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Doe Mountain Trail

View from Bear Mountain

Upper Portion of Bear Mountain Trail -- Sedona, AZ    
The end  of Bear Mountain Trail is shown above.  The two asterisks are at trail end (Trail Peak) and on a small rise before the final Trail Peak.  The change in elevation to the small peak is 1400 feet.  Fay Canyon is to the east of the small peak (right).  As the hike continues, the hiker climbs another 600 feet with Fay Canyon to the east (right) (the change in elevation is approximately 2000 feet).  The two yellow arrows designate the two portions of the trail which have the final two stone steps which need to be traversed.

To see an aerial photograph from the trail peak of Bear Mountain to the true peak.  The trail now ends below the secondary peak. -- Click Here  

Click on The Pictures to Enlarge

Trail Map of Doe and Bear Mountain
Click on Trail Map to Enlarge

View Below The Last Two Rock Stairways
View Below The Last Two Rock Stairways

View Above The Last Two Rock Stairways
View Above The Last Two Rock Stairways


Bear Mountain Trail 

This is a strenuous trail not suited for many hikers. It is in the desert sun with no water along the trail. The hike is a five mile round trip with a vertical climb of 2000 feet from the creek bed to the true peak (as measured on USGS Topographic Maps).  If you decide to take this trail you need to leave early in the morning and plan for an all day hike. Take lots and lots of water and energy bars, along with hiking boots, sunscreen and a wide brim hat. 

One of the confusing factors that hikers may encounter is that it appears the end of the trail has moved. The "True" peak on the old USFS map (red map below) is actually north of the left fork of Boynton Canyon. This is confirmed on Typographic maps with an elevation of over 6560 feet.   However, the new USGS map shows the trail end at a peak below the secondary peak which is at the west side of the left fork of Boynton Canyon (Blue USGS map to right).  Currently, there is a Trail End sign at the trail peak (elevation over 6440 feet). The trail to the true peak is too poorly marked with many false trails to go further than the peak where the trail officially ends (as of 2016).   Download USGS Topgraphic Map with Peaks Labeled

Bear Mountain is the trail where hikers have to be rescued. Two were rescued one week before the legacy pictures were taken (see bottom of the page) and resulted in the death of a rescuer.

For More Information Go To:

             Click on Pictures to Enlarge

Trail Map - Bear Mountain Trail 
Bear and Doe Mountain trail MapThis website is not designed to provide directions or navigation of the trails but solely intended to give you an idea what you may see and experience on the hike.  
Download Aerial Map of Bear & Doe Mountain (127 Megs) 
Download Aerial Map of Bear Mountain Trail (Approximate Position of Trail has been Marked) (57 Megs)



The term strenuous, refers to multiple long rock steps in the first part of the trail followed by steep elevation of the trail as it traverses up to the final trail peak. This is actually a secondary peak, since the true peak is much further on an ill-defined portion of the trail. It is also alittle over 100 feet higher in elevation.

TopMap - Bear Mtn TrailThe topographic map on the right shows the approximate location of the trail peak (below secondary peak) of Bear Mountain (Blue Arrow).  The three purple arrows show the first, second and last steep rock-stair sections of the trail.  (Click on map to enlarge)

View Topographic Map of The Actual Bear Mountain Peak. 






The Bear Mountain Trail is well maintained up to the last vertical step section (second section of the trail).

White Trail Marker - Near Trail Peak   


After that, following the white arrows leading to the trail's peak is very important (see picture on the left of a white trail arrow near the top of the trail. However, these arrows are hard to see going down and there are many side trails. Thus, inadvertently going off trail is easy to do. It is advised that you take a compass or cell phone with Google Maps. There is some cell coverage on the final two sections of the trail and Google Maps and even Pokemon will have the general area location of the trail. DO NOT PLAY Pokemon on the trail. You need to watch your footing and not paying attention can have a disastrous outcome. You need to have good hiking shoes and take plenty of water.


Final Trail Peak As Seen From the West Base of Bear MountainThe picture on the right shows the Trail Peak as viewed from the west base of Bear Mountain.  Note the small portion of red rock (purple arrow), which helps to identify the peak.   

Bear Mountain Trail Can Be Divided into Four Sections.

The first is comprised of the approach to the ascent section and three areas of steep rock stairways. Traversing these step rocks is much easier than climbing the trail to cathedral rock, where one is on all fours. Ascent can be accomplished with stepping up the many step rocks, some of which appear to have been placed to aid the hiker. The difficulty that arises is that there are so many of them and you must travel so high, that it can easily wear down a hiker. Remember after this section the trail has long sections that are even more steep and footing can be precarious.

