The Mogollon Rim in Arizona is an area that we have hiked, camped, and fished for many years and will continue to visit into the future. We enjoy the views from the Southern edge of Colorado Plateau. The Ponderosa pine forest surrounds you with great shade trees in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest.
If you are flying in at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport we suggest you put Woods Canyon Lake Recreation Area in your GPS. That will get you to the correct area. Note the road for the scenic drive is dirt, though graded. Consider that when renting a vehicle.
We like to stop in Payson to have a meal and pick up food supplies from the grocery stores.
Next, you can stop at the Rim Visitor Information Station. It is on the south side of Highway 260 approximately 32 miles east of Payson per the website.
If you only have a day to spend in the area then you can start on the scenic drive of the Rim. The science drive is about 2 hours across the top of the Rim. Remember that you might want to stop at lookouts or have a picnic.
If you have a few days then check out the following lakes for camping, hiking, and fishing. We have camped, hiked and fished at all 3 lakes many times and will continue to do so.
Woods Canyon Lake is a location that you will want to make reservations many months in advance. It has the most amenities and therefore fills up quickly. There is a fee for the campsites. For more information visit: https://www.recreation.gov/camping/campgrounds/232205
Bear Canyon Lake has dispersed camping. First come first served. For more information visit: https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/asnf/recreation/camping-cabins/recarea/?recid=44681&actid=34
Knoll Lake has camping sites and fees. For more information visit: https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/coconino/recarea/?recid=54920
Going Back to Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport
After you drive on the Rim road you will come out to AZ87. Then plug in Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport into your GPS and head back down.
The Mogollon Rim Arizona Scenic Drive
There have been times when we would travel the scenic drive in a day. Other times we camp. It depends on how much time we have.
Have you visited the Mogollon Rim in Arizona?