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Mogollon Rim Vista Loop
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mini location map2013-05-26
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Mogollon Rim Vista LoopPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar May 26 2013
Hiking12.56 Miles 1,657 AEG
Hiking12.56 Miles   7 Hrs   5 Mns   2.45 mph
1,657 ft AEG   1 Hour   58 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
I PMed Kelly and said I realized it was a 3-day weekend so did she want to do something? We at first considered a camp or backpack but I PMed her again and said I realized it was a 3-day weekend :doh: which meant busy everywhere so a Sunday hike would be sufficient. We both came up with several ideas but finally settled on this one. It sure was a :pk: good choice.

We met up at Wendy's in FH and then headed up in the newly detailed and washed Tonto (hadn't been washed since Sept :-$ ). We arrived at the 260 TH, geared up and headed up. There is an initial climb that seems hard only because you don't get a chance to warm up but then it levels out a piece as you wander thru the forest before heading up and up again. This up, though longer, was a little easier cuz the legs and lungs had done a little work. The smell and feel of the forest with all it had to offer was quite nice; sort of off-set the up :sweat: . The trail was in pretty nice shape too.

It got a bit chilly on top so we both ended up putting on our long sleeve shirts. Once we got close to the road Kelly asked if we should try and find the sinkhole?; sounded good to me... and then it was should we do the whole Military Sinkhole trail since we still hadn't found the sinkhole?; sounded good to me.... and then it was should we hike on the General Crook Trail for awhile?(still hadn't found no stinkin' sinkhole); sounded good to me.

The Genl Crook is more or less an old road that can mesh right into the ground so we had to pay attention to the chevrons from time to time. We were happy to see part of what Bruce and Denny had been hiking. There was a road to our left (south) that stayed close to where we were hiking and Kelly had gpsJoe's track loaded so we stayed on course. We came upon a small neadow of yellow pine flowers :) so took pics of those before approaching the road that headed into Woods Canyon Lake. There was all sorts of signage here and that's where we discovered the road that ran parallel to the Crook was a closed fire road (it was a pretty nice road).

We decided to continue on the Genl Crook Trail. It was fairly well trod. We came upon a cairn and saw that the route veered to the southwest. We decided to exit here and head east across FR300 and to the northeast of Mogollon campground. Once again instead of taking the Rim Vista Trail which intersected with where we were walking, we headed east on what looks like could have been another old road at one time. (For awhile there it almost seemed like we were doing everything in our power to stay away from the view but I have spent much time with my mom and others sitting on the Rim.) Eventually we headed south to the edge of the Rim and then headed west.... confused yet :lol: .

It was about twenty to noon and I was getting a little hungry when Kelly suggested looking for a spot for lunch that wasn't too windy but had a view. We found an outcropping and though it was windy, the view was worth it :DANCE: . We basically snacked and rested for about 20 minutes I think. Once we started hiking back up on the Rim, the wind was hardly blowing and it got warm so we switched from our long-sleeve shirts. Soon we found a cairned route that looked like it followed an old road. From reading all the reports, I had not recalled any mention of picking up this cairned route (perhaps it's newly cairned?). Anyway, we were delighted as it took some of the guess work out of where to walk without wandering all over the place.

We passed by Santa tanning :oplz: , a small grove of aspen and some other cool trees, a meadow and then came out at FR9350. I briefly looked over my notes regarding the campground spot (Carr) to see what numbered spot someone had mentioned. Well we realized that had nothing really to do with this particular loop we were doing so we just headed west on the road. Off to our right, north we saw a cool stump and a meadow so we walked over there to take some pictures We were surprised that the campground wasn't full and wondered if the fire restriction had anything to do with that.

Soon we came upon the sign for the Drew Trailhead and down, down, down we went. Yep that's a little steep and rocky :yuck: but fortunately didn't last long. We came upon a cool drainage with a little cave and then later an area with cascading bear grass and then an area with these 3 cool dead but photographic trees where we could look back on what we thot was our lunch spot. In fact, we saw lots of 8) trees on this hike.

We got to the bottom to Highline Trail 31. It goes left and right. Don't go thru the gate but hang a left and head east. It was pretty wide open here and I hoped we would get to go thru the forest again. I soon got my wish and then the most amazing thing of all, LUPINE all over and I mean all over. We were quite impressed with this stance and how far up the landscape it went. Little did we know, this was just the appetizer. At this one cool stance, I decided I needed a break. My darn hip flexors start getting annoyed about the 9-10 mile mark and I decided I needed another snack so Bruce wouldn't worry ;) .

I almost plum forgot to mention the encounter with the elk that came barreling out of the forest and about hit Kelly. He made so much noise as he kept running. Guess Kelly and I looked pretty intimidating :lol: . After getting over the goosebumps and shock and awe of it all we continued on the trial to see more and more LUPINEand LOTS of it. We continued to be amazed. We also encoutered area of bedrock and pour overs. Essentially you really never get a chance to get bored on this hike. If there had been a waterfall or a running creek to cross, I would have given it a five for the day. This is a great trail condition-wise and the scenery is pretty varied for a forest type hike. What a great day we had :y: . We even got in some pine cone stomping despite my still injured pine cone foot. Thx Kelly. You're great fun to hike with! and I always appreciate your kind words of encouragement.

We finished off our day at one of my favorite Mexican restaurants, El Rancho. I've been going there for years and have never been disappointed so I hoped Kelly wouldn't be either. She enjoyed it as well.

Video 1 from TH, up Sinkhole, on Crook and 622 to our lunchspot -
Video 2 from our lunchspot, along Rim, down Drew, over Highline -
Named place
Named place
Promontory Butte
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Extreme
The lupine were out enmassse on the Highline 31 heading east from Drew Canyon. I think they have less than a week left as they were starting to fade.
For me, sometimes it's just as much about the journey as the destination.
Oh, and once in awhile, don't forget to look back at the trail you've traveled.
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