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Explore / back road travel

Mogollon Rim Rd
FR #300

Back Road Travel Arizona

2 Cool Lizards travel guide

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Rim country lies in the "higher country", 75 miles NE of Phoenix. Rim Road is actually Forest Road 300. It runs along the edge of the Mogollon Rim, overlooking the ponderosa pine forest below. General Crook Trail Loop consists of FR (Forest Road) 300 along the rim, highway 87 up to Happy Jack Info Center, FR 138, FR 95, FR 96, and FR 321 down to join up again with FR 300.

For a good map of this, go to: fs.usda. gov: Rim Road/General Crook Trail Loop

Woods Lake Arizona For those without a fear of heights. Skirt the edge of the great Mogollon Rim, towering 2,000 feet above the pine forest below. Visit sites of several famous battles of the old west (such as Battle of Big Dry Wash). General Crook's trail runs near Rim Road. Grave sites of pioneers dot the forest. Evidence of the 1990 Dude fire provides a clear understanding of the devastation nature can unleash (photo below center ). Experience wildlife and the magnificent forest that Rim Road provides.

We traveled from west to east along FR 300. We did not take the entire General Crook Trail Loop; we only traveled Rim Road - FR 300. We averaged 20 MPH and made the trip in 5 hours (with several stops). Allow 6-7 hours. Do not attempt this drive in wet conditions. The road is well maintained, but be aware of side ditches that have been created to handle water run-off.

To take the route we took, drive north on Hwy 87 from Strawberry. Turn right (east) onto FR 300. The road sneaks in and out of the forest as it wanders back and forth from the cliff edge. The forest floor was covered with a beautiful carpet of ferns on the day we made this drive (July - photo below left).

Fees are required for staying in campgrounds. Camping is permitted outside of campgrounds within 300 feet of the road; permits are not required.

The Mogollon Rim runs for approximately 200 miles and stands over 7,000 ft. high, towering over the largest Ponderosa Pine forest in the world. Rim Road (forest road 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. A high clearance vehicle is recommended for FR 300; several side roads require a high clearance vehicle. We made the trip in a Hyundai Sonata on a clear, dry day; however weather can change quickly. Monsoon rains (July and August) or snow can turn the road into a muddy challenge.

In several areas the road is mere feet from the edge of the cliff. Drive slowly and carefully.

The west end of Rim Road is in the Coconino National Forest; the east side lies in the Sitgreaves National Forest. Parts of FR 300 pass through the Tonto National Forest, which lies to the south of the rim.

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.

Interested in seeing the Mogollon Rim area, but not quite ready for this drive? Not a problem. You can experience the rim from a paved road with view points and a paved, wheelchair accessible trail on the east end.

Go to: Mogollon Rim for our fully illustrated review of the Mogollon Rim.

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 Strawberry. 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.

The lake shown in the photo above is Woods Canyon Lake. It can be reached by Woods Canyon Road, and is toward the east end of Rim Road - FR 300. Crook Campground and Spillway Campground are located near Woods Canyon Lake.

ferns along Rim Road
Ferns On Rim Road
Dude Fire Mogollon Rim
Dude Fire Damage
Rim Road Forest Road 300 Mogollon Rim
Rim Road - FR 300


From the Phoenix area, take hwy 87 north to Payson. To get to the WEST END of Rim Road, continue on 260/87 NW from Payson, up through Pine and Strawberry. At the point where 87 and 260 split, go right (east) on 87. Rim road will be a right turn off of Hwy 87.

To get to the EAST end of Rim Road, take 260 NE out of Payson. Rim Road (FR 300) intersects with 260; go left on Rim Road - FR 300.

Go to the first website listed below for a very good, detailed map of the entire Rim Road/General Crook Trail Loop.


Rim Road - General Crook Trail Loop: USDA Forest Service

USDA site: Tonto National Forest Make reservations for national park recreation activities.

accessible travel Accessibility

Mogollon Rim accessible trail The Mogollon Rim area can be reached by automobile, on good highways. Beautitul scenery can be seen from the car on the east end of FR #300. The Vista Trail is paved and wheelchair accessible (photo at right). Handicap parking is available.

A private, handicap accessible restroom is located on the east end of FR 300 (near where it meets hwy 260), on the north side of the road. There is also a wheelchair accessible restroom located just outside the Visitor's Center. The visitor's center is on Hwy 260, where 260 meets FR 300.

The Visitor's Center itself is wheelchair accessible.

travel with children Children
As you can see from the photos, small children must not be allowed to run free along the rim edge. There are no guard rails and the drop is over 2,000 feet. The rim lakes are stocked by the the Arizona fish and game department, so bring your pole and fishing license. The forests and lakes along the rim offer many places to explore. Boat rentals are available at Woods Canyon Lake.

A nearby safe area to play, 32 acre Green Valley park in Payson offers 3 lakes, play areas, 17 acres of turf and 4 miles of walking trails. Fishing with a license is also available at the Payson lakes.
travel with pets Pets
For your pet's safety, use a leash at all times. A pet could easily tumble over the side of the cliff.

Leashed pets are allowed on the forest trails unless otherwise posted. Clean up after your pets. Follow safety precautions regarding your pet. Bring plenty of water, allow ample rest, watch for signs of exhaustion, hunger, dehydration etc.

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