 mph
2,141 ft AEG      15 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This was day two of a HAZ family Christmas in Sedona--and what better way to celebrate Christ's birth than by ascending the top of a mountain!

We got a bit of a late start because ... I didn't realize until we reached the trailhead that I had left my hiking shoes back at the condo in Oak Creek Village. So ... an hour later, we returned to the TH and headed out near 1 pm. I wasn't in much of a good mood, given the lost time, but the beauty of the trail made up for it, and in fact, it turned out to be a blessing since we ended the hike with the setting sun putting on a show against the red-rock spires, and left the parking area to a nice sunset.

Speaking of beauty, this trail packs a punch! I've had this on my to-do list for awhile, but it was even better than I was expecting. I break it down into 3 sections: (1) the initial approach and climb to the top of the south-facing, red-rock amphitheater, which tops out and gives you your first views over to the west; (2) the "relatively" flat/undulating section to the base of the stairclimber, which also opens up views to the northwest; and (3) the stairclimber to the "end of trail"/summit (or close enough). Each of these is a worthy destination, with the first two providing nice turnaround points for anyone who lacks the time or energy to make the stairclimber ascent. The bonus of the stairclimber is that, as you rise above the obstructing to the northeast, the entire "fin" of Fay Canyon and beyond becomes visible--and is spectacular.

On the drive in, passed Dry Canyon Road, which was absolutely overflowing with cars! The Bear Mtn/Doe Mtn. TH parking was also full, but not nearly as bad. Most seemed to gravitate to the easier Doe Mtn, so we managed to get a fair amount of solitude on the trail, despite the crowds in the general area.

Forecast was originally threatening rain, but other than a few (literally) drops, weather was perfect.

Loved this hike!
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