The Mogollon Rim Arizona Scenic Drive

The Mogollon Rim Arizona Scenic Drive Forever Sabbatical

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

Getting There

Can you find the squirrel?

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.

Visitor Information

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:

Bear Canyon Lake has dispersed camping. First come first served. For more information visit:

Knoll Lake has camping sites and fees. For more information visit:

Going Back to Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport

Can you see the toad?

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?

34 thoughts on “The Mogollon Rim Arizona Scenic Drive
  1. I love anywhere with a lake but I am not much of a camper! These views would change my mind though. Thanks for the tips!

  2. Always looking for scenic drives and scenic hikes…will definitely check this out when we visit Arizona next time.

  3. We have been to Arizona but never to this area. I love learning about new places to travel to. I will save this post for future visits for sure!

  4. Years ago, when our kids were young, we camped at Woods Canyon Lake each Fall with cub scouts. A very nice camping location.

  5. This is such a beautiful area! I will put this on my “to visit” list for when I get to go to Arizona. I want to go!

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