Arizona Hiking Gallery
Rim Lakes Vista Loop Hike
Sitgreaves National Forest, AZ
June 22, 2008
Gallery contains 34 photos
Gallery last updated: 7/6/2008

This hike is about an 8 mile loop up on the Mogollon Rim in the Sitgreaves National Forest. The hike started from the trailhead near the intersection of Highway 260 and Forest Road 300 and used the General George Crook National Recreation Trail and the Rim Lakes Vista Trail to form a flat counterclockwise loop. The General Crook Trail travels though open Ponderosa forest and the Rim Lakes Vista Trail travels on the edge of the Mogollon Rim with wide sweeping views below.

Rim Lakes Vista Loop Hike: Image 1
Fendler Rose (Rosa fendleri) was spotted growing along the General Crook Trail.

Rim Lakes Vista Loop Hike: Image 2
Closeup of Fendler Rose (Rosa fendleri).

Rim Lakes Vista Loop Hike: Image 3
Spider eating its prey on a Fendler Rose.

Rim Lakes Vista Loop Hike: Image 4
As this ponderosa grew over the years it has lifted up a huge rock slab several feet off the forest floor.

Rim Lakes Vista Loop Hike: Image 5
Fern frond.

Rim Lakes Vista Loop Hike: Image 6
Closeup of a leaflet or pinna of the fern.

Rim Lakes Vista Loop Hike: Image 7
Among the ferns.

Rim Lakes Vista Loop Hike: Image 8
A group of ferns among the ponderosa pines along the General Crook Trail.

Rim Lakes Vista Loop Hike: Image 9
Ferns in the ponderosa forest.

Rim Lakes Vista Loop Hike: Image 10
Among the ferns.

Rim Lakes Vista Loop Hike: Image 11
We join up with the Rim Lakes Vista Trail for the hike back along the edge Mogollon Rim.

Rim Lakes Vista Loop Hike: Image 12
Closeup of a bright red blossom of an Arizona Thistle (Cirsium arizonicum).

Rim Lakes Vista Loop Hike: Image 13
Unlike most thistles the flower heads of the Arizona Thistle (Cirsium arizonicum) are narrow and pointed sideways.

Rim Lakes Vista Loop Hike: Image 14
A dead log lies among the boulders at the edge of the Mogollon Rim.

Rim Lakes Vista Loop Hike: Image 15
Forests and hills stretch out to the horizon in this view from the Rim Lakes Vista Trail.

Rim Lakes Vista Loop Hike: Image 16
A juniper clings to the rocks at the edge of the Mogollon Rim.

Rim Lakes Vista Loop Hike: Image 17
Interesting overhanging rock along the cliffs atop the Mogollon Rim.

Rim Lakes Vista Loop Hike: Image 18
The cliff is formed of layers of lichen covered rock.

Rim Lakes Vista Loop Hike: Image 19
Interesting overhanging and layered rocks along the cliffs atop the Mogollon Rim.

Rim Lakes Vista Loop Hike: Image 20
A view along the cliffs of the Mogollon Rim from the Rim Lakes Vista Trail.

Rim Lakes Vista Loop Hike: Image 21
A balanced rock atop a layered pedestal at the edge of the cliff. Highway 260 winds its way eastward in the background.

Rim Lakes Vista Loop Hike: Image 22
A closer view of the balanced rock on a layered pedestal.

Rim Lakes Vista Loop Hike: Image 23
A Ponderosa Pine (Pinus ponderosa) stands tall at the very edge of the Mogollon Rim.

Rim Lakes Vista Loop Hike: Image 24
A westerly view along the cliffs.

Rim Lakes Vista Loop Hike: Image 25
Interesting patterns in a rock slab atop the rim.

Rim Lakes Vista Loop Hike: Image 26
Scarlet Penstemon or Golden-Beard Penstemon (Penstemon barbatus) along the Rim Lakes Vista Trail.

Rim Lakes Vista Loop Hike: Image 27
Scarlet Penstemon or Golden-Beard Penstemon (Penstemon barbatus) along the Rim Lakes Vista Trail.

Rim Lakes Vista Loop Hike: Image 28
A view to the southwest from the rocky cliffs of the Mogollon Rim.

Rim Lakes Vista Loop Hike: Image 29
This old Alligator Juniper (Juniperus deppeana) stands watch over the Mogollon Rim.

Rim Lakes Vista Loop Hike: Image 30
Although somewhat pruned back the trunk of this Alligator Juniper still has a lot of character.

Rim Lakes Vista Loop Hike: Image 31
The Rim Lakes Vista Trail crossed a clearing that was thick with Common Mullein (Verbascum thapsus), most with last season's seed stalks.

Rim Lakes Vista Loop Hike: Image 32
We took a short side trip down into Military Sinkhole where we found a small group of Rocky Mountain Iris (Iris missouriensis).

Rim Lakes Vista Loop Hike: Image 33
One of the last views from the rim. From here the Rim Lakes Vista Trail slowly backs away from the rim and back to the trailhead.

Rim Lakes Vista Loop Hike: Image 34
New Mexico Locust (Robinia neomexicana) grows in tall dense thickets on the eastern part of the Rim Lakes Vista Trail. According to Anne Epple in her book A Field Guide to the Plants of Arizona, the flowers were eaten raw by Native Americans, however the seeds, bark and roots are poisonous to humans.

All images Copyright ©2008 Terry Wright. All rights reserved.