the dyrt
Group
Tent Sites
Fires Allowed
Pets Allowed
Water Unknown
About Bear Canyon Campground
As of June 14, 2016 Forest Roads 89 and 89A - the main access roads to Bear Canyon Lake are OPEN to recreational use and camping but are still impacted by forest restoration activity. Visitors are urged to be mindful of heavy equipment working in the area and to avoid areas where crews are working. Forest Road 89B is closed due to an active forest restoration project. For your own safety, please do not drive around road barricades to enter closed areas. Visitors found to be within the closed area will be cited. This closure does not affect access to the lake however, dispersed camping opportunities along Forest Road 89B are not available for the remainder of the 2016 season. Camping along Forest Roads 84, 84A, and 208 is available, but may be impacted by forest restoration activity from 2016 - 2019. A beautiful, narrow, canyon-bound lake, Bear Canyon Lake is one of several in a series of fishing lakes built by Arizona Game and Fish Department. Despite being several miles down a dirt road and having few amenities, it draws many visitors. The partially developed campground which is set among the mixed conifer, oak and aspen, has only limited amenities. Bear Canyon Lake is a "Pack it in - Pack it out" area. There is NO GARBAGE SERVICE. Please be good stewards of the land and leave the area better than how you found it. For purposes of fire restrictions, this campground is considered to be an 'undeveloped' campground. No fires will be permitted when fire restrictions are in effect for the Apache-Sitgreaves Forest. At an elevation of 7,560, Bear Canyon Lake consists of 60 surface acres with a maximum depth of 50 feet. Because of its depth, this lake has no water quality problems. The Arizona Department of Game and Fish stocks it with catchable-sized rainbow trout about six times each year. Arizona fishing regulations apply. Please refer to the current year fishing regulations brochure produced by the Arizona Game and Fish Department for further details on licensing requirements, daily bag limits, and other restrictions. Boat motors are restricted to electric motors only.
Access
Drive In, Walk In
Operator
National Forest
Features
+ More
Alcohol Allowed
Fires Allowed
Pets Allowed
Location
Bear Canyon Campground is located in Arizona
Latitude
34.402 N
Longitude
-111.013 W
Get Directions
Directions
Just off Bear Canyon Lake, approximately 14 miles northwest of State Highway 260 on Forest Road 89. Forest Road 89 is accessed via Forest Road 300 which is located directly across from the Rim Visitor Information Station or 25 miles west of Heber, Arizona.
5 Reviews of Bear Canyon Campground
Just don't go on a holiday weekend

If you go during the winter months (that is, if roads are open), you may likely be the only one there! The lake is not very easily accessible for camping but it's an easy hike down for fishing, photography, and simply enjoying nature. Keep your eyes peeled, you may spot a bald eagle. The actual campground is usually crowded with no privacy. Perhaps suitable for a large group. Restrooms, never mind, just bring a shovel and use the woods; it's cleaner. Just don't be disgusting and leave it all out. Leave No Trace, PLEASE. Also, you'll need to carry out all your trash. On a holiday weekend (Labor Day especially) there are so many visitors but otherwise only a few venture out that way. Your best bet for solitude is to drive 2-4 miles passed the campground which will be on your right and find a good dispersed spot. Just bring ribbon or rope to mark a tree from the road in case you need to travel down to Woods Canyon Lake store or out to a Rim viewpoint for cell service.

Pease full and the water is beautiful and clear

It’s beautiful and the weather and water is amazing

Large Campsites

Nice large campsites, great hiking. Bathrooms were okay, not cleaned over long weekend.

Bear Canyon

Really nice area. Vault toilets on the 89A loop that are smelly (expected) and full of black widows (beware!). Several groups didn't obey the signs posted about the limit of people at the camp grounds on the loop (10 people, not 10 familys) It was a little noisy at night due to one of the very large groups in the small camp grounds screaming and yelling at each other for a couple of hours.

Other than that it was gorgeous. The hike down to the lake from the west side was pretty tough. I think we walked about half to 3/4s of a mile down and around the lake to find a spot to fish.

First to Review
A lot of large groups and no easy access to the lake

We arrived midday Saturday and there were a lot of large groups there. Most of the campsites closer to the lake entrance were designed to have multiple tents. There was loud music and gunshots (even though there is no target shooting allowed) well past midnight. The camping spots closer to the lake did not have a whole lot of tree coverage but we're fairly well spaced out. If you go take an extra bag to pick up existing trash we found a lot of bottles, cans, forgotten pieces of tents, broken tools, Etc. The closest Camp spots to the lake are still about a quarter mile away. The dirt road will take you to the Canyons Edge but you have to hike down on a pretty rapid descent Trail. I watched three other groups come through and heard at least two people fall sliding on the dirt. Then again we went through with a dog and a toddler and none of us fell.