Bear Mountain Trail

HARD 932 reviews
#4 of 200 trails in

Bear Mountain Trail is a 4.9 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Sedona, Arizona that features a river and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 4.9 miles Elevation Gain: 1,975 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

backpacking

hiking

nature trips

rock climbing

bird watching

running

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

scramble

no shade

fee

Red Rocks Pass for $5 needed; kiosk located at trail head parking lot. 360 degree views at top are unforgettable. Bring a wind breaker to layer up with since it could get windy and cold at summit. There is a deceptive false summit beforehand after which you do descend into a small saddle. Wasn’t difficult to climb back up this thing coming back. Wear shoes with good traction! It’s a rugged trail and some sections are on pure rock at an almost vertical drop.

hiking
5 days ago

Did this memorial weekend. It was brutal but rewarding. I can’t imagine doing this in the dead of summer. Multiple false summits. Great views along the entire trail.

hiking
rocky
scramble
5 days ago

hiking
no shade
rocky
scramble
6 days ago

Incredible views of Sedona, Boynton Canyon and out to Prescott Valley. Reach the summit and you can see San Francisco Peaks in the distance. You will be above helicopters. Best views aren’t from the final summit but worth it to finish. Bring lots of water. Went with my husband mid September. We’re in good shape (I’m a fitness instructor), have climbed 14ers in Colorado, and used to heat but this was rough towards the end. Brought 2 liters + a 24 oz bottle each and finished with about 10 oz to spare. Lots of false peaks so don’t get discouraged. Wish we brought poles for the trip down. Watch for rattlesnakes we definitely encountered one on the trail. Took us just under 5 hours starting at 8:30 (late night at kareoke) The mid day heat is what killed us, start earlier. Only ran into 3 other hiking couples, all pleasant. If you’re up for a challenge this is it!

hiking
fee
rocky
scramble
10 days ago

Overall best hike I've done thus far! The climb is tough, but you get incredible views on the way up and the breathtaking scenery at the end is well worth it. Husband and I are not in shape at all, but managed to complete it in 4 hours and 20 min. Few people venture this hike due to its difficulty, so you'll likely have the top to yourself. General tips: There's a $5 fee for the parking lot then you walk across the street to get to the trailhead. Bring a CamelBak and stay hydrated throughout. I recommend hiking boots to better grip the slanted rocks. Temperature drops quickly as the sun sets, so plan accordingly if you start in the afternoon.

hiking
no shade
rocky
scramble
18 days ago

hiking
rocky
scramble
19 days ago

hiking
no shade
rocky
19 days ago

Started at 6am and finished in 3hrs 40min (with 20min at summit). Awesome trail with several steep sections but no real scrambling. Suggest starting as early as possible to avoid heat which really kicks in from 8am. Pack heaps of water - we went through 3L each. Lots of pleasant and respectful hikers (unlike Devils Bridge and Cathedral Rock) who understand trail etiquette.

hiking
21 days ago

I got on this trail around 10am and done by 2pm. The plan was to go earlier but I didn’t realize the trailhead started across the road from where you park. I wound up on Doe Mountain Trail that in no way prepared me for this trail. The views were amazing! I normally drink very little water but by the time I got to the end of the trail I had already gone through my entire 2L, if it weren’t for fellow hikers I would’ve been in bad shape with the water situation. The descent was of course quicker and easier but still required scrambling down the giant rocks I climbed up to get there. I hiked the Halfdome in Yosemite last year and I have to say this was JUST as challenging if not more. By the time I finished, I was done for the day and ready for a big dinner!

hiking
no shade
27 days ago

hiking
no shade
rocky
scramble
1 month ago

Very difficult. Make sure you bring AT LEAST 3 L of water, many false peaks. Be sure to take breaks and bring food. Shade areas but long areas without shade as well. Views are phenomenal. One of my favorite hikes. Stopped .2-.3 before ending due to heat and preserving water. Will be back to do not in Summer.

hiking
1 month ago

One of the best hikes around Sedona for views and differentiating terrain. If you are in shape and acclimated to the heat there is no need to start around dawn. Unlike other posts we found there were numerous places to catch some downtime in the shade. We did this in August with 1.5 liters of water and 1 liter of sport drink, and started at 10:45. It took us around 4hrs to complete the trail, with spending 20 minutes on the summit. As mentioned previously there are many false finishes, but the journey to the top is very rewarding.

hiking
no shade
scramble
1 month ago

Great workout with great views!!! About a 1,900 foot elevation change although with all the ups and downs the climb to the top is probably more like 2,200 feet. There are several false tops along the way but keep going til you see the Trail End sign at the final top!

hiking
1 month ago

Great views from second peak! Do yourself a favor and skip going up to the third peak. No 360 views from third peak. You get much better views from the second and you will save yourself some time. Trail is definitely strenuous but if you give yourself enough time by starting early and bringing enough water you should be just fine.

hiking
no shade
rocky
scramble
1 month ago

We’ve had this on our list for a while and woke up on a Saturday morning and decided to take on the Arizona heat! Start time was 9:00 AM and we were back down at the trail head around 12:30 PM. Highly recommend sturdy shoes and lots of water as the trail is not very shaded! The elevation gain was most experienced at the first half of the hike but was a breeze from there! The views are breathtaking and incredible so totally worth it!

hiking
rocky
scramble
1 month ago

This is actually at least a 5mi hike and about a 2300 ft elevation gain with the up and downs....not sure why All Trails shows only 4.3. Lots of variety of rocks and great views. However, the end of the trail was only looking Northwest, away from Sedona...not my favorite view. Ended up hiking down a bit to find a nice scenic place looking towards Sedona to rest and enjoy the view.

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