Arizona's Best Swimming Holes  



Bear Wallow Trail - # 63

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This trail follows the Bear Wallow Creek riparian area, dropping to the creek’s Meadow confluence with the Black River. Click here for printable information and map.

The Bear Wallow Trail ( #63) follows the Bear Wallow Creek riparian area, dropping to the creek’s Meadow confluence with the Black River. Anglers are among this trail’s most frequent users. Native Apache trout were re-established in Bear Wallow Creek in the early to middle 1990s.

The Bear Wallow Trail offers a unique opportunity to experience high country, streamside wilderness hiking and camping. Several excellent sites can be found near the creek to make camp. Enjoy the variety of lush vegetation not commonly found in most of Arizona as you travel along this creek bottom. You will encounter alder, ash, fern and Mexican locust along this trail, with pine and spruce serving as a towering backdrop.
This is a great trail to travel with a guidebook, as you will likely encounter a score of both wildflowers and songbirds in the spring and summer. Poison ivy is also something you may encounter on this trail, so be careful and know how to identify its “leaves of three.”
Black bears are frequently seen in this area as well, but usually from a distance.
It is important to consider both gaitors and waterproof footwear on this trail as it crosses the creek several times alternating between rocks (sometimes quite slippery) and muddy or bog-like footing.
Trail Log:
  • 0.0 mile: Trailhead on FR 25 (across from Double Cienega). Trail drops into the drainage between two logging roads.
  • 1.5 miles: Trail joins Bear Wallow Creek at a large rock cairn and heads downstream.
  • 2.6 miles:Junction with Reno Trail 62
  • 3.5 miles:Junction with Schell Canyon Trail 316
  • 6.6 miles: Fish barrier
  • 7.1 miles: Junction with Gobbler Point Trail 59
  • 7.6 miles: Fence line marks San Carlos Apache Reservation boundary.Permit required to continue onto the reservation.

At a Glance

Usage: Medium
Best Season: Spring through Fall
Information Center: Alpine Ranger District
(928) 339-5000
TTY: (928) 339-4566

General Information

Latitude: 33.60321

Longitude: -109.4

Length: 8.2 miles

Elevation: 6,700 feet - 9,700 feet


Drive south on Hwy. 191 about 28 miles from Alpine to Forest Road (FR) 25. Head west on FR 25 about 2.8 miles to Bear Wallow Trailhead and parking area (on the left). Bear Wallow Trail is also accessible by hiking Reno Trail (62), Gobbler Trail (59), Schell Canyon Trail (316) or Rose Spring Trail (309).

General Notes:

  • Snow may linger until May in shady areas and canyon bottoms.
  • This trail is rocky, and wet and boggy in places, but generally easy to follow.

Elevation desc 6,700 feet to 9,700 feet
Difficulty Level: Moderate


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