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Rim Vista Loop Day Hike
Mogollon Rim
June 29, 2019
by Ted Tenny
Ted’s   GPS Map 
Bill’s    GPS Map 
Trailblazers at the Military Sinkhole Trailhead. [photo by Lin]
front:  Gabrielle, Ted, Bill, Heather, Mimi, Jeanne, Li, Michelle, Bettye, Tom, Robert
back: Michael, Joe, John, Scott, Terry Chuck, Debbie, Chris, Mark, Jim, Becky

The Rim Vista Loop was my first hike with the Motorola Hiking Club, led by club founders Tom and Jeannie Van Lew in 1999. I’ve been back many times since then, and have seen floods, logging, a new road and communications tower, and the trail re-routed around them.

All right, John, you can take a picture. [photo by Tom]

Jeanne and Chuck walked northward with me, down into the Military Sinkhole. General George Crook used the sinkhole to water Army livestock 150 years ago.

General George Crook used the sinkhole to water Army livestock.
Where the tall ferns grow.
More depression contours north of the Military Sinkhole.
Jeanne and Chuck are great hiking companions!

Sinkholes are formed when the soil dissolves and the ground sinks after a storm. They are shown on topographic maps as depression contours. There’s a second set of depression contours on the trail, north of the Military Sinkhole.

The historic General Crook Trail is marked with yellow chevrons tacked to some of the trees, and the re-routed General Crook Trail is marked with white chevrons. “There’s lots of them where you don’t need them,” I remarked as we hiked the western part of the trail, which is well-defined. But once we crossed the road, we sometimes couldn’t see the next marked tree.

pink pink
Hibiscus denudatus - Paleface
Sea creatures?  I don’t think so.
Clouds are rolling in.

The trail follows the fence line between FR 300 and the dirt road west from Rim Top Trailhead. Strangely, it is marked at the south end but not at the north end. When we crossed FR 300 we were on the Rim Lakes Vista Trail.

A couple years ago they were logging. Then they built the Communications Tower and the road leading to it. Then they re-routed the trail to bypass them.

The new trail doesn’t take you over the edge.
“No trail to the Communications Tower,” I say.
Onobrychis vicifolia - Sainfoin
We deserve a place in the sun!

Folks on the 6-mile hike and 9-mile hike started catching up with us as we approached the Military Sinkhole Trailhead. The 6-mile hikers were done, but the 9-mile hikers still had 3 miles to go.

What a great view!
Chuck and Jeanne explore one of the overlooks.
Engineering 101: where are the bridge supports?
Our longer-distance companions take a snack break.

Jeanne, Chuck, and I had a nice lunch at El Rancho. On our way out, a lady told us the Beeline Highway was closed because of a multiple-car wreck. Police cars heading south as we came in gave her credibility.

So we decided to go home by way of Camp Verde, longer but not closed (ha!). I agreed to drop Chuck off at his house. But Loop 101 was closed at the 51 and restricted to one lane getting there. Major slowdown.

I dropped Chuck off at his house and Jeanne at Target Center. Finally got home (east Mesa) after 6:30.

Ted Tenny  

→   More pictures, by Li
→   More pictures, by Li
→   More pictures, by Lin
→   More pictures, by John
→   More pictures, by Tom

Supplemental Report
by Michael Humphrey

The 6 and 9 mile hikes are the same until the very end. The whole group takes off along the rim to the west. We will loop around on the General Crook trail to get back to the rim.

The first part of this trail gives everyone many lookout points over the rim, where you can see the Verde Valley beyond. There are assorted lizards roaming about. Red thistles bloom along the trail. The trail continues along the rim and we stop at some of the lookouts. Some trees have been bent over by the winds that blow up and down the rim.

The General Crook trail and the campground escape road cross many times, so half the time you are on the road and the other half you are on a trail. You just have to pick up where the chevrons leave the road. This trail goes though pine forest and meadows and so it is sometimes hard to find the next chevron. If in doubt, go to the road. It will get you to the trail.

We now wind back to the rim and many more lookout points. All the groups have lunch at our starting point, before the 9 mile group starts the long downhill to the 260 Trailhead. The 4½ and 6 mile groups go off to Payson for a meal, or back home to Phoenix.

This trail is the old road/Highline Trail that went to the top before the 260 was put in. You can hear the 260 traffic for most of the way down. At about 2/3 of the way down, the old path was cut up by the new 260, so we go northwest to get away from the road. Everyone makes it to 260 Trailhead, where we left a car. This trail is mostly steeply downhill, with some short uphill sections. Off we go to a meal in Payson.

Trailblazers start westward from the Military Sinkhole Trailhead. [photo by Lin]
6 and 9-mile hikers on the Mogollon Rim. [photo by Bill]
front:  Lin, Jeanne, Bill, Mark, Jim, Mimi
back: Chris, Debbie, Tom, Li, Heather, Scott, Joe, Michael, Chuck, Michelle, John, Terry, Gabrielle, Mark
This is my home. [photo by John]
Cirsium arizonicum - Arizona Thistle. [photo by John]
The western part of the Rim Lakes Vista Trail is paved. [photo by Li]
“This is the way,“ says Michael. [photo by Tom]
Bent, but not broken. [photo by Li]
Michael leads us eastward along the road. [photo by Lin]
Hmmm, this seems like the right way. [photo by Lin]
Yes, I can see a chevron on a tree. [photo by Tom]
Many fine overlooks on the Rim Lakes Vista Trail. [photo by Bill]
Let’s enjoy the view. [photo by Bill]
Snack break before we get down off the Rim. [photo by Li]
The trail gets steep on the way down. [photo by John]
Made it to 260 Trailhead. [photo by John]
A fine meal after the hike. [photo by Tom]
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Arizona Trailblazers Hiking Club, Phoenix, Arizona
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updated August 11, 2019