user_profile
    1 week, 3 days ago
    Really nice hike for a lot of reasons 1. Only saw 1 person in 5 hours over 10 miles 2. Dogs were off leash the entire time and only other dog we saw was also off leash 3. Trail was well maintained and mostly well marked So to begin with this is a very secluded area with very few houses and/or traffic. The parking area is small and only 8-10 vehicles could fit but it was fairly easy to find but GAIA was of by only a bit and we drove just a bit far before turning around and finding the trailhead. I have added quite a few photos to show markers etc but I don’t think they all were attached. This is my first review and only second recorded hike so I am still learning. The trailhead for this is actually “Smith Ravine” Trailhead. SO look for that at the parking area on the west side of 297 (Walker Road) Go thru the gate and the trail is really well defined for just over 3 miles. Once you hit 3 miles be on the lookout for a few postings. 1 is on a fence right by a dirt road (Spruce Mountain Road) and 1 is a wooden sign facing away from you for others coming toward you. This sign is telling others that Walker road is 3 miles from where you stand via the Smith Ravine Trail. On the fence you should see a yellow sign that says “Please! Close the gate”. You will need to go thru this gate and follow Spruce Mountain Road until you get to the US Forest Service road that will most likely be gated shut. Proceed under the gate and continue on until you reach the picnic area right be the lookout tower......return the way you came. There is a restroom at the picnic site but not guaranteed to be open and not sure what season they open consistently. It was closed at this was on a weekend at 11am so just another sign that not many people frequent this trail due to length, stress of ascent....basically difficulty. This is a strenuous hike of roughly 10 miles total. Over 2200 (per Garton but only 1800 per GAIA) vertical ft of ascent so it will work your heart and your legs pretty well as well as working up a sweat. We ran into quite a bit of snow so check if you are going in the winter as there could be a lot more if there was a s storm that went thru. Suggest wearing good waterproof boots that can take a lot of water and mud. Dress in layers and bring energy snacks and plenty of water. There are indicators that there are 2 springs along the trail off a ways but we did not run into any of them nor did we go looking for them so not sure if there is accessible water along the trail if you run out.
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    user_profile
    1 month, 2 weeks ago
    This was a really enjoyable hike! The beginning incline on this trail can be a little daunting, especially if you are not used to the lower air pressure of Prescott. However, the second half of the trail was really beautiful and fun to walk through the forest. I went a few days after snowfall, and the mountains were stunning. Be aware that there is a 5$ parking fee, unless you have the hiking permit for this area.
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    user_profile
    4 months ago
    Unremarkable. Very rocky trail.
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    user_profile
    5 months ago
    Cold morning with temperatures starting at 27 degrees. The east side of the lake is the best side with only dirt and rock trails.
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    user_profile
    7 months, 4 weeks ago
    We hiked this trail on June 25 2019, The trail started on Senators Hwy and as we continued on the trail it went though a recent logged area which opened up the landscape and provided an extended view of the land. Along the hike we saw asclepias (milkweed) and aquilegia (yellow columbine) and many other wildflowers. The trail passes Upper and Lower Goldwater lakes which requires a side trail the hike to. The trail ended at White Spar campground and made for a pleasant hike.
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    user_profile stars
    9 months ago
    Great easy hike to a phenomenal end point, the largest natural sandstone arch in Cocinino NF. The trail starts off of Long Canyon Road a little north of the usual starting spot for Devil's Bridge. That little drive provides more abundant parking. The trail is mainly flat, winding through the forest in and out of shade until it reached Vultee Road where the 4wd people can start the hike. After that, be perpared for a lot of company as it winds uphill gently to the base of the arch. There's a 100 yd side trail to the left that leads underneath the arch which is pretty cool in itself. Going back to the junction, there are some medium challenging steps (but steps!) that carry you to the viewing spot for the arch. On the Sunday before Memorial day there were about 30 people waiting in line for the admittedly cool photo opportunity. Wait or not, then retrace your steps back to the 4wd parking and then cross the road and take the marked path back to your car. Easy 4+ mile hike with only 500 feet gain. The only challenge is the steps which are pretty easy, but made harder by the crown ascending/descending.
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    user_profile
    10 months ago
    Tough but so worth the effort. Wear good gripping hiking shoes. Having a hiking pole is also very helpful. Spectacular views.
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    user_profile
    10 months ago
    Was okay. Too many people and too many people looking to earn the Darwin award getting as close to the edge of the bridge as possible with a steady 15-30 knot wind with gusts. Hike was easy enough that my 6 year old made it just fine.
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    user_profile
    10 months, 3 weeks ago
    Very easy, shaded. No water right now.
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    user_profile
    10 months, 3 weeks ago
    This was our first place to hike in Sedona. The view from here is incredible but unless we missed something, we didn’t find much of a trail here. Great spot to watch the sunset
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    user_profile
    10 months, 3 weeks ago
    Tough but rewarding. Definitely try to summit in the morning before it heats up.
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    user_profile
    11 months, 3 weeks ago
    2019-03-13 Great hike. The views keep getting better the higher you climb. My total travel Tim was about 4 hours, with about 1 hour of rests/photos/food. Left the trailhead at 1pm, back by 6pm. There was light snow at the top, a nice way to cap the trail. The trail is quite a scramble, so if that’s not your thing maybe do a different one. But the effort involved is totally worth it for the views.
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    user_profile
    11 months, 3 weeks ago
    The creek was running high so all the crossings were mid-calf to just below the waist. The trail was washed out in sections, especially st the crossings. Still a great hike, would do it again.
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    user_profile
    1 year ago
    I hiked Bear Mountain 2011 while vacationing in AZ. It gets a lot of hype for being difficult, but honestly, it didn’t seem that tough even on a hot day in June. Difficult or not, the views from the top of the surrounding red rock country are absolutely stellar!
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    user_profile
    1 year, 1 month ago
    I would rate this loop as moderate-high difficulty. Lovely in late January 2019. We hiked counterclockwise (toward Brin's Mesa first), so that the Sinkhole was at the end. Not much wildlife out in the winter, but the scenery is outstanding.
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    user_profile
    1 year, 1 month ago
    Take the rock climb up past the "end of maintained trail" sign. Then follow the rim where the rest of the crowds stop and you'll find spectacular views and get some less travelled paths to the end of the canyon.
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