Departure Time: 7:30am Return Time: Around 7 PM Trail Rating: 1-3 Main Activity: Scenic Drive, Hiking Months Offered: (not during winter months) Meal: Pack Lunch / Optional Dinner Out
  • Overview
  • Trip Outline
  • Booking

Take a trip with Private Jeep Excursions to explore the majestic Mogollon Rim, Promontory Butte, Rim Lakes, and other historic attractions on the plateau. The Mogollon Rim is a geological feature 200 miles long cutting across the state of Arizona. During this scenic drive atop the rim we will stop at a number of overlook vista points to take in the expansive sights. Often seen are family of Elk grazing along the rim. The sunsets up on the rim are breathtaking! We will also explore one of the more remote rim lakes. At this elevation you will enjoy temperatures 20 to 30 degrees cooler than the Phoenix area.

Cabin Loop Trail

The Cabin Loop Trail is a 24 mile loop that links between the earliest fire guard cabin network in this area of the Mogollon Rim and has its roots in the beginning of the Forest Service era here. The Cabin Loop Trail links together the General Springs Cabin, Pinchot Cabin, and Buck Springs Fire Guard Station. The trails within the Cabin Loop were used and maintained by early Forest Rangers, ranchers and settlers. Livestock was driven up the Rim from the Tonto Basin and grazed during the summer up on the Rim. The Cabin Loop Trail passes through some of the most spectacular backcountry and meadows in Arizona.

Barbershop Canyon and Water Hike

Feeling adventurous? You can select a Water Hike option during the booking of this trip. The beautiful Barbershop Canyon gives us easy access to the pristine cliff side waters of East Clear Creek. We will be able to hike in and along the creek for miles if you wish with many areas opening to larger deeper swimming holes. The level of the water varies from ankle high, to knee and hip deep, to above your head in some areas. Crawdad hunting anyone? If you and your group wish to water hike this canyon I will work with you on obtaining the required gear listed below.

Water Hiking Gear Your Will Need:

    1. Water Shoes (with sturdy bottoms)
    2. Bathing Suit, Water Shirt (swim apparel)
    3. Dry Bag (to protect your belongings such as a cell phone or camera)
    4. Hiking Pole (for stability in the water or getting out and up to the shore line)
    5. Towel
    6. Change of clothes and dry shoes.

The rather unique name for this canyon and trail comes from a sheepherder who once lived in the area and was as good at clipping his fellow herders as he was at shearing sheep. Barbershop Canyon contains a wide variety of tree species, including maple, aspen and oak, scattered among the more typical Ponderosa Pine and Douglas fir. The high proportion of Oak and Maple trees makes this trail an especially colorful place in the fall. The canyon is home to plenty of wildlife to see at all seasons of the year. Watch for wild turkey, mule deer and elk. There are black bear in the area too, but they’re much harder to find.

Dick Hart Tank & Sheering Cabin

This secluded pond on the Mogollon Rim is called Dick Hart Tank. The adjacent cabin and shack are about 50 years old. Some of the nearby geographical locations are all named after the Dick Hart such as: Ridge, Draw, and Canyon.

Dick Hart ran livestock operation and a shearing shack. He was a sheep rancher who apparently held his own against the cattle outfits for this prime grazing land. Nearby Barbershop Canyon got its namesake from a barber who happened to work in one of Dick Hart’s sheep “shearing shacks” in that canyon. Many frontiersmen came from miles around for a shave and a trim. His name is lost to history but the memory of his little barbershop in the wilderness lives on. It is not known what became of Dick Hart. Legend says either the Hashknife Outfit and the Babbits forced him out of the area to run their cattle.

Moqui Lookout Tower

During our exploration of the Mogollon Rim we will visit the Moqui Lookout Tower. It is the tallest fire lookout in the Coconino National Forest at 83 feet tall. The tower sits at an elevation of 7,465 feet above sea level. Moqui Lookout was constructed in 1952 to replace the Aermotor Fire Tower which was built in 1930. After climbing 83 feet up the seven flights of stairs you reach the 14’x14′ enclosed observation deck with surrounding catwalk. The observation deck provides the Forest Rangers with a beautiful 360 degree unobstructed panoramic view of the surrounding forested lands near the C.C. Cragin (Blue Ridge) Reservoir and Dam.

Moqui Lookout Tower is open to the public between the hours of 8am to 4:30pm. The Forest Rangers welcome visitors. However, if there is a red flag flying from the tower you are not allowed to climb up the stairs. This is usually due to either bad weather or high wind conditions.

Exploring the Rim Lakes and Dam

There will be an opportunity to hike around one of the more secluded lakes up on the rim, the C.C. Cragin (Blue Ridge) Reservoir. We will also visit the very unique dam located here. Many species of birds and raptors such as Bald Eagles and various species of hawks, falcons, and herons are found in abundance around the lakes. Having a good set of binoculars for viewing wildlife is highly recommended.

