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
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.
PHOTO ABOVE RIGHT
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.