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Little Bear

Hiking on the Little Bear trail
active deer along the little elden trail
Hiking on the Little Bear trail
Hiking on the Little Bear trail
Hiking on the Little Bear trail
Hawk on the Little Bear trail
Hiking on the Little Bear trail
Hiking on the Little Bear trail
elevation plot: little bear trail
map: little bear trail


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

From the Flagstaff area, take HWY 89 towards Page, AZ. After you pass the stoplight at Townsend-Winona road, continue on HWY 89 for 2.7 more miles and look for the sign for Elden Springs Road. Make a left here onto Elden Springs Road (FR556). Take this well graded dirt road 2.5 miles to the trailhead parking on your right. This trailhead parking is not signed from the road, so keep your eye out.
Northern Arizona

Hike details

8.50 [Miles] Total
Hike Distance- Details
8.5 miles round trip to the saddle and the junction with the Sunset trail
4.00 [Hours]
It took us four hours to complete this hike.
Elevation Change
1,100 Total gain/loss [Feet]
Elevation Details
about 1100 ft gain.
Hike Trail Type
Out and Back


Best Season
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
Date Hike completed
July 15, 2017


Solitude Details
Impressively, we were the only hikers on this trail, although we did have to share it with mountain bikers.


Difficulty Rating
difficulty detail
The elevation grade is gradual, which makes this a good choice for a moderate difficulty hike that still climbs 1100 feet.


Be Aware of
Quickly changing weather, High Altitude, mountain bikers

Hike up to a saddle with great views near Little Elden mountain near Flagstaff, Arizona.

There are multiple trails up and around the Mount Elden area. The Little Bear trail is notable for the gradual ascent up the side of Little Elden Mountain, as well as the wide views you'll enjoy on the hike up. From the parking area, follow the trail as it crosses FR556. After 0.3 miles, you'll reach the signed trail junction with the Little Elden trail (JCT_2R on the map). Turn right here. This section of the trail is shaded and you'll spot some Aspen among the pine trees. After 0.6 miles of walking on this level trail, you'll reach the signed junction with the Little Bear trail (JCT_1L on the map). Turn left here and start the gradual climbing. This area suffered a burn, so unfortunately there isn't much shade until you near the top of the saddle. However, one benefit of this is the excellent unobstructed views you'll enjoy of Flagstaff and Sunset crater. As a result of the gradual ascent, the mountain bikers really like this trail, so keep an eye out for them. You'll know you're nearing the junction with the Sunset trail when the forest (and the shade) returns to the trail. After 4.2 miles of total hiking, you'll reach the signed trail junction with the Sunset trail. This is our turn around point.


Swap Start/End
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