Milk Ranch Point

Milk Ranch Point is one of the most beautiful and secluded areas of the Mogollon Rim. It is much less visited since a 4×4 is required to access this amazing peninsula region of the rim. Back in the 1880s, Rial Allen ran cattle along the East Verde River and operated a dairy up on Milk Ranch Point. This early settler was a founder of the Mogollon Rim town of Pine. His dairy farm produced cheese, butter and milk for the locals and crews working on the Atlantic & Pacific railroad. Rail Allen created a fort around his home in what would become the town of Pine. The Allen family left the area in 1891 and today there’s nary a trace of the dairy that helped sustain waves of hardy pioneers who came to establish communities in the area.

Promontory Butte

Promontory Butte at 7,914 foot elevation is one of the most spectacular overlooks atop the beautiful Mogollon Rim. It offers some of the best panoramic views of the Ponderosa Pine forest and valley below. If the road leading to this butte is open we will explore it!

Meal Times (Pack Lunch / Optional Dinner Out)

Prepare to eat lunch on the rim. Relax and enjoy your food at almost 8000 foot elevation. During our drive back, you will have a chance to eat dinner in the either of the towns of Strawberry, Pine, or in Payson if you desire before we head back home.

Months Offered

This trip is offered during all months other than during the winter. Snow conditions make traveling on the off-road portions of the Mogollon Rim trails too dangerous. Private Jeep Excursions offers other trips to Payson during the winter.

Forest Roads and Location Status

Certain side roads, lake access, and hiking trails on the Mogollon Rim are subject to closures due to road conditions caused by the weather (previous or current conditions). There are however so many wonderful places to stop and enjoy the expansive vistas of the Mogollon Rim. We check for current closures and plan each trip to the rim accordingly.

    • FR 300 – OPEN
    • Woods Canyon Lake – OPEN
    • Bear Canyon Lake – OPEN
    • Promontory Butte (FR 76 and 76B) – CLOSED
    • Myrtle Point – OPEN
    • Knoll Lake – OPEN
    • Blue Ridge Reservoir – OPEN
    • Chevelon Canyon Lake – OPEN
    • Cabin Loop Trail – OPEN

Mogollon Rim Day Trip

 

Itineraries

MEET

Time : 7:30 am

Departure

Meet in and Depart from Fountain Hills. (Hotel Pick-up Included)

Travel On-Road to Payson

Time : 9:00 am

Visit the Tonto Creek Fish Hatchery

We will make a brief visit to the Tonto Creek Fish Hatchery. It produces over 165,000 rainbow trout and 400,000 brook and cutthroat trout each year, plus 150,000 of Arizona's State Fish, the Apache Trout.

Mogollon Rim Visitor Center

Time : 10:00 am

Vista Point with Labeled Landmarks

Log-cabin style visitor's center open primarily during the summer season, visitors will find a responsive staff available to answer questions about the area, informative literature, and gifts and souvenirs relating to the forest, history, and geology of the Rim.

Woods Canyon Lake

Time : 11:00 am

View the Lake

We will make a brief visit to the popular Woods Canyon Lake. You do have the option to rent a boat from the marina if you desire. Motorized boats are limited availability.

Rim Vista Points

Begin Off-Road Travel

We will stop and walk around various beautiful rim overlook points to take in the breathtaking sights as we travel along the off-road portion of the Rim Road (FR 300).

Promontory Butte

(Often Closed)

We will try and visit the Promontory Butte. It offers a spectacular view of the rim and forest below. The road in is rough and often closed.

Cabin Loop Trail

Visit Cabins and Meadows

We will travel along a 24 mile loop and visit various historic cabins with beautiful meadows. The cabins make for a perfect spot to "chillax" and eat our lunch. The Cabin Loop is one of the most beautiful forest trails in Arizona.

Barbershop Canyon & Water Hike

Explore the Canyon (optional Water Hike)

At the top of the Cabin Loop we will stop and explore the beautiful Barbershop Canyon. We will Water Hike at this location if you select this as an option during booking.

Moqui Lookout Tower

Time : 3:30 pm

Climb Up the Fire Tower

We will visit and climb up the tallest fire lookout tower at 83 feet! The 360 degree panoramic views are stunning! We must arrive before 4:30 pm or they will be closed to visitors.

C.C. Cragin (Blue Ridge) Reservoir

Visit Lake and Dam

We will drive along and stop to explore this stunning reservoir and its very unique dam.

Dinner Time

(OPTIONAL)

During our drive back, you will have a chance to eat dinner in Strawberry, Pine, or Payson before we head back home.

RETURN HOME

Time : 7:00 pm

Drive Home

Drive on-road to return back to Fountain Hills or your hotel.
  • Trip Name
    Departure Date
    Group (Min-Max)
    Pricing
     
  • Trip Name Rim Scenic Drive Tour
    Departure Date
    1 - 4 Pax
     
    Available Seats: 4

    Group ( 1 - 4 Pax ) $385.00 $0.00 /Group

    - +
  • Trip Name Water Hike Barbershop Canyon
    Departure Date
    1 - 4 Pax
     
    Available Seats: 4

    Group ( 1 - 4 Pax ) $385.00 $0.00 /Group

    - +
  • Trip Name Explore New Trails Tour
    Departure Date
    1 - 4 Pax
     
    Available Seats: 4

    Group ( 1 - 4 Pax ) $385.00 $0.00 /Group

    - +