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Rim Vista Loop Day Hike
Sitgreaves National Forest
August 5, 2017
by Ted Tenny
  GPS Map 
group
All together at Rim Top Trailhead. [photo by Ted]
front: Barbara, Funyung, April, John
back: Terry, HaoRong, Simon, Joe, Chuck, Joan, Janet, K.G., Rudy, Kari, Dorinda, Michael, Dottie

Eighteen enlightened Trailblazers set out from Rim Top Trailhead on a partly cloudy, delightfully cool morning. Recent rains had left puddles on the trail. But we followed the General Crook Trail and the Rim Lakes Vista Trail as best we could, taking detours around standing water or crossing the rivulets on stepping stones.

There were wildflowers, mushrooms, lizards, toads, and tadpoles to cheer us along.

The hikers organized into two groups: a Military Sinkhole group led by Ted and a Meadow Trail group led by Michael. The Meadow Trail group started first, so the groups would remain separate.

•  Military Sinkhole group, led by Ted:
Dorinda, Dottie, Funyung, Joan, John, Kari, K.G.

•  Meadow Trail group, led by Michael:
April, Barbara, Chuck, Janet, Joe, Rudy, Terry, HaoRong, Simon

Ted’s group encountered the first puddles on the historic General Crook Trail, marked by yellow chevrons tacked to trees. Then we turned on the rerouted trail, marked by white chevrons. We sort of followed the trail, where we could see the next chevron and could walk without getting our feet wet.

water
Standing water on the General Crook Trail.
trail
It seems mostly dry, over this way.
Colorful mushrooms along the way:
mushroom mushroom
mushroom mushroom
mushroom mushroom
rock
A logging truck broke this rock.

At the Military Sinkhole Trail we turned south. The Military Sinkhole features depression contours. It was used to water Army livestock. The trail goes around the eastern edge of the sinkhole before climbing up to cross the Rim Road, FR 300. Plenty of ferns.

tree
A big tree fell down in the Military Sinkhole.

There were lots of cars and people at the overlook. We stopped there for snacks and picture taking before heading east on the Rim Lakes Vista Trail. This trail goes right along the Mogollon Rim, with many grand overlooks.

group
John, Ted, Dottie, Kari, Joan, Funyung, K.G.  (Dorinda elsewhere)
snack
Snack break with a view.
cave
I see the cave.  Where’s the bear?
Wildflowers
red
Ipomopsis aggregata - Desert Trumpet
blue
Penstemon stenophyllus - Sonoran Beardtongue
yellow
Senecio lemmonii - Lemmon’s Ragwort
vetch
Lotus rigidus - Shrubby Deervetch
tree
... and I say you should go that-a-way.

After leaving the Rim the trail heads northeast. Part of it had become a logging road. When Ted was there in the fall, there were logs in piles as big as houses. The trail was gone.

tadpoles
Us tadpoles had better grow up fast, before the water dries out.
lizard
Horned toad is camouflaged to blend in and not be noticed.

Eventually we found the part of the Rim Lakes Vista Trail that was still there, and followed it back to Rim Top Trailhead.

No rain until we were back on 260 heading west toward Payson. We ate at El Rancho. Yum!

Thanks to Michael Humphrey for leading the Meadow Trail hikers!
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Arizona Trailblazers Hiking Club, Phoenix, Arizona
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updated August 18, 2017