Little Bear Canyon Trail is a 8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Pinos Altos, New Mexico that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Length8.0 miElevation gain1,243 ftRoute typeOut & back
HikingNature tripsBird watchingRunningDog friendlyViewsWildflowers
Waypoints (0)
Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (70)
Photos (337)
Recordings (73)
Completed (253)
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Tessa and Kaela!
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 26, 2021
Hiking

Gorgeous hike. Quite muddy at times but the view was absolutely worth it. Bring water and snacks for the gorgeous view at the bottom.

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Jazmin Velez
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Hiking
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Ryan Stopani
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Backpacking
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Jorge Porras
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BackpackingGreat!No shade

Great trail!

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Stefan Zollner
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Hiking
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Douglas Towne
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Laura Phillips
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HikingNo shade

We enjoyed this trail. The spring-fed slot canyon at the end is amazing. You should know, however, that it's 4.25 miles to the Gila River and the slot canyon is only the final .44 miles of that distance.

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Nydia Villezcas
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HikingRocky
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Jonathan Paiz
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Hiking

Gorgeous trail, did 3 days 2 nights backpacking, clockwise. No water until you get to the Gila River in the meadow so be prepared.

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Dusty Trailhead
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 29, 2020
Hiking

Beautiful hike. Little Bear Canyon is like a slot canyon but with water. The payoff is to walk out of that canyon into a gorge carved by the Middle Fork Gila River.

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Cheryl Blount
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HikingMuddy
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Justin Clark
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Muddy
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Andy Swaney
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Hiking

Little Bear Canyon to the junction of the middle fork is an awesome day hike. First 2.5 miles through juniper desert and slightly uphill. Then you make your way down the canyon which narrows into a slot canyon the last half mile when you come out to a park like setting at the middle fork. About 9 miles, 4 hours plus whatever time you add hanging out by the river. Canyon was dry in mid November

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Ken Franks
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BackpackingNo shadeRocky

Did this trail as the tail end of a large loop up the middle fork to the meadows and back over the Mesa. Good tred and well defined. Quite rocky in spots but nothing difficult. Minimal shade as it is high desert terrain. The views of little bear canyon to the east are very nice. No water on this trail but it is short and easy to traverse in a couple of hours.

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Roberto Sanchez
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Hiking

I was disappointed with this trail. I had read good reviews about it and so I put on my agenda to hike during my visit to Gila National Forest. It starts through brush that has remnants of a fire which was not good. I hiked two miles in and decided I had enough. I could not see hiking in further. I would look for a trail in the actual forest instead of this area.

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Mark Leonard
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Hiking

Did this as part of Jordan Hot Springs. Easy hike mid June with temps of 90. Lower Little Bear as it approaches the Gila Middle Fork is exquisite. Lush, green, and nice canyon walls.

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Abigail G
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 20, 2019
Hiking

The hot spring was absolutely beautiful and the perfect temperature. Trail was easy but long. Our devices varied from 14.8 miles to 16.3 miles round trip. This includes getting off track a few times but overall the trail is easy to follow. 15ish river crossings, so we stayed in our water shoes the last few miles.

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Natalie Stovall
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Hiking

The river can be as high as waist height. I am 5’ 8’. The springs can be found after about 17 river crossings. They will be on your right hand side, there is run off that meets the river, follow that up a trail and you will see the spring. I clocked in at 7.8 miles, FYI.

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Lee Cook
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HikingMuddySnow

Very fun trail, easy walking and worth the hike to the end where it lets into a beautiful canyon with a large river crossing. We will definitely revisit this one

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Carol Koehn
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great day hike

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Cindy Good
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Hiking

My daughter chose this trail for my friend from New Zealand and us today. We started late and it was very sunny and hot the first 3 miles. The end of the trail was lunch and some wading in The Gila.. Absolutely fantastic scenery and an easier hike back as it is mostly downhill.

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Valeria Morales
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I loved it!

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Dina Pang
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Hiking

This is my favorite trail in the Gilas. The trail starts out pretty exposed but once you get into the canyon there is plenty of shade. The slot canyon portion is super cool and the creek crossings were small enough to stay dry. We had our dogs off leash and we barely saw anyone until we reached the Gila River. The dogs had a blast at the river which had plenty of water. That river crossing is very significant and you will get your boots wet. We did this hike as a day hike and an out and back. The Gila River has plenty of camping opportunities and we would like to come back for an overnight trip, taking the Middle Fork trail back.

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Matthew Springer
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Hiking
First to Review

One of the coolest places to hike through to the middle fork of the Gila River. Trailhead starts at the TJ Corral campsite just down the road from the Cliff Dwellings visitor center. I was surprised to see a campsite situated right near the river after hiking through the slot canyon. Amazing views around every corner, even after the washout from flooding. I highly recommend camping there and also hiking north along the fork to the Jordan Hot Springs. The entire area is a natural wonder.

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Mike Magdziarz
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Matt Smith
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Nick Menard
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