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Name: Rim Road Author's Rating:
Author: Matt Marine Avg. User Rating: Not rated yet
Type: 4WD Difficulty: (maintained dirt road)
Time: 3 - 4 hours Region: NE Arizona
Length: 22.5 miles (one way) Elevation gain/loss/change: +2295 / -1891 ft / -404 ft (one way)
Type: Through trail Avg Elevation: 7600 ft
Best time to go: summer, fall, spring Fees: NA
Fitness rating: Low Educational Merit: Medium
Danger/fear rating: Low to medium Scenic Beauty: High
Hours of Operation: NA Last updated: September, 2005
Short Description: A dirt road that skirts the edge of the Mogollon Rim that's got awesome scenery, great camping and tons of places to explore
Geocaches:Tons of cool geocaches around. Here's just a few. Tadpole View; Traveling Truck; CACHE Cow
References / Contact Information: Coconino National Forest; General Springs Cabin;
Points of interest: Mogollon Rim, General Springs Cabin, Battle of Big Dry Wash, Potato Lake, Milk Ranch Point.
Special Considerations: People who afraid of heights may have issues on this adventure.
How to get there: The trailhead is about 2.5 miles east of Hwy 260 on Hwy 87 north of Payson. Click here for directions.

Trail Description

This is an extremely scenic dirt road that winds its way along the Mogollon (pronounced mow-ge-on) rim. The Mogollon Rim thrusts thousands of feet above the the plateau below. It offers spectacular views into the basin below. In most conditions, it's 2WD passable by passenger cars. Mud and snow can change this to 4WD. There are a bunch of places to dry camp and camping grounds in the area (though on long weekends these fill up early).

General Information and History

From the Coconino National Forest website:

One of the most striking geologic features in Arizona is the Mogollon Rim. This steep escarpment, measured in thousands of feet and hundreds of miles, begins just across the border in New Mexico and stretches diagonally two thirds of the way across Arizona. As such, it forms the southern edge of the Colorado Plateau and stands as one of the most impressive overlooks in the Grand Canyon State. That precipitous drop-off is the star of this scenic drive, part of which traces the rim's edge across the Coconino. In so doing, it follows another feature of interest, the General Crook Trail which the famous Indian fighter blazed to his stronghold at Fort Apache. When you're not on the rim, you'll still find much to see along this drive, as it winds through a forest well populated with wildlife and gives you a taste of canyon country in scenic East Clear Creek and Barbershop canyons.

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The Trail

At Waypoint 001 (the intersection of Hwy 87 and the Rim Road), head south at the sign for Rim Road. Almost immediately, take a left to stay on the Rim Road. Going straight here will take you down to Milk Ranch Point (and nice place to explore).

After 1.25 miles you'll reach Waypoint 002. Keep going straight to stay on the Rim Road. A right here will take you to Baker Butte. It's also a nice short side trip with a few dry camping spots. A high clearance vehicle is required.

3.5 miles from Waypoint 001, you'll come to a major intersection. Straight continues down the Rim Road. To the right takes you to Milk Ranch Point and Dickerson Flat, while a left leads to Potato Lake (see yellow trail on map).

Both places are great for exploring. Dickerson Flat is a nice open meadow that I believe was once a landing strip for small airplanes. It's absolutely gorgeous in the spring and the kids will love watching all the butterflies in the area. You can also drive out to Milk Ranch Point and explore some of the trails in the area (some of these may required 4WD).

Potato lake is another place to get out of the vehicle and explore. The "lake" is more like a large, muddy pond, but it's fun to walk around. We saw a great horned owl in one of the trees last time we were there. One word of caution if you have dogs who like the water. It can be VERY muddy around the lake. Our dogs had to wade through foot deep mud to get to the water and it took all our water in our camper to clean them off when they were done.

At Waypoint 003 continue heading east the Rim Road, keeping on Rim Road as you pass Waypoint 004, 005 and 006. Waypoint 007 (approximately 8 miles after Waypoint 003) leads to General Springs Cabin. This is an interesting cabin and worth the small detour.

This area has some nice trees to picnic under and some trails to go off and explore and hike.

The rest of the Rim Road is similar to the first, with lots of places to explore to the north and views to the south. Keep on the Rim Road until you get to Waypoint 013. From here, you can continue straight and head to Heber or Show Low or return the way you came.

Be safe and have fun!

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