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Bear Jaw and Abineau Trails

Views from the Bear Jaw trail
Elevation plot: Bear Jaw_Abeneau trail loop
Map: Bear Jaw_Abeneau trail loop
Fall colors along the Bear Jaw trail
Fall colors along the Abeneau trail
Aspen along the Bear Jaw trail
Fall colors as seen from the pipeline trail
Aspen along the Bear Jaw trail
Views from the Abineau trails
Views from the Abineau trail


How to Get There
This hike is located near Flagstaff, AZ.

To get to the trailhead: from the Phoenix area, take I-17 North toward Flagstaff, AZ. Once in Flagstaff, take HWY #180 towards the Grand Canyon. About 19 miles from Flagstaff, turn right on FR 151, which is just past mile marker 235. After going 1.6 miles on this flat, graded dirt road, turn left on FR 418. After driving 3.1 miles on FR 418, turn right onto FR 9123J (there is a sign here for the trailhead). Go another 0.6 miles to the trailhead. This area is well signed.
Northern Arizona

Hike details

7.10 [Miles] Total
Hike Distance- Details
The loop described is 7.1 miles round trip.
4.00 [Hours]
It took us just over 4.0 hours hiking to make it to the top and back with a 30 minute break for lunch.
Elevation Change
2,000 Total gain/loss [Feet]
Elevation Details
2000 ft elevation gain.
Hike Trail Type


Best Season
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
Season Details
good leaf looking hike in the fall!
Date Hike completed
January 05, 2004


Solitude Details
Very good, on a Memorial Day weekend, we only ran into four other hikers.


Difficulty Rating
difficulty detail
Hiking through the forest is calming and enjoyable. Climbing 2000 ft will get anyone's heart pumping, luckily the loop hike here is a relatively gradual climb. The view at the intersection between Abineau and Waterline trail is pretty cool. The loop hike described here is a Moderate hike.


Be Aware of

Loop hike using the Bear Jaw and Abineau Trails near Flagstaff, Arizona.

This loop hike is located on the North side of the San Francisco peaks, overlooking Flagstaff, AZ.

This well signed trail starts at the parking lot and slowly climbs in elevation (starting at about 8500 ft and ending up at 10500 ft). After about 0.4 miles, you will reach a fork. To the right is the Abineau trail. To the left is the Bear Jaw trail. Take a left here to travel up the Bear Jaw trail. As you climb, you are treated to forests of conifer and aspen. This would be a particularly nice hike in the fall with the changing leaves.

After 2.25 miles on the Bear Jaw trail, you reach the intersection of the Bear Jaw and Waterline trails. Make a right onto the Waterline trail. The Waterline trail used to be a service road to the water sources in the area and has now been declared a wilderness area. Continue on this wide trail along the edge of the San Francisco peaks. The views to the north peak through the forest once in a while. After 2.0 miles on this trail, you reach the intersection of the Waterline trail and the Abineau trail. Here you get the best views of the San Francisco Peaks (and Mt. Humphries) and the forests to the North. This a nice spot for lunch.

When you are ready, take the Abineau trail down the canyon. This trail is steeper than the others and would make for a good workout if you wanted to make this hike an out and back. After 2.0 miles of hiking on the Abineau trail, you loose most of the 2000 ft of elevation and make it back to the fork of Bear Jaw and Abineau trails.

It's a short 0.4 miles back to the trailhead, your car, and waiting civilization. Best to take your time on this hike and enjoy all it's beauty.


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