We packed a nice picnic lunch today and headed to Bear Canyon Lake. We expected it to be a lot like the other lakes we visited in the area, when we got there we found out otherwise. :-) The lake takes quite a hike to get to. We were also carrying a good sized picnic basket, camera and more. We made it about half way and decided we would see this one from a distance. We put our tablecloth over a huge fallen tree and enjoyed our sandwiches and fruit and the views. It was absolutely beautiful, but it was also really steep. Going down was not hard at all, but walking back up was a killer.
Bear Canyon Lake is located about 44 miles northeast of Payson, Arizona and 25 miles west of Heber-Overgaard in Mogollon Rim country. The lake is a narrow, canyon-bound lake with a thick forest that extends right to its shoreline. It has two access points that require parking and then a short hike to the shore. The northern point, the one we chose, leads to a parking lot and then you have to hike about a quarter-mile down a steep hill to the lake. The southern point also has a parking lot but the quarter-mile hike is not quite as steep. We were wishing we had chose this one. :-) The lake sits a 7,560 foot elevation.
We also saw a lot of bear warning signs and were hoping they didn’t like the smell of our sandwiches. :-) We all managed to have a great time and enjoyed the distant views of the lake. I will let the pictures tell the rest of the story, check back later for more from Arizona.