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Bob Bear Trail is a 8.3 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Pine, Arizona that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. 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.

Length 8.3 mi Elevation gain 1,505 ft Route type Out & Back
Dogs on leash Backpacking Hiking Horseback riding Nature trips Bird watching Running Cave Forest Hot springs River Views Waterfall Wild flowers Wildlife Bugs Rocky Scramble Washed out No shade Fee
Description
Waypoints (2)
Facilities
Contact
Tips
Getting There

A permit is required to drive/hike here from April 1 - October 1. $6.00 fee to go there. The road is closed west of this trail, so visitors must drive from Strawberry, AZ area. Please note that although dogs are allowed on leash, this may be a difficult journey for them. Also lots of hikers recommend bringing extra water in frozen bottles.

There is a restroom at the trailhead.

Call the Payson Ranger District (Tonto NF) if you have questions about conditions. 928-474-7900. Trail info: https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/tonto/null/recarea/?recid=35627&actid=50

There is no water and little shade for the first 3.75 miles of the trail. The temperatures can get very hot and cell service is not good. Be sure to come prepared with sun protection and plenty of water to avoid complications.

Starting from Stawberry, AZ, take Fossil Creek RD. and make a right to Bob Bear Parking lot.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (734)
Photos (501)
Recordings (557)
Completed (1506)
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Brandon Booker
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 23, 2020
Hiking

Highly worth the trek. Strenuous on the way back up. Bring plenty of water!

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Erica Manery
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 22, 2020
Nature tripsFee

Yes the hike is quite a way but WOW the view is so worth it! By far the prettiest place in Arizona

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AnhnTh V
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 21, 2020
HikingGreat!
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Gracie Mika
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 21, 2020
HikingGreat!

100/10 recommend! The hike was easy on the way in and on the way out it was strenuous but definitely do able. Bring at least a gallon of water, hint freeze water bottles. Goggles are also fun to have because the water is completely clear. My average was 2 hours in and out totaling 4 hours and almost 9 miles. To get to the waterfall and cave hike 3 miles in and turn left at the Fossil Springs Sign then hike roughly a 1/2 mile in and go right following the Dam sign. The water was somewhat cold but not bad, it was refreshing. It does not disappoint! It is prettier than the pictures! Please remember to pick up your trash and have a fun time!

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TJ Whitson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 21, 2020
HikingFeeGreat!

This was probably one of my favorite hikes I’ve done here in Arizona. The water fall and cave after it were absolutely beautiful with crystal clear water! The hike down wasn’t too bad but it was a little challenging getting back up. Definitely wear something to cover from the sun and pack extra water. I read to bring a frozen water bottle with and it was one of the best pieces of advice besides bringing a lot of water as well. I saw a 9 year old hike out so it’s not as difficult as a lot of the signs warned.

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Jim Chase
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 20, 2020

Great hike, the pay off at the end is amazing.

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Jacob Kinnett
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 17, 2020
HikingGreat!

Don’t let the signs scare you. If you are an experienced/confident hiker this is slightly above a moderate level trail. The way up is a steady incline but never any scrambling or climbing. My wife and I clocked in at 8.7 miles from the parking lot to the waterfall and back. I think all the signs are used to deter high school aged kids from going down there without any water, but we still passed a few on the trail. Like others have said bring the water you would need for a 10 mile hike and you’ll be fine. Don’t let the signs intimidate you.

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Cory Wood
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 17, 2020
Hiking

A must do if you’ve never gone. Nothing like it in AZ. Leave early to miss the heat & crowds. Must reserve parking pass on Recreation.gov website.

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Desiree Salvador
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 16, 2020
Hiking

Exceptional hike!! Worth it!

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Angie Guillen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 14, 2020
Hiking

This was an amazing hike! The reviews were right it was easy on the way down it’s the way back up that’s killer. There is a lot of signage to scare people about not being a statistic but as long as you bring at least a gallon per person and a hat for the way back you’ll be fine. I froze some bottles so that they would be cold on the way back definitely recommend.

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Michael Morrissey
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 14, 2020
Hiking

Another beautiful hike! We seem to always catch a monsoon storm on our hike up, but it helps relieve the summer heat. As others mention, be sure to follow the Dam sign and not the Springs sign if you want to get to the falls. We enjoyed swimming in the falls and even saw deer on the trail. It was 94 degrees outside, we brought 2.5L of water each, and had just enough to finish the trail. Not a 5 star hike due to the crowds. We went on a Tuesday during covid and there were about 20 others at the falls too. if you don't mind people, then this is a 5 star!

