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Endless Sandstone Slabs to Killer Views!

Peak Summited2020 Bear Mountain
Type of HikeDay hike
TrailheadDoe Mountain/Bear Mountain Trailhead
Hiking CompanionsHiked with a partner
Road ConditionsRoad suitable for all vehicles
Bug StatusNo bugs
Snow ConditionsSnow free
Trail ConditionsTrail in good condition

Long a mystery to me, this hike now stands out as one of my Sedona favorites! Be prepared for a ton of scrambling over steep sandstone ledges and slabs! Rather than traditional hiking boots, this is the perfect hike for a stiff, lightweight approach shoe with sticky rubber soles. I wore my La Sportiva TX Guide approach shoes for the first time on this hike and was delighted at how they gave solid purchase on the steep sandstone slabs. There is some steep scrambling before you reach the top of the first and second “steps”. The other steep sections are above the 3rd and 4th “steps”.  The guidebooks mention navigation via cairns and white paint marks on the sandstone. We found only one small cairn and a lot of fading white paint marks. Thankfully, it appears that the older paint marks have been supplemented by many newer bright white paint marks. The paint marks are essential for finding your way, so keep a sharp lookout for them. Hiking poles probably won't help much on this hike due to the many areas that you will be scrambling and needing both hands for balance. The weather was perfect, but a little hazy, presumably due to the ongoing wildfires throughout the west. Views from the top and at several locations along the trail are jaw dropping! Kachina Peaks, Bill Williams Mountain, Palatki, Fay Canyon, etc. We are experienced hikers and clocked in at 4.8 miles from car to car in about 4 hours.

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