River/Creek · Views
Need to Know
Signs along the trail remind backpackers that it is illegal to camp within a quarter mile of a water source. Due to terrain and water, the best options for camping are either going to be within the first three quarters of a mile or near the junction with the AZT.
Rattle snakes are active in this area year round.
Most of this route is shaded but extreme heat is common in this part of the state. Pack plenty of water and avoid running during the heat of the day.
Border Patrol is active in the area.
Footing may prove moderately challenging from mile 1 to mile 2 due to multiple water crossings and large downed trees.
The trail begins at the Miller Peak Wilderness boundary. The first mile is relatively flat and makes for easy running. One mile in, the trail meets a small creek. For the next half mile, the trail crosses back and forth over the creek. Through this section you'll see impressive large juniper and sycamore trees.
Near mile 1.5, the trail departs from the creek and switchbacks up the northwest side of the canyon. Here the trail becomes steeper. As the trail gains elevation, it moves into a forest of evergreens eventually leading you to Bear Spring. Just below Bear Spring, there is an unsigned trail junction with Ida Canyon Trail #110. Go straight and continue up the hill past Bear Spring. Note—if you are coming down hill from the AZT, you'll want to stay right to continue on Bear Canyon Trail. It will head down hill to the west, while Ida Canyon Trail contours to the south.
From Bear Spring, it is another 0.5 miles to Bear Saddle where the trail intersects with the Arizona Trail. Bear Saddle has a nice view of Ramsey Peak in the north and expansive views of Mexico to the south.
Flora & Fauna
Very large alligator juniper trees are one of the highlights of this trail. They can be seen about 1.5 miles up the canyon from the parking area. Other tree species noted on this route are Arizona Sycamore, Shrub Oak, Douglas Fir, and White Pine. Agave and yucca pepper the hillside at higher elevations.
Fauna seen on this run include deer, rattle snakes, canyon wrens, and various lizards.
Shared By: Jake Baechle