Arizona Hiking Gallery
Abineau - Bear Jaw Loop Hike
Kachina Peaks Wilderness, AZ
September 14, 2008
Gallery contains 46 photos
Gallery last updated: 11/12/2008

The Abineau - Bear Jaw Loop is about a seven mile hike on the north side of the San Francisco Peaks. The first leg of the hike is about 2.5 miles on the Abineau Trail climbing 2000 feet in elevation up Abineau Canyon through mostly dense forest on the lower and middle sections of the trail. At one point the trail enters an avalanche site where the trail may be a little hard to follow. The upper portion of the trail opens up into a nice alpine meadow with views of the slopes of Humphreys Peak where the Abineau Trail meets the Waterline Road (some call it the Abineau Canyon Road). The second leg of the hike is an easy 2 mile gentle downhill stroll along the Waterline Road through forests of aspen, fir, and pine and crossing Reese and Bear Jaw Canyons. After crossing Bear Jaw Canyon the Bear Jaw Trail appears on the left starts the third leg of the hike. The Bear Jaw Trail drops, sometimes steeply, through some wonderful Aspen forests and leads back to the trailhead about 2.5 miles away.

Abineau - Bear Jaw Loop Hike: Image 1
From the trailhead a trail sign points the way to the Abineau and Bear Jaw Trails which intersect in about 1/2 a mile.

Abineau - Bear Jaw Loop Hike: Image 2
Groundsel (Senecio eremophilus) in front of a railing near the trailhead.

Abineau - Bear Jaw Loop Hike: Image 3
The lower portion of the trail is wide and easy going, but don't let that fool ya. The trail heads up Abineau Canyon in a short while.

Abineau - Bear Jaw Loop Hike: Image 4
A the intersection of Abineau and Bear Jaw Trails. I'm headed to the right up the Abineau Trail which leads up Abineau Canyon through dense forest.

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The cool shady depths of Abineau Canyon supports fungus and moss.

Abineau - Bear Jaw Loop Hike: Image 6
Bark Texture on a downed tree in Abineau Canyon.

Abineau - Bear Jaw Loop Hike: Image 7
Bark Texture 2. Closeup of the dark reddish brown bark of an old Douglas Fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii).

Abineau - Bear Jaw Loop Hike: Image 8
Bark Texture 3. The bark of the Arizona Corkbark Fir (Abies lasiocarpa var. arizonica is thick, soft and spongy, like cork, hence its name.

Abineau - Bear Jaw Loop Hike: Image 9
The northern slopes of the San Francisco Peaks is avalanche country. Here an avalanche descending Abineau Canyon clear a wide path of trees as if they were matchsticks.

Abineau - Bear Jaw Loop Hike: Image 10
Groundsel and Penstemons in bloom brighten the avalanche zone where they enjoy plenty of sunshine.

Abineau - Bear Jaw Loop Hike: Image 11
Looking to the north out of Abineau Canyon.

Abineau - Bear Jaw Loop Hike: Image 12
I'm taking a guess that this is Whipple's Penstemon (Penstemon whippleanus).

Abineau - Bear Jaw Loop Hike: Image 13
Rusted metal along the Abineau Trail.

Abineau - Bear Jaw Loop Hike: Image 14
Fireweed, aka Blooming Sally, (Epilobium angustifolium).

Abineau - Bear Jaw Loop Hike: Image 15
As the Abineau Trail nears the top of its climb Redberried Elder, or Red Elderberry (Sambucus microbotrys) shows off bright red berries.

Abineau - Bear Jaw Loop Hike: Image 16
Red Elderberry bushes line the side of the Abineau Trail.

Abineau - Bear Jaw Loop Hike: Image 17
Meadow Arnica (Arnica chamissonis) on the upper reaches of the Abineau Trail at the end of their flowering season.

Abineau - Bear Jaw Loop Hike: Image 18
Red Elderberry berries.

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An old bleached log laying in the grass reach out for a hug.

Abineau - Bear Jaw Loop Hike: Image 20
A blooming trio of Meadow Arnica (Arnica chamissonis) has seen better days.

Abineau - Bear Jaw Loop Hike: Image 21
A fine resting place in an alpine meadow near the top of the Abineau Trail affords views of volcanic cinders cones far below.

Abineau - Bear Jaw Loop Hike: Image 22
The slopes of Humphreys Peak rise above the timberline in this view from the top of the Abineau Trail at the Waterline Road.

Abineau - Bear Jaw Loop Hike: Image 23
The slopes of Humphreys Peak rise above the timberline.

Abineau - Bear Jaw Loop Hike: Image 24
At the intersection of the Abineau Trail I head down the Waterline Road for about 2 miles to pick up the Bear Jaw Trail.

Abineau - Bear Jaw Loop Hike: Image 25
Cones hang thick at the top of this Engelman Spruce (Picea engelmanii).

Abineau - Bear Jaw Loop Hike: Image 26
A view over the forest the north from the Waterline Road.

Abineau - Bear Jaw Loop Hike: Image 27
Remnants of the pipeline that carried water to the City of Flagstaff can still be seen along the Waterline Road.

Abineau - Bear Jaw Loop Hike: Image 28
I was a little early to catch the Aspen turning yellow. I did find this one branch starting to turn its fall colors.

Abineau - Bear Jaw Loop Hike: Image 29
Carved scarring on an Aspen trunk.

Abineau - Bear Jaw Loop Hike: Image 30
Carved scarring on an Aspen trunk.

Abineau - Bear Jaw Loop Hike: Image 31
Although hiking along a road you will not encounter any motor vehicles as this is a protected Wilderness Area.

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The hike down the Waterline Road is about two miles of gentle descent through Aspen forest.

Abineau - Bear Jaw Loop Hike: Image 33
Peering through the aspens.

Abineau - Bear Jaw Loop Hike: Image 34
Sunlight lighting up the Aspen trunks along the Waterline Road.

Abineau - Bear Jaw Loop Hike: Image 35
An old access port to the pipeline where the Waterline Road crosses Reese Canyon.

Abineau - Bear Jaw Loop Hike: Image 36
A dense Aspen forest along the Waterline Road.

Abineau - Bear Jaw Loop Hike: Image 37
The bark of an old Douglas Fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii).

Abineau - Bear Jaw Loop Hike: Image 38
A Hoary Comma (Polygonia gracilis) sips nectar from Groundsel.

Abineau - Bear Jaw Loop Hike: Image 39
A large volcanic boulder finds a spot of sun as aspens tower over it.

Abineau - Bear Jaw Loop Hike: Image 40
It was a nice walk down the Waterline Road, but now it's time head down the Bear Jaw Trail for about 2.5 miles or so.

Abineau - Bear Jaw Loop Hike: Image 41
The upper part of the Bear Jaw Trail leads through aspen and pine forest.

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Aspen forest along the Bear Jaw Trail.

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The Bear Jaw Trail making its way through small boulders in the aspen forest.

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The bark of most the of aspen on this hike has been a golden green color. I finally find a pair of bright white aspen trunks glowing in the sun.

Abineau - Bear Jaw Loop Hike: Image 45
A view to the north through the pine forest on the lower section of the Bear Jaw Trail.

Abineau - Bear Jaw Loop Hike: Image 46
The Bear Jaw Trail makes its way through the forest near the end of the hike.

All images Copyright ©2008 Terry Wright. All rights reserved.