Bear Mountain Trail

HARD 438 reviews
#4 of 167 trails in

Bear Mountain Trail is a 4.3 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Sedona, Arizona that features beautiful wild flowers and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
4.3 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1975 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

scramble

no shade

From the "Y" roundabout (the intersection of Highway 179 and Highway 89A), drive west on Highway 89A about 3 miles. Turn right on Dry Creek Road. Stay on Dry Creek Road about 3 miles to the end and a stop sign. Turn left on Boynton Pass Road and proceed about 1 1/2 miles to a stop sign. Turn left, continuing on Boynton Pass Road. The trailhead is the second trailhead on the left side, about 1 3/4 miles from the stop sign. The trailhead is across the road from the parking area

Beautiful, hard trail. Can be very hot and steep. Take lots of water and watch for snakes.

hiking
10 days ago

Holy cow! By far the hardest hike I've ever done (disclaimer, I don't typically do super serious hikes), but well worth it. I am a relatively able-bodied, 30 y/o woman and I solo hiked this in just under 5 hours. It was HARD! I took a leisurely pace and stopped frequently on the way up for water, shade, photos, and to reapply sunscreen. It took about 2.5 hours to get up; I spent about 45 minutes at the top; and 2 hours-ish to get back down. Don't let the false summits fool you—there are a few. You'll think you've made it but there's further to go until you literally can't go any further! I started at 6:45 am (about an 1.5 hours after sunrise) and the trail was full sun for about 20 minutes, then I caught a 30-minute or so section with sporadic shade. Other than that, the trail is almost entirely in the sun. I brought 2+ liters of water and drank the entire thing! I brought some snacks (which I told myself I couldn't eat until I reached the top =P). Definitely bring sunscreen, bug repellent (the flies mean business!), some wet wipes, blister tape, etc. For the nearly 5 hours that I was on the trail, I saw NO ONE! I lost the trail on a few occasions but noticed immediately—it would be hard to wander too far from the trail, it's well marked.

hiking
11 days ago

It's a hard hike in the dry season so bring plenty of water. There's little to no shade, but plenty of places to stop and rest. It's a big climb to the top, but every step is worth the views along the way.

13 days ago

Loved

hiking
21 days ago

Stunning views! Great work out. Trail well marked.
Don’t let the distance fool you. This trail feels much longer than 2.2 to the top, and there are several falso “summits” (not really summits but seriously deceiving).
Low traffic. Saw 6 people total in the entire hike.
The trail head is across the road from the parking lot.

hiking
24 days ago

All I can say is, wow! My husband and I completed this hike in just under four hours. We stopped a few times for water breaks and took a ten minute break at the top for some food. There are four separate climbs that can require some scrambling, but the views throughout and at the top are worth it! If you are looking for a hard workout and minimal traffic, this is the hike for you!

hiking
25 days ago

Holy schnikes this hike is HARD!! You can’t even see the mountain you’re climbing when you start. I didn’t realize how hard or how long it was until we were coming down/back. I am proud that I did it. I am able bodied and a medium level hiker I’d say. It took us about 5 hours. 3 hours up, 2 hours down. We took a lot of breaks. We packed sandwiches and snacks and brought about a gallon and a half of water and JUST had enough. I’d recommend packing extra water, sunscreen (you’ll need to re-apply), baby wipes, a towel and some athlete tape so I can tape my ankles on the way down!

27 days ago

Be ready to work those legs

hiking
28 days ago

Be prepared to climb! Was definitely a challenge but definitely worth it. Great views through out the hike. Took us just over 3 hours

1 month ago

Nice hike, we were doing this hike as a second hike in the day. we had one in the morning and this one was scheduled for afternoon. We started late afternoon around 4pm. It took us less than 2 hours up and just above 1 hour back. Came back just at the sunset. It was actually good time of the day, because the majority of the time we were walking in the shade.

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike with plenty of challenges and change in elevation. Good markings and trail easy to follow - highly recommended for a nice workout!

hiking
1 month ago

hard but good trail, great view on top

hiking
1 month ago

Far and away my favorite home in Sedona yet. I'm average at hiking, so this trail was ABSOLUTELY a challenge for me, but totally worth it. Take food and water.... you'll likely need several breaks.

