Arizona Hiking Gallery
Bear Sign Canyon - Secret Canyon Loop Hike
Red Rock - Secret Mountain Wilderness, AZ
October 15, 2005
Gallery contains 64 photos
Gallery last updated: 10/27/2005
Bear Sign Canyon - Secret Canyon Loop Hike: Image 1
I start the hike at the Secret Canyon Trailhead and hike up Forest Road 152 a short distance to the Dry Creek Trailhead. This a view along Forest Road 152.

Bear Sign Canyon - Secret Canyon Loop Hike: Image 2
I leave FR 152 and hop on the Dry Creek Trail.

Bear Sign Canyon - Secret Canyon Loop Hike: Image 3
Dry Creek not quite living up to its name. I little bit of water was found flowing at this creek crossing.

Bear Sign Canyon - Secret Canyon Loop Hike: Image 4
As I make my way up Dry Creek Trail the red rock cliffs of Red Rock Secret Mountain Wilderness start to come into view.

Bear Sign Canyon - Secret Canyon Loop Hike: Image 5
View of red rock from the Dry Creek Trail.

Bear Sign Canyon - Secret Canyon Loop Hike: Image 6
Cottonwood alongside Dry Creek.

Bear Sign Canyon - Secret Canyon Loop Hike: Image 7
The Dry Creek Trail follows Dry Creek up the canyon. Here the creek is bordered by a long red rock sandstone wall.

Bear Sign Canyon - Secret Canyon Loop Hike: Image 8
Poison Ivy (Rhus radicans) adds a splash of color to the canyon with its brilliant fall colors of red, orange, and yellow, .

Bear Sign Canyon - Secret Canyon Loop Hike: Image 9
A view looking back down the wall along Dry Creek.

Bear Sign Canyon - Secret Canyon Loop Hike: Image 10
A cairn marking the trail near the confluence of Dry Creek and Bear Sign Canyons.

Bear Sign Canyon - Secret Canyon Loop Hike: Image 11
A fallen leaf of an Arizona Sycamore (Platanus wrightii).

Bear Sign Canyon - Secret Canyon Loop Hike: Image 12
A sandstone wall guards the entrance to Bear Sign Canyon.

Bear Sign Canyon - Secret Canyon Loop Hike: Image 13
Here I leave the Dry Creek Trail and hop on the Bear Sign Trail to travel up Bear Sign Canyon.

Bear Sign Canyon - Secret Canyon Loop Hike: Image 14
Bear Sign Canyon.

Bear Sign Canyon - Secret Canyon Loop Hike: Image 15
Stair stepping up Bear Sign Trail in a grove of Arizona Cypress.

Bear Sign Canyon - Secret Canyon Loop Hike: Image 16
These yellow Asters are one of the few wildflowers I saw on this hike.

Bear Sign Canyon - Secret Canyon Loop Hike: Image 17
A view of the red rock cliffs above Bear Sign Canyon.

Bear Sign Canyon - Secret Canyon Loop Hike: Image 18
A late blooming Lupine (Lupinus sp.).

Bear Sign Canyon - Secret Canyon Loop Hike: Image 19
Bear Sign Canyon.

Bear Sign Canyon - Secret Canyon Loop Hike: Image 20
Gambel Oak (Quercus gambelii) in Bear Sign Canyon.

Bear Sign Canyon - Secret Canyon Loop Hike: Image 21
Lichen covered sandstone outcropping.

Bear Sign Canyon - Secret Canyon Loop Hike: Image 22
A section of this large and old (count the rings) Ponderosa Pine was cut away to after it fell across the trail.

Bear Sign Canyon - Secret Canyon Loop Hike: Image 23
Ponderosa Pine bark, needles, and twigs litter the forest floor.

Bear Sign Canyon - Secret Canyon Loop Hike: Image 24
A lone tree stands atop a sandstone bluff.

Bear Sign Canyon - Secret Canyon Loop Hike: Image 25
Interesting sandstone formation in Bear Sign Canyon

Bear Sign Canyon - Secret Canyon Loop Hike: Image 26
The creek in Bear Sign Canyon cutting down into the sandstone.

Bear Sign Canyon - Secret Canyon Loop Hike: Image 27
Another view of the creekbed in Bear Sign Canyon.

Bear Sign Canyon - Secret Canyon Loop Hike: Image 28
Rocks and boulders carried by flash floods help carve out the creek bed.

Bear Sign Canyon - Secret Canyon Loop Hike: Image 29
This Mistletoe (Phoradendron flavescens) was growing on an Arizona Cypress.

Bear Sign Canyon - Secret Canyon Loop Hike: Image 30
These large orange oak galls look like fruit on an oak tree.

