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Pine Canyon-Bearfoot Day Hike
Strawberry
October 15, 2016
by Quy Nguyen
GPS Map
by Bill Zimmermann

I didn’t have a GPS to record the hike when I hiked this trail with AZOTC in July. But I took two pictures: the sign of Pine Canyon #26 and Bearfoot Trail, to make sure we are on the right trail.

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Yes, folks, this is our trail.
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Dave, Quy, Bill, Carol, Steve, Mimi, Mark, Michelle, Cecilia. [photo by Bill]

We parked Mark and Michelle’s car at Bearfoot Trailhead (milepost 270) and drove two cars, mine and Bill’s, to Cinch Hook Trailhead. I got driving directions from our club and HikeAZ.com. Anyway, we did a wrong turn and parked in the wrong place. After we took a group picture and headed out. I kept looking for the Pine Canyon Trail #26 sign, but there was no sign in sight. After walking about a half mile, we were back to our cars and drove to look for Cinch Hook Trailhead. We found it. Whooo Hooo!

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Steve, Dave, Michelle, Bill, Mark, Carol, Mimi, Cecilia.

At the beginning of the hike we were stunned with the beautiful fall color of maples, box elders, and Gamble oaks which are just changing the color with the season.

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Our hike begins amid glorious autumn color.

We followed red markers on the tree, hiked down and kept rolling on. Many switchbacks. The view along the canyon is fantastic. We didn’t try to walk and gawk, but stopped and enjoyed. We took care with our footwork on the rocky trail.

The severe summer windstorms had knocked down several trees across the path. We had to climb over or go under.

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Pine Canyon, from the top.
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Yes, we’re going all the way down there.
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The fires of autumn.
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Don’t get too close to that agave.
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Down, down, down we go.
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Watch your step. The switchbacks are steep.
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Let’s pause here and scout the route.
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Over this fallen log.
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Under the next one.
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Stepping stones get us across Pine Creek.

After 2½ miles we came to Parsnip Spring, with water in it. I didn’t see any parsnip but noticed some over growth watercress. We stopped there a little bit for snack and continued on. We took the short path to a tiny cave. After lunch at the new bridge built across Pine Creek, we walked across the bridge and hiked on the Bearfoot Trail. Leader showed the photo of the Bearfoot Trail sign and advised the group keeping eyes open for this sign and ignore any trails without signs at any junctions.

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Hmmm, this doesn’t look like parsnip.
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Fallen logs are no match for us.
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They’ve built a much-needed bridge over Pine Creek.
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Those steel girders look strong enough to hold the bridge up.
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No one will miss this sign.
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Sure looks like a bear to me.
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Dave, Quy, Cecilia, Mark, Michelle, Steve, Mimi, Bill, Carol
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Yes, Quy found the Bearfoot Trail.

The trail is well-marked at every junction and is up and down. Some parts of the trail are through the pine forest, alligator pines, and some are exposed with Manzanita bushes along Mogollon Rim vistas. Along the trail we pass several private residential communities.

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We’re on the Bearfoot Trail now.
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The lowest elevation on our hike is east of Strawberry.
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Signs of civilization.
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The birds are well provided for.

The temperature is little hot now, but once in a while breeze keeps us cool. Around six miles from the bridge, we reached the Bearfoot Trailhead. Because we hiked at your-own-pace, one by one hikers reached the trailhead at different times. Everyone is waiting across the trailhead and waits for drivers back to Cinch Hook Trailhead to get the cars.

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What a fine reflection!
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This rock will do for a bench.

It is great hike in a perfect day, with magnificent views in Autumn.

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What fine hiking companions!
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Ah, the autumn leaves!
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The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
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Our hike ends in a blaze of color.
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Leaves form a canopy over the trail.
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Let’s do the Twist.
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Happy Trails!

I will bookmark this hike as my favorite one in the fall. Happy Trails!

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Arizona Trailblazers Hiking Club, Phoenix, Arizona
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updated May 25, 2020