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Bear Canyon Trail #125

Difficult
 4.0 (2)

A steady climb up scenic Ida Canyon to Bear Saddle and the Arizona Trail.


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Map Key

2.6

Miles

4.2

KM

60%

Runnable

8,050' 2,454 m

High

5,894' 1,797 m

Low

2,156' 657 m

Up

0' 0 m

Down

16%

Avg Grade (9°)

46%

Max Grade (25°)

Dogs Unknown

Features 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.

Runner Notes

Footing may prove moderately challenging from mile 1 to mile 2 due to multiple water crossings and large downed trees.

Description

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.

Contacts

Shared By:

Jake Baechle

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 2 votes

#1

in Sierra Vista

#11143

Overall
  4.0 from 2 votes
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Trail Rankings

#1

in Sierra Vista

#400

in Arizona

#11,143

Overall
17 Views Last Month
340 Since Jan 10, 2019
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Photos

View of Ramsey Peak from Bear Saddle
Jan 10, 2019 near Sierra…, AZ
Ida Canyon Trail departing from Bear Saddle
Jan 10, 2019 near Sierra…, AZ
Miller Peak
Feb 14, 2021 near Sierra…, AZ
Miller Peak Wilderness boundary sign at trailhead
Jan 10, 2019 near Sierra…, AZ
One of the large juniper trees in Ida Canyon
Jan 10, 2019 near Sierra…, AZ

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