Bear Sign Canyon - Secret Canyon Loop Hike: Image 31
I leave Bear Sign Canyon and climb up an unmark, unmaintained and hard to follow trail which will take me to the top of a ridge before dropping down into Secret Canyon. As I climb up the trail, vistas of red rock buttes against Wilson Mountain come into view.

Bear Sign Canyon - Secret Canyon Loop Hike: Image 32
The view as I climb up out of Bear Sign Canyon.

Bear Sign Canyon - Secret Canyon Loop Hike: Image 33
A view from the top of the rigde looking toward Secret Canyon and Maroon Mountain.

Bear Sign Canyon - Secret Canyon Loop Hike: Image 34
A view of formations atop a far away cliff...

Bear Sign Canyon - Secret Canyon Loop Hike: Image 35
Zooming in on the cliff formations (300mm zoom lens).

Bear Sign Canyon - Secret Canyon Loop Hike: Image 36
Heading down from the ridge down into Secret Canyon.

Bear Sign Canyon - Secret Canyon Loop Hike: Image 37
Might this be the reason for the name "Bear Sign Canyon"?

Bear Sign Canyon - Secret Canyon Loop Hike: Image 38
Following the "slickrock" ravine down from the ridge.

Bear Sign Canyon - Secret Canyon Loop Hike: Image 39
An impressive butte rising from the opposite side of Secret Canyon.

Bear Sign Canyon - Secret Canyon Loop Hike: Image 40
Looking back from where I came (just to the left of this butte) as I somehow make my way off the ridge and down the "trail" into Secret Canyon.

Bear Sign Canyon - Secret Canyon Loop Hike: Image 41


Bear Sign Canyon - Secret Canyon Loop Hike: Image 42
I've made if off the ridge and down to the Secret Canyon Trail where the views along the canyon are incredible! I'll hike up Secret Canyon a few miles.

Bear Sign Canyon - Secret Canyon Loop Hike: Image 43
Looking back from the Secret Canyon to a gorgeous view of a sandstone "totem pole" formation.

Bear Sign Canyon - Secret Canyon Loop Hike: Image 44
A view looking south from the Secret Canyon Trail.

Bear Sign Canyon - Secret Canyon Loop Hike: Image 45
Cliffs along Secret Canyon.

Bear Sign Canyon - Secret Canyon Loop Hike: Image 46
A view into Secret Canyon from the Secret Canyon Trail. As the trail continues into the canyon the trail will drop down into the canyon bottom.

Bear Sign Canyon - Secret Canyon Loop Hike: Image 47
Red rock cliffs above Secret Canyon.

Bear Sign Canyon - Secret Canyon Loop Hike: Image 48
Secret Canyon.

Bear Sign Canyon - Secret Canyon Loop Hike: Image 49
Bigtooth Maples (Acer grandidentatum) ... one in fall color, the other just starting to change ... along with red splashes from Poison Ivy.

Bear Sign Canyon - Secret Canyon Loop Hike: Image 50
Bigtooth Maple leaves in fall color.

Bear Sign Canyon - Secret Canyon Loop Hike: Image 51
Close up of Bigtooth Maple leaves.

Bear Sign Canyon - Secret Canyon Loop Hike: Image 52
Bigtooth Maple, Oak, Ponderosa Pine, and Poison Ivy.

Bear Sign Canyon - Secret Canyon Loop Hike: Image 53
Secret Canyon.

Bear Sign Canyon - Secret Canyon Loop Hike: Image 54
Sandstone overhang in Secret Canyon.

Bear Sign Canyon - Secret Canyon Loop Hike: Image 55
Slot between two sandstone formations in Secret Canyon.

Bear Sign Canyon - Secret Canyon Loop Hike: Image 56
View as I hike back out of Secret Canyon.

Bear Sign Canyon - Secret Canyon Loop Hike: Image 57
Secret Canyon.

Bear Sign Canyon - Secret Canyon Loop Hike: Image 58
Red berries of Hollyleaf Buckthorn (Rhamnus crocea) glow in the sun along Secret Canyon Trail.

Bear Sign Canyon - Secret Canyon Loop Hike: Image 59


Bear Sign Canyon - Secret Canyon Loop Hike: Image 60


Bear Sign Canyon - Secret Canyon Loop Hike: Image 61
Closeup of the sandstone "totem pole".

Bear Sign Canyon - Secret Canyon Loop Hike: Image 62


Bear Sign Canyon - Secret Canyon Loop Hike: Image 63
Back at the Secret Canyon Trailhead marks the end of my hike.

Bear Sign Canyon - Secret Canyon Loop Hike: Image 64
A view from Forest Road 152 as the late afternoon sun filters under the clouds.

All images Copyright ©2005 Terry Wright. All rights reserved.