Bear Mountain Trail No. 54

Area Status: Open
Red Rock Pass Sold Here!

The strenuous hike to the top of the mountain is mostly unshaded, steep, and difficult in places. The trail ascends over 1,800 feet in elevation over the 2.3 mile hike to the top of Bear Mountain. However, the trail provides spectacular views the entire way, and offers many rewarding turn-around points for those who don't wish to tackle the entire hike. Bear Canyon Trail is the quintessential "it's the journey, not the destination" hike.

The trail begins at a broad path at the parking area, crosses two washes and then starts a gradual quarter-mile ascent to the wilderness boundary at the base of the mountain. The trail narrows and begins a steep and rocky section of switchbacks, climbing 450 feet. It levels out following narrow plateau area and then begins a steep rocky 500 foot climb in a narrow side canyon to a broad plateau. It crosses the plateau gradually ascending, dips down, and then climbs another 400 feet to a false summit. Fay Canyon views are to the right (northeast).

The trail continues a moderate climb to true summit. There are great panoramic views here. Continue over level ground another 200 yards to the Red Canyon overlook and a view of the San Francisco Peaks in the distance to the north. Return by the same route. Do not attempt this hike when there is significant snow on the mountain.

Expect the 4.6 mile round-trip to take approximately 4.5 hours, but you can easily spend the entire day stopping to take pictures and enjoy the non-stop views. The total accumulated elevation gain is around 2,100 feet. Much of the trail is over tilted rock. Watch for white painted diamond-shaped markers to guide you across rock where the trail is indistinct.


At a Glance

Area Amenities: Toilets
Open Season: Year-round
Usage: Medium-Heavy
Closest Towns: Sedona, AZ
Operated By: Red Rock Ranger District - 928-203-2900
Information Center: Hiking only. Unsuitable for horses. No mechanized vehicles (including mountain bikes) in Wilderness. This trail can be hot and dry in summer. Please do not disturb ruins or remove artifacts.

General Information

General Notes:
  • Rating: Strenuous
  • Use: Moderate
  • Season: All year
  • Hiking time: 4.5 hours round trip


Directions: From the junction of Routes 89A and 179, take 89A west 3.2 miles to Dry Creek Road on the right. Go. 2.9 miles to a "T" and turn left on Boynton Pass Road. Go 1.6 miles to another "T" and turn left onto FR 152C. Continue for 1.2 miles to the trailhead parking area on the left. Cross the street to the trailhead.

GPS (Map): 34°53'37.2"N 111°51'55.5"W



Click map thumbnail for larger view.

Map showing the route of Bear Mountain Trail


Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Day Hiking


Toilets: Available at the trailhead

Related Information

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


  Area/Length : 
2.5 miles

  Latitude : 

  Longitude : 

  Elevation : 
4605 at trailhead