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Rock Wall Bear Foot Loop, AZ
mini location map2019-09-03
15 by photographer avatarmarkthurman53
photographer avatar
 
Rock Wall Bear Foot Loop, AZ 
Rock Wall Bear Foot Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Sep 03 2019
markthurman53
Hiking16.17 Miles 2,423 AEG
Hiking16.17 Miles   8 Hrs      2.56 mph
2,423 ft AEG   1 Hour   41 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
On my second day in Payson I opted for the Rock Wall, Pine Canyon and Bear Foot Loop. I started at the Rock Wall Trail because I wanted to get the climb up to the rim done in the early morning. The Rock Wall Trail, actually an old road, is a moderate consistent climb up to the rim along what looked like an old road. I didn't see any rock wall except the two that were lining the road at two creek crossings. I guess these rock walls are what the trail is named after. There are no spectacular views from this trail, just a get down to business and get to the top trail. Once on top it is a typical Mogollon Rim road through the forest. Glad I had my GPS because there are a lot of side roads up there. I picked roads on the top that would get me over to the Pine Canyon Trail with a minimum of hiking along Highway 87. Worked good for a while but eventually I had to resort to walking along the highway to avoid ravines that butted up against the road. Took a short break at the junction with Lake Mary Road. Continued on along 87 to a forest road that leads to the Pine Canyon Trail Head.

I did not know what to expect for the Pine Canyon Trail, thought it might be in bad condition. Surprisingly it is in very good condition with well laid out switchbacks. It appears to have been manicured recently because much of the brush has been cut back off the trail. Really nice views both up and down Pine Canyon. Once down in the canyon it is a couple mile walk along the Canyon Bottom to the Bear Foot Trail junction. It is very scenic along the canyon floor and the 2 miles went by fast. It was hard to get photos along this section because it was still in the shade and you are in the middle of it. Kind of like can't see the forest for the trees. I ended up just enjoying the mental images I captured. At the junction with the Bear Foot Trail I continued on down the Pine Canyon Trail for a tenth of a mile or so to my turn around point of a previous hike on the Pine Canyon Trail from the other end.

I took lunch at the junction with the Bear Foot Trail. I had the other half of the Subway sandwich I ate yesterday. This is a really nice area where these two trails meet. It was rather dry because the ferns were on the verge of turning brown. Filled up my canteen at the creek that had a light flow. After a half hour break I started back on the Bear Foot Trail.

I was dreading the hike back along the Bear Foot trail because I knew it would be hot. Luckily there was a little cloud cover for much of the hike. It also sprinkled a little but all this did was make it really muggy. This trail is not real scenic but there are a few good views along the way. I ran into a couple of elk at the water tank. I spooked them up and they took off up the hill a little way and then stopped and looked back. I told them I was just passing through and not to run up the hill any further, it was much to hot for that. They stayed where they were and I took some pictures and went on my way.

I don't know if it was just because I was hot and tired and my boots that just got resoled were causing my feet agony but this trail with it's long meandering switchbacks was irritating. There is one loop in this trail that is over .2 miles long that can be avoided if you go up 4 feet over a slight rise and 30 feet later you are back on the trail. Do not know what the purpose of this loop is. Maybe there is a great view there that I missed. Anyway this is a nice fairly easy trail to get to Pine Canyon Creek even though it is long. The only other option is the Pine Canyon Trail and it is equally long (minus the aimless meandering). I have been wanting to do this trail for some time but next time I will take the Pine Canyon Trail. I did notice that some have taken this trail from the neighborhood below near the water tank, this would cut 4 miles off the trek. Not sure if there is trail head parking in the residential area or if you have to know somebody.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Pine Creek @ Bearfoot Trail Medium flow Medium flow
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