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Promontory Butte - Bear Canyon Lake Loop, AZ
mini location map2020-04-16
6 by photographer avatarLJW
photographer avatar
 
Promontory Butte - Bear Canyon Lake Loop, AZ 
Promontory Butte - Bear Canyon Lake Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Apr 16 2020
LJW
Hiking27.56 Miles 4,800 AEG
Hiking27.56 Miles   12 Hrs   21 Mns   2.95 mph
4,800 ft AEG   3 Hrs    Break
 
1st trip
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
I did this loop in August last year without Bear Canyon Lake and thought it would make a nice addition during the cooler months. A friend and I took the loop clockwise starting around 6:30am at the Derrick trailhead.

Horton Creek was in great shape, thanks in part to a biker we met who kept stopping to toss rocks off the side of the trail. Shady in the early morning and over quickly. Stopped at the spring before heading up Highline. Strong flow of water in the creek and from the spring.

Up and down on Highline to Promontory, and it was pretty easy going. Highline was probably the best maintained trail on the day. Promontory on the other hand was slippery with pine needles and loose rock. Took a while to make it up the steep climb to top of the rim where we took a short break before heading across the rim to Promontory Butte's highpoint.

Hung out at the high point for a while before heading through the forest to FR76 and taking that to FR300. 76 is closed to motorized traffic, so we didn't see anyone on Promontory Butte. I thought 300 was still closed and there wouldn't be any traffic around the lake, but I guess it opened in the week before. Saw our second group of people car camped where 300 meets 76.

Went straight across 300 into Bear Canyon and followed the water down. The hike in Bear Canyon was probably my favorite part of the trip, along with the lake itself. Gentle flow of water and the travel was pretty easy with little brush and deadfall to contend with. The canyon widened out as it went down and revealed meadows and clearings that wouldn't be out of place in the White Mountains.

Took the Lake Trail around to the little rocky isthmus on the south shore. Bear Canyon Lake was as full as I've seen it, and the old timers at the lake who were more familiar made similar statements. Most of the people we saw on the day were at the lake. A couple people on floats fishing, and a couple families hanging out fishing around the shore.

From the lake we took the Lake Trail up to FR208 and headed back toward 300. Cut corners through the forest to shorten the trip to See Canyon's upper trailhead. See Canyon has significant deadfall higher up and a little bit farther down the canyon as well. Good flow of water, a little at the top a lot toward the bottom. Saw a few turkeys in See Canyon and one person out taking pictures near the lower th.

Climbed up Highline as the sun was getting low. Flew down the smooth Highline trail to Derrick where the tread is rough higher up but not so bad farther down. Saw a half dozen elk near the bottom of Derrick as the sun started to set. Made it back before dark having only seen two hikers/bikers the whole trip.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Bear Canyon Lake 76-100% full 76-100% full

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Horton Creek Medium flow Medium flow

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Horton Spring Gallon + per minute Gallon + per minute
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