4.3 miles round trip | ½ day hike candidate: Yes
About: I have unresolved business here. As you hike a good while on a gravely trail, you then start to enter the “foresty” area where cedars start populating the hike like a Christmas Tree farm. The scenery is getting beautiful and I know there should be a really good payoff, given the relatively wet season that year recently experienced. Along the way, I pass a deer. I am able to get pics within 10 feet of it. It’s cautious but less feral than one of my house cats. Everything is going great and the hike has been quite lovely as you ascend into the Chisos. But then, as hikers start to pass from the opposite direction, they state, “there’s a bear up there”. I’ve seen bears on hikes before, no big deal. Black bears are not very aggressive and tend to keep a good distance. We proceed. Next group of hikers heading down warn us of a bear on the trail. …I keep proceeding, while my wife started to verbally protest. Another set of hikers pass and say they turned around a cedar and a bear was right there in front of them. Ok… I am not really scared of black bears, but I am with my daughter and don’t want to “surprise” a bear, so this is the time to be “bear smart” and we turn around… I’ll be back for you soon, Pine Canyon.
Cons: That initial gravel path is a bit of an annoying trek