The trail takes you up rocky crevices to each level of the terrain. So you ascend for a while then get a nice little breather as you traverse the next plateau, before doing it all over again on a different kind of rock. It's steep, but across a lot of good, grippy sandstone...the kind of surface your hiking shoes like!
|This is the view from the parking area out on Boynton Pass Rd.|
Little did we know that the peak is actually the tiny slice of white way behind the red rocks in front!
|For perspective, here is a photo I took after the hike when we had driven around the side of the mountain.|
We started the hike at the base of the red rocks on the right, and hiked to the top of the white peak.
|As we ascended the views opened up towards Sedona.|
|The first steep section let us know pretty quickly this hike is not for wussies!|
|Soon massive walls of red were towering over us.|
|Love, love, love the layers and colors!|
|We'd come over a little rise and WOW a gorgeous canyon would drop away from our mountain.|
|Mushroom rock detail several hundred feet below us.|
|Taking a little break on the steep white sandstone.|
|Now we're high enough that a look back towards Sedona includes a beautiful red rock canyon.|
|We crossed some white sandstone that reminded us of parts of Zion NP.|
|This is one of the plateaus we crossed.|
|We're headed for the highest point on the left.|
|From the top of Bear Mountain we have a view of what I believe is the Palatki Ruins site.|
We'll visit that another day, you need a reservation.
|We also have a view of the San Francisco Peaks, very little snow on them this year.|
We both felt that the summit was anticlimactic. Too many bushes made the views rather inaccessible. If we did this hike again we'd stop at the last obvious, beautiful viewpoint instead of making the final loose dirt/rock scramble to the top.
Back down we go...
Bear Mountain is an awesome hike in this beautiful pocket of the South West!