This Sedona hike takes you to the top of Bear Mountain, which rises to 6,447 feet above sea level.
From the summit, you will get 360 degree views of the surrounding area. On a clear day, you can see as far as the San Francisco Peaks, 50 miles to the north and Mingus Mountain, 30 miles to the south.
The hike is strenuous but not overwhelmingly so. From the Bear Mountain Trailhead, the grade is evenly spread throughout the 2.5 mile hike to the peak’s high point.
You will gain 1,800 feet in total and be treated with imposing views of red rock spires, pinnacles, and canyons for the entire hike.
- Distance: 4.5 miles
- Hike Time: 3-5 hours
- Elevation Gain/Loss: 1,857 feet
- Fee: Free, but Red Rock Pass or America the Beautiful Pass are required to park
- Dogs: Yes
- Difficulty: Hard
Hiking the Bear Mountain Trail
In December 2020, Kim, Arrow, and I hiked the Bear Mountain Trail.
Note: There is a pit toilet at the trailhead
We parked in the shared lot between Bear Mountain and Doe Mountain, off Boynton Canyon Road.
At 11:25 a.m. on a Wednesday, there were plenty of spaces available and the trail was not too busy.
There was only one other group at the summit when we arrived.
From the parking lot, you will cross Boynton Pass Road and go through a gate to access the trail.
The first 0.25 miles are flat but the rest of the hike is a somewhat steep climb all the way to the top.
On a cool day, if you pace yourself and take small breaks to eat and drink, you should waltz right up with no issues.
Navigating the trail is pretty straightforward and there are white marks on the rock to guide the way in more confusing areas.
On Sedona trails, routes are usually marked by cairns. These are 3-foot pillars of rock bound with chicken wire. This hike does not have those so keep that in mind.
The Bear Mountain Trail does not have any junctions with other trails, so as long as you stay on trail you will not get lost.
Before our hike, we stopped at Sedonuts and bought a pink “Homer Simpson” donut to share halfway up Bear Mountain. It was a good decision.
From Highway 89A in Sedona, turn onto Dry Creek Road and follow it 2 miles, then turn left onto Boynton Pass Road.
Continue on Boynton Pass Road for 3.7 miles then turn left into the Doe Mountain and Bear Mountain shared parking lot.
- Sedona Trail Map
- Flagstaff, Sedona [Coconino and Kaibab National Forests] (National Geographic Trails Illustrated Map)
- How to Hike the Bear Mountain Trail in Sedona, Arizona – Earth Trekkers
- Bear Mountain Trail – Arizona Highways
- Bear Mountain – Grand Canyon Trust
Want to hike Sedona’s best trails? Check out our other Sedona Hiking Guides.