The Mogollon Rim Road

Payson, Arizona

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The Mogollon (pronounced “muggy-own”) Rim is a 200-mile-long escarpment that cuts across the middle of Arizona, separating the lower desert country from the ponderosa pine and cedar forests of the upper elevations, and the scorching desert climate from the cooler, temperate zones. This “backbone of Arizona” forms the southern edge of the Colorado Plateau that extends to the north and east into Utah and New Mexico and is the result of a fault line that uplifted approximately 15 to 20 million years ago. It is named after Juan Ignacio Flores Mogollon, who was the governor of New Mexico from 1712 to 1715. Subsequent volcanic activity has deposited lava over the plateau and parts of the rim. Every summer, thousands of people from Phoenix and the valley escape to the cooler climes above the rim. Special Attractions: Trail follows part of the historic route of the General George Crook Trail; Spectacular views of the rocky Mogollon Rim and the panoramic views to the south; Excellent, cool country camping opportunities; Access to many backcountry vehicle and hiking trails. This trail is graded dirt but suitable for a normal passenger vehicle. It usually has gentle grades, is fairly wide, and has very shallow water crossings (if any).

The Mogollon Rim Road Professional Review and Guide

"The Mogollon (pronounced “muggy-own”) Rim is a 200-mile-long escarpment that cuts across the middle of Arizona, separating the lower desert country from the ponderosa pine and cedar forests of the upper elevations, and the scorching desert climate from the cooler, temperate zones. This “backbone of Arizona” forms the southern edge of the Colorado Plateau that extends to the north and east into Utah and New Mexico and is the result of a fault line that uplifted approximately 15 to 20 million years ago.

It is named after Juan Ignacio Flores Mogollon, who was the governor of New Mexico from 1712 to 1715. Subsequent volcanic activity has deposited lava over the plateau and parts of the rim. Every summer, thousands of people from Phoenix and the valley escape to the cooler climes above the rim. Special Attractions: Trail follows part of the historic route of the General George Crook Trail; Spectacular views of the rocky Mogollon Rim and the panoramic views to the south; Excellent, cool country camping opportunities; Access to many backcountry vehicle and hiking trails. This trail is graded dirt but suitable for a normal passenger vehicle. It usually has gentle grades, is fairly wide, and has very shallow water crossings (if any)."

Activity Type: Off-Highway Drives
Nearby City: Payson
Distance: 41.3
Trail Type: Shuttle
Difficulty: Easy
Duration: 3 hours
Season: April to October
Trailhead Elevation: 7,200 feet
Top Elevation: 7,900 feet
Local Contacts: Coconino National Forest, Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest
Local Maps: USGS Pine, Kehl Ridge, Dane Canyon, Knoll Lake, Promontory Butte, Woods Canyon, Payson, Show Low; BLM Show Low; and others
Driving Directions: Directions to The Mogollon Rim Road

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May 2018