Definitely rated “hard” for a reason. Bring plenty of water! Beautiful hike with AMAZING views!

1 month ago

The views from the vistas are amazing. Nice climb to get your blood pumping!

hiking
1 month ago

This is a full on cardio, thigh, and knee workout.! The white paint markings make this navigable. You do need to pay attention not to get off the trail. Lots of scrambling with 4 separate climbs of 400-500 feet each. If you are not in “good physical shape”, you will not be able to do this hike to the top. Looking for challenge this is the hardest trail hike in Sedona. Took my wife and I, 5 hours round trip with a 20 minute lunch break at the top.

hiking
1 month ago

Amazing views! The terrain changes are breathtaking!Very challenging and a great workout! Be sure to bring plenty of water, especially in the warm months, and snacks.

1 month ago

Very hard, very good trail. Awesome scrambling. Only thing holding back from 5 stars is the summit view is underwhelming and no streams/waters. There are great panoramic views throughout.

1 month ago

best views hands down. brutal home tho

hiking
2 months ago

Spectacular hike with a variety of steep and very steep parts. This hike is a good workout and requires either loads of photo breaks or a strong heart.

hiking
2 months ago

Extremely hard but worth it for the views. When you feel like quitting just keep going and you’ll be so happy when you see the end of trail sign!

2 months ago

Did not go all the way but it was extremely beautiful. Lots of climbing midway thru first part.

hiking
2 months ago

“Hard” Rated- Accurately! This hike is definitely some work, lots of straight up climbing and not for the casual beginner hiker. Took 2 hours to reach the top, and a little over an hour to get back to the car. There are lots of false illusions that you are “there”... just keep going. There’s about 3 false “peaks” before you reach the end. Pack lots of water and snacks for the top... all the work is worth the 360 degree views at the top. One of our favorite hikes in Sedona for sure!

2 months ago

If you’re considering this trail and have not experienced its greatness, I suggest you stop everything you’re doing and just go. This was one of the more magnificent places I have been in AZ (sniff sniff). Makes me think of Zion NP in Utah, similar rock formations and foliage but on a way smaller scale. Almost like west trim trail and observation point trail got together and had a red head lil baby. The only complaint was the vast amount of gnats attempting suicide by flying into my open body orifices................other than that I cannot wait to go back and explore around. Careful for the beehives on the top top of the mountain and most importantly don’t give up until you reach the peak. If there were more stars I’d give this one 7/5 because it’s so unexpectedly beautiful and the right amount of challenge.

2 months ago

My favorite Sedona hike! Less than 5 miles but a good incline so great workout! Unbelievable views!!! Very rocky for most of the trail so poles do come in handy. Follow the white painted arrows painted on the rocks to stay on trail. I highly recommend this hike but it may not be good for beginners.

hiking
2 months ago

I loved this trail so much. I started around 7:15 am, made it to the end of trail sign around 8:50. It is tough I was solo with no breaks except for pictures. Just an amazing experience. The trail is very well marked I had no issues up and down

2 months ago

Beautiful views, challenging but well worth it!

2 months ago

Favorite trail in Sedona. Had the top to myself. Not an easy climb but worth it

2 months ago

I’ve done a lot of hiking all over the US and I have to rank Bear Mountain in my top 10! Before beginning I assumed we were hiking to the red rock peak visible at the beginning of the trail. However in no time we were up and over that peak and on our way to a peak 3 times it’s size! We had a rewarding picnic lunch at the very top with views of the San Francisco peaks on one side and Sedona on the other!

3 months ago

Quite the challenge for me and my twenty one year old son. It took some grit and willpower to finish as the ascent is very rigorous and several times we mistakenly thought we were close to the top. The trail was marked well most of the way however there were a few times on the way down we had to search for paint. Views from most points on the trail were amazing and seeing the snow covered San Francisco Peaks at the end was rewarding. Recommend reading the warning sign at the beginning of the trail. Completing the entire hike is ambitious but worth it. Bring plenty of water.

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