The first section:

The final steps approaching the first rock stairway1) Approach to the base of the first stair climb.  Below are pictures showing the approach and the gentle rock steps leading up to the first rock stairway.  (The final approach to the first rock stairway is shown on the right)
Bear Mountain Trail Start Starting the Ascent A few steps are encountered

2) Approaching First StairwayFirst Rock StairwayClimbing the first rock stairway. An easy sloping trail leads to the first rock stairway. The steps are easy to navigate without the need to use arms or bending over.
 Top of First Rock Stairway View From The Top of The First Rock Stairway

3) Traversing the mid portion of the cliff face. This an easy hike and just below Trail After First Rock Stairwaya rock face you are at a level of the top of the mesa of Doe Mountain. Excellent photo opportunities and a good turning around point.
Trail After First Rock Stairway - 2 Trail After First Rock Stairway - 3 View from the top of the first section of bear mountain trail

The Second Section:

A View Of The Long Rock StaircaseTraversing the final two sections of rock steps. This is a hard section of the trail due to its length. Many rock steps to climb. There is a short section of steps on the right side of the canyon, a flatter section leading to the left side of the canyon, where there is a very long series of rock steps to traverse to reach the top of section two.  At the top is a rock plateau which affords excellent views and is a good resting and turning back point.  

Upper Rock Stairway - Bear Mountain 1 Upper Rock Stairway - Bear Mountain 2 Upper Rock Stairway - Bear Mountain 3 Upper Rock Stairway - Bear Mountain 4 Upper Rock Stairway - Bear Mountain 5


Top of Rock StaircasesThere is a rock plateau at the top of the rock stairways which has excellent views for photographing and is an excellent turning back point. 


First (false) Trail PeakThe Third section:  The mountain trail leads to a small peak in the trail (see picture on right}. The beginning of this section is a flat rock plateau which is an excellent stopping point and affords many photo opportunities. From here there are few rock steps but the trail is somewhat steep with sections of sloping rocks.  You will also pass along a wide ridge area. Fay Canyon will be on your right.  Hiking shoes with good treads are definitely needed.  The pictures below show that sections of the trail are composed of smooth slanting rocks which would be treacherous to traverse if wet.  


Section 3 Bear Mountain 7 Looking Back Along Trail

Section 3 Bear Mountain Trail 2 Section 3 Bear Mountain Trail 4 Section 3 Bear Mountain Trail 6
Section 3 Bear Mountain Trail 5

Section 3 Bear Mountain 1

Trail Peak.  Note the read rock on its face.The Fourth Section:
The final section leads to the final trail peak. This Trail Peak (end of trail) has a red section of rock (picture to the right) and can be seen from the parking lot, and from the west side of the mountain base. This section of the trail has several areas of sloping rocks which need to be traversed. There are cliffs on the downside of these rocks. Hiking shoes with good treads are needed. These trail sloping areas should not be traversed when the trail is wet. Remember take your compass and a cell phone with google maps (you may get reception at the top). Trail markers are not as evident going down as going up.
Last Section Bear Mountain Trail 1At the end of the trail you will encounter a sign. (There is no "I-made-the-hike" sign-in-book at the top, which would be nice.) The picture below shows a selfie of two hikers who donated material to this website section.
 Last Section Bear Mountain Trail 2 Last Section Bear Mountain Trail 3 Last Section Bear Mountain Trail 4

Trail EndThe trail ends at a peak (Trail Peak), the true  peak is over 100 feet higher. However, the path to it is ill-defined and it is very easy to get lost


Legacy Site Material With Aerial Views

Bear Mountain First CrevasThe first rock stariway is shown on the right. It is about 30 feet in height and behind the trees in the picture.   The lower large trail picture below (bottom of the page)  also shows this first rock stairway (lower yellow arrow). 


Bear Mountain Trail - First Steep SectionAn aerial view of the first rosck stairway is shown on the right. The trail outlines will disappear every five seconds.   Click on the picture to view an expanded map of the lower one third of Bear Mountain trail.

Click on Pictures to Enlarge

Click here to see a larger view of the first steep section.

First Plateau of Bear Mountain TrailThe trail gently climbs and then turns to the left.  The trail outline will disappear every 5 seconds.


Bear Mountain Aerial View of Upper Steep SectionThe aerial picture on the rights shows the second steep section of the trail .  The top yellow arrow shows the end of the last rock stairway and is at a rock plateau.  The lower yellow arrow denotes the final rock stairway, about 60 yards in length.  The trail outline and arrows will disappear every 5 seconds.


Once you reach the top of the rock stariways, you are not even half way to the trail's peak.

Aerial photographs of the remainder of the trail can be seen and accessed from the left hand page column.   To view the complete trail on an aerial photograph, click below:

 Download Aerial Map of Bear Mountain Trail (Approximate Portion of Trail has been Marked) (57 Megs)

The large trail picture below was taken from Doe Mountain.  The step sections described above are designated with yellow arrows.  The peak seen in this picture is near the secondary peak (Not the true peak) of Bear Mountain, wihch is currently the end of the trail.    Click on the "Red Circles" to enlarge the area and see the hikers.