Departure Time: 7:30am Return Time: Around 7 PM Trail Rating: 1-3 Main Activity: Scenic Drive, Hiking Months Offered: (not during winter months) Park Pass Required: No 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 Trail

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.

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.

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 and Lakes Tour

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

Explore the Canyon

At the top of the Cabin Loop we will stop and explore the beautiful Barbershop Canyon.

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
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    Group (Min-Max)
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  • Trip Name 1 to 4 People
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    1 - 4 Pax
     
    Available Seats: 4

    Group ( 1 - 4 Pax ) $385.00 /Group

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