Warm sun on my face. Cool breeze occasionally whips through my hair. Red rock glows all around me. I can close my eyes and I am standing back at the base of Bear Mountain in Sedona, AZ. If you’re like me, this is as close to heaven as you can get. As rewarding as this hike was, let me back up a week prior before we start the climb. I had a friend coming to visit from Connecticut and she loves Sedona just as much as I do, so a hike was a given. The difficulty of the hike…let’s just say she let me pick that part.

Bear Mountain Trail in Sedona, Arizona
Bear Mountain Trail in Sedona, Arizona

And there you have it…Bear Mountain! My method of choosing out of the one hundred plus options in Sedona? Highest rated difficulty, view, and overall rating. From what I recall, it was a 4.7/5. After some of the hikes I’ve done that didn’t phase me; and I wanted to see as much of the red rock as I could without the crowds that usually come with such a beautiful place. So we started the climb. We all climbed happily (though our of breath) until about half way up the mountain. This is where somewhat clear path turned into a sort of rock climbing. While this didn’t bother me, poor Rover was faking it until he made it. By the time we neared the last half mile or so up, the poor pup had it.

Hiking with dog in Sedona, Arizona
Proof that he was in fact enjoying himself!

At this point, my friend and I decided that it was time to head back down the mountain. Fortunately for us, the few hikers we passed pointed out the optimal viewing spot and advised that the summit didn’t match it. So we ventured back down knowing we had just enough water to get to the car. With about 3/4 of a mile to go, Rover decided that he was in fact done. No amount of water, treats, or praise could get this guy going. Any shaded spot we came across and he was ready to nap. Eventually there was no other choice but to carry him down the mountain at any part of the trail that was not flat and rock free. What did that result in? Two women covered in red dust and dehydrated after giving up all of the water to the dog. What did I learn? Pups aren’t built for 4.7/5 difficulty hikes!

Bear Mountain - Sedona, Arizona
Amazing views from the trail

For all of you worried dog parents, don’t worry. A good nap on the drive home and some cold water is all he needed to get that boxer energy back up! For my friend and I, a day of recovery followed for our arm and leg muscles! As you can see though, the view and the serenity that came with it was well worth the adventure and the climb. Be sure to check out some other Bear Mountain reviews. (I just wouldn’t recommend listening to them about the dog friendly part!)

Keep on Adventuring!

Caroline

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