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Lisa G
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 8, 2020
Hiking

DO definitely veer left for a short jaunt to the spring! Fill up your bottles or packs with fresh spring water in and out. You’ll see it bubbling up right out of the rocks. Walk just a touch more and find a nice swimming hole to cool down,

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Kitzie Cribbs
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 7, 2020
Hiking

It was awesome hike in but a beast hiking out. I consider myself an advanced hiker and I thought I had plenty of “cold” drinks but could have used another liter or so to share between myself and my partner. Ice packs would have been helpful too. I had ice cold water and Power Aid at the trailhead waiting for us as our reward.

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Alyssa Marie
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 5, 2020
HikingGreat!No shade

Outstanding hike - definitely doable even in the summer if you are in shape and used to Arizona heat. If you are not from here, then the warning signs are probably legit. Bring lots of water. Bring a UV pen or life straw to filter the creek water. You can pack some back up if you run out. If you have room, pack some goggles, fins and a snorkel. Seriously. You won’t regret it. The fish and crystal clear water in the cave are worth bringing this stuff !

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Kian Habashi
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 1, 2020
HikingGreat!

PLEASE READ: DO NOT follow the all trails map at the very end. Make a right to go to “the dam” do NOT go left to “the spring”. Fossil springs + the waterfall and everything will be towards the trail that says “to dam”

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Brandy Taylor
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 30, 2020
Rock climbingFeeNo shadeRockyScramble

It’s definitely a difficult hike but if you hike a couple times a month you’ll be ok especially if it’s a cooler day. All of the postings and reviews make it seem harder than it is as a scare tactic. However if you aren’t wearing good shoes or bring a lot of unnecessary stuff with you- it’s going to be a tough hike back up. On a hot day this will also be brutal bc shade is limited so bring a big hat and sunblock. There was sadly a lot of trash and human feces near the waterfall so make sure you are careful where you’re stepping. recommend bringing a filter so you can refill your water from the springs and have enough for hiking up. Took bout 2.5 hrs both directions. Take the trail to the dam, not the spring. You also need a permit for this hike ($6 and planned in advance due to availability)- don’t attempt to go without one or you will get fined

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Desiree Michelle
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 26, 2020
HikingGreat!

Great hike but bring plenty of water and a filter if you can. If you head down the trail for the dam it has beautiful swimming.

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Philip Bashaw
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 21, 2020
Hiking

It was a fun trail! We had a great time trying to get tuned up for a Grand Canyon hike.

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Tori Kort
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 20, 2020
HikingRocky

Great hike! Was about 88-93 throughout our decent down, hung out at the waterfall for a bit! Bear bob technically doesn’t hit the water but you come to a sign that says fossil spring trail follow that to the left then you come to another sign that says spring left and the Dam to the right and follow the signs for the dam for about a mile and you hit the falls. Got got in a monsoon on our way up and certainly don’t recommend that as it gets pretty muddy but certainly made our hike up a little more tolerable with out the heat and the rain was nice to cool off! Went through about 3L of water but don’t let the signs scare you if you are well prepared and decently in shape - it’s a tough one but we were deff over prepared after reading reviews and signs - not a bad thing at all but for two fairly in shape hikers it was completely manageable

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Jeri James
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 20, 2020
Hiking

was a great hike! recommend bringing goggles for swimming in the water.

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Eric Reynolds
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 17, 2020
Hiking
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Daniel Wilcox
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 16, 2020
HikingGreat!
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Thom Ray
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 16, 2020
HikingGreat!

Very nice hike with a refreshing waterfall and cave at the end of it. The sign posted there states that the trail does not lead to the waterfall but it does. Make sure to bring TONS of water...you can not have too much for this hike. Getting there isn’t the strenuous part, it’s the getting back that is difficult as it’s a steep incline most of the way. Add in the heat and swimming in the waterfall and it creates and exhausting hike back. Definitely worth it though!

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Daniel Garcia
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 15, 2020
Hiking

Great hike awesome views but this is long hard hike so be sure to bring extra Extra water.

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Gracie Q
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 14, 2020
Hiking

The way down is pretty easy BUT ! Back up it’s challenging if you are not prepared bring plenty of water ,snacks and oranges ! We did 2 hours down 2 1/2 up . We are regular hikers.

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