Bear Mountain Hot
From the Phoenix area, take I-17 North to exit 298 to HWY 179 West into Sedona. Follow the signs to 89A West. Turn right 3.1 miles after the junction on Dry Creek Road. When you reach the intersection of 152C, turn left and go another 1.6 miles. At Boynton Pass road, turn left and go the final 1.2 miles to a parking area on your right. There is a restroom here but no water. The signed Bear Mountain trailhead starts on the other side of the road.
sustained climb to great 360 Sedona views
Sedona has recently instituted a "Red Rock Pass", which is a fancy way of saying you need to pay to play. As of April 2013, the fee is $5 per day per vehicle. There are plenty of places in and around Sedona to pay this fee and get the receipt, which you need to put on your vehicle dash to keep from being towed.
The trail is well marked at the start, as it crosses some washes. The trail then starts climbing up the first of four steps. At each of the steps, there are views a plenty, so be sure to stop and enjoy them. There is a good bit of hiking on slick rock here, so the trails are marked by cairns. The cairns are pretty well placed, so it isn't too tough to stay on trail. As you near the top, you can see the town of Sedona, Boynton Canyon, Fay Canyon, Doe mountain, the Cockscomb, and several other Sedona landmarks. Once you reach the top, a nice view of the San Francisco peaks and the Secret Mountain wilderness become visible.
After lunch and a break, return the way you came. Enjoy!