What is "Rim Country"? The rim runs for approximately 200 miles and stands over 7,000 ft. high. It is basically a "step" created by nature to take one from the lowlands of the desert to the high country. Its name is actually the Mogollon Rim, named after
Native Americans. The town of Payson lies in the central area of the rim at an elevation of about 5,000 feet.
The rim area contains over 3 million acres of pines, making it the largest Ponderosa Pine forest in the world.
Old Rim Road (forest route 300) skirts the edge of the rim and runs a distance of over 40 miles, reaching a height of
8,074 feet at Baker Butte. Except for 3 miles on the east end, the road is dirt/gravel. This part of the road can become slippery and dangerous when wet.
There are numerous lakes along the rim, conveniently stocked with fish. Several campgrounds and cabins provide
lodging for those seeking pine scented, cool, clean air in the high country.
To visit the lakes and take in fabulous views off the rim, follow state route 260 east out of Payson. You will travel through
Star Valley, Kohl's Ranch, and Christopher Creek. Take a left onto Forest Road #300. The road is paved for 3 miles and leads to Woods Canyon Lake, as well as fabulous views
from the edge of the rim. Enjoy hikes ranging from easy strolls to strenuous climbs. Solitude and quiet, away from the stresses of life, bring
peace to one's soul.
Stop at the visitor's center, located at the intersection of Hwy 260 and FR 300, for maps an information about camping.
The visitor's center is handicap accessible, with an accessible restroom.
The scent of pines and the feel of cool, clean air lure valley visitors as well as out of state travelers.
With the largest Ponderosa Pine forest in the world, rim country
offers numerous choices for camping, which are designated as developed, semi-developed or back-country. Rental cabins are also available in the area.
Reservations can be made for many campgrounds, though not all are included in the system. Click the links below for more information.
Due to snow in winter, road conditions at this time of year
must be checked before a trip. The north rim campground is only accessible by vehicle from May 15 to October 15, and resides at 8,200 feet.
The towns of Pine & Strawberry, Payson, Star Valley, Little Green Valley, Kohl's Ranch and Christopher Creek are within the area. Arizona's oldest schoolhouse still stands in the town of
Payson hosts events throughout the year, such as the June Bug Blues Festival, July fireworks show and much more.
The Rim Country Museum, located at
700 East Green Valley Parkway in Payson, contains historical photos and artifacts. Shoofly Village Ruins, located 5 miles NE of Payson, contains the remains of a 80 room housing structure that was occupied between 1000 and 1250 AD.
The Tonto Natural Bridge State Park is close by and definitely worth seeing.
Also see: Rim Road for our photos and review of this very scenic drive.