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Buena Vista to the Mogollan Rim
2015: Switchbacks were added to sections of this trail. It no longer passes Dripping Springs.
Stats: Page stats are from the more popular bottom trailhead. Going up this trail is 2,800 feet of AEG. Going down this trail still nets 1000 feet AEG. The bottom of this trail is not only warmer it's more exposed.
There are several ways to savor this beautiful hike. The first is by far easier way, from Rte 87 (MP 279) and head south down the rim about 7.5 miles to the Pine TH. If you want to live on the edge and hike something a bit more difficult, then hike it from the Pine TH UP the rim, a 2800 ft elevation gain. Mark and I decided we wanted to take the challenging route so we left his vehicle at the northern terminus and took my car to the Pine TH in order to do a shuttle hike.
It was a beautiful morning with 45 degree temp when we left the Pine TH at 6:30 AM... a three quarter full moon hung out to our west as the rosy glow from the rising sun to the east. Colors splashed across the sky in all hues of purple, red and orange as the sun rose over the rim, then gave way to our perfect chalcedony blue sky. About 1/4 mile from leaving the Pine TH, we reached the intersection of the Highline Trail but continued on our quest up Pine Canyon. It is a well traveled and well blazed trail although we saw no other hikers today.
The terrain is steep and rocky as you make your way up the rim. But as you steadily climb you have awesome views of the valley below~~~Payson, the Mazatzal's to your south and west, Milk Ranch Point to your east. Magnificent views. The trail gains 2000 feet through some beautiful areas of maples, boxelders and gambel oaks which are just starting to change color with the season when we hiked it today. Passed the signs for Cinchhook and Stradling Canyons as we approached the crest of the Mogollan Rim but we weren't interested in any side trip~~~It took us 5.5 hours to climb this although we spent a good 1/2 hour resting on a ledge looking over the valley and had lunch.
This was a beautiful and challenging hike up the Mogollan Rim. The only casualty on this trip was my 35mm camera which was lost after the strap broke and it crashed to the rocks below. All my pictures were lost.
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This hike is listed as One-Way.
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