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
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.
I leave FR 152 and hop on the Dry Creek Trail.
Dry Creek not quite living up to its name. I little bit of water was found flowing at this creek crossing.
As I make my way up Dry Creek Trail the red rock cliffs of Red Rock Secret Mountain Wilderness start to come into view.
View of red rock from the Dry Creek Trail.
Cottonwood alongside Dry Creek.
The Dry Creek Trail follows Dry Creek up the canyon. Here the creek is bordered by a long red rock sandstone wall.
Poison Ivy (Rhus radicans) adds a splash of color to the canyon with its brilliant fall colors of red, orange, and yellow, .
A view looking back down the wall along Dry Creek.
A cairn marking the trail near the confluence of Dry Creek and Bear Sign Canyons.
A fallen leaf of an Arizona Sycamore (Platanus wrightii).
A sandstone wall guards the entrance to Bear Sign Canyon.
Here I leave the Dry Creek Trail and hop on the Bear Sign Trail to travel up Bear Sign Canyon.
Stair stepping up Bear Sign Trail in a grove of Arizona Cypress.
These yellow Asters are one of the few wildflowers I saw on this hike.
A view of the red rock cliffs above Bear Sign Canyon.
A late blooming Lupine (Lupinus sp.).
Gambel Oak (Quercus gambelii) in Bear Sign Canyon.
Lichen covered sandstone outcropping.
A section of this large and old (count the rings) Ponderosa Pine was cut away to after it fell across the trail.
Ponderosa Pine bark, needles, and twigs litter the forest floor.
A lone tree stands atop a sandstone bluff.
Interesting sandstone formation in Bear Sign Canyon
The creek in Bear Sign Canyon cutting down into the sandstone.
Another view of the creekbed in Bear Sign Canyon.
Rocks and boulders carried by flash floods help carve out the creek bed.
This Mistletoe (Phoradendron flavescens) was growing on an Arizona Cypress.
These large orange oak galls look like fruit on an oak tree.
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.
The view as I climb up out of Bear Sign Canyon.
A view from the top of the rigde looking toward Secret Canyon and Maroon Mountain.
A view of formations atop a far away cliff...
Zooming in on the cliff formations (300mm zoom lens).
Heading down from the ridge down into Secret Canyon.
Might this be the reason for the name "Bear Sign Canyon"?
Following the "slickrock" ravine down from the ridge.
An impressive butte rising from the opposite side of Secret Canyon.
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.
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.
Looking back from the Secret Canyon to a gorgeous view of a sandstone "totem pole" formation.
A view looking south from the Secret Canyon Trail.
Cliffs along Secret Canyon.
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.
Red rock cliffs above Secret Canyon.
Bigtooth Maples (Acer grandidentatum) ... one in fall color, the other just starting to change ... along with red splashes from Poison Ivy.
Bigtooth Maple leaves in fall color.
Close up of Bigtooth Maple leaves.
Bigtooth Maple, Oak, Ponderosa Pine, and Poison Ivy.
Sandstone overhang in Secret Canyon.
Slot between two sandstone formations in Secret Canyon.
View as I hike back out of Secret Canyon.
Red berries of Hollyleaf Buckthorn (Rhamnus crocea) glow in the sun along Secret Canyon Trail.
Closeup of the sandstone "totem pole".
Back at the Secret Canyon Trailhead marks the end of my hike.
A view from Forest Road 152 as the late afternoon sun filters under the clouds.
All images Copyright ©2005 Terry Wright. All rights reserved.