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Bearfoot - Pine Canyon, AZ
mini location map2021-09-11
20 by photographer avatarJohn10s
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Bearfoot - Pine Canyon, AZ 
Bearfoot - Pine Canyon, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 11 2021
Hiking19.27 Miles 2,630 AEG
Hiking19.27 Miles   8 Hrs   51 Mns   2.35 mph
2,630 ft AEG      40 Mns Break
1st trip
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It was another hot weekend in the valley, so we made a last minute decision to try Bearfoot Trail near Pine, with a few different options to add some mileage on other routes as time permitted. The first 1-2 miles of the hike have a lot of power lines and road noise from the highway down below, but it gets a lot more enjoyable farther in. As others have noted in the guide/trip logs, Bearfoot features many seemingly unnecessary switchbacks as it meanders across relatively flat terrain. There are a lot of nice cabins/houses visible from (and in some cases very close to) the trail.

We were able to cover a lot of ground relatively quickly on Bearfoot, so we turned north onto Pine Canyon Trail just past the foot bridge, and we saw some temporary course markers for the Mogollon Monster 100km trail race that Aravaipa Running was hosting this weekend...fortunately, we didn't encounter the runners :). We took a quick detour over to Tiny Cave, which lived up to its name. It's a fairly deep cave, but the opening is only 12-18 inches in either direction, and I think the trail sign for Tiny Cave was actually larger than the cave opening itself.

The hike along Pine Canyon Trail was really enjoyable, with more shade and foliage than Bearfoot, taller trees, various types of mushrooms, and several stretches along the flowing creek, although there were a few areas with brown, dying ferns that looked out of place. We took another detour over to Parsnip Spring, which had a pool feeding into a small stream of water along the trail in that area. We were still making good time past Stradling Canyon, and it looked like we'd have plenty of time to hike to the north end of Pine Canyon Trail near Highway 87.

The majority of the elevation gain came on the final stretch up the switchbacks, and we enjoyed some of our best views of the day in that area--there are some nice rock formations and great views out over the mountains. I reached the top just before we needed to turn around to start back. There were a few campers up there, plus a pair of tents set up for the trail race that I believe started earlier that morning.

It as a pleasant hike out, and we only saw a handful of people on the trails all day. We passed a few elk, and about a mile before getting back to the Bearfoot Trailhead, I noticed a random Buddha statue perched on some rocks in the trunk of a tree...I hadn't noticed that the way in. Bearfoot had been our main destination for the day, but I ended up enjoying Pine Canyon Trail even more, and it was nice to get some elevation gain and some views from higher up on the rim, which wasn't part of the original plan. But most of the route was easy enough that we moved quickly and were able to cover a lot of ground, and it exceeded expectations.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Parsnip Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
water report recorded in the field on our app Route Scout

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Temple Canyon - Pine Creek Medium flow Medium flow
water report recorded in the field on our app Route Scout
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