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Hike #9 – Rim Trail

Rim Trail
Rim Trail

Location: From the Pinetop Post Office on SR 260 (map):

  • Just before you reach the sign that you are entering Show Low, move to the center lane and turn left into a dirt road with a sign for the Rim Trail.
  • The large concrete sign stating that you are entering Pinetop-Lakeside that is seen when coming southeast is at this turn. Park anywhere out of the way.

Trail: The first 0.3 miles of the trail is paved asphalt. The balance is a combination of dirt road and dirt trail.

Trailhead and Directions: The trailhead is to the southeast of the parking area by the bulletin board with map. Walk the paved trail towards the Mogollon Rim. You will cross a major dirt road (Rim Road FR 300) before you swing west on the pavement. Continue west along the rim where the pavement ends. Follow one of many dirt trails a little farther west and then swing right to the north on the obvious trails. You will cross the Rim Road. Follow the trail through the woods to the north and east, crossing the tiny canal a few times over wooden bridges until you come back to the parking area.

Access: Hiking, bicycles, handicap accessible on the pavement, no motor vehicles allowed.

Distance: About a one mile loop.

Difficulty: Easy, all on the level.

Features: The trail is popular with tourists, young mothers with strollers, dog walkers, and older folks. It provides a spectacular view to the south from the crest of the Mogollon Rim that forms the south ridge of the White Mountains and serves in part as the northern boundary of the White Mountain Apache Indian Reservation.

The usual pine-juniper-oak forest birds are present. Spotted Towhees, swallows, warblers, chickadees, nuthatches, thrushes, and juncos are present in summer. You might see hawks and vultures from the rim. There are some interpretive nature signs along the way.

The trees are Ponderosa and Twoneedle Pinyon Pine, Alligator and Oneseed Juniper, several scrub oaks possibly Emory Oak and many larger Gambel Oaks. The brush is mostly Pointleaf Manzanita and some Fendler’s Ceanothus. Flowers depend on season but you might find Arizona Cudweed, Wright’s Birdbeak, Birdbill Dayflower, Goldenrod, Coyote Willow, Showy Goldeneye, White Prairie Aster, Ragleaf Bahia, Flat-top Sedge, Wright’s Thimblehead, Horseweed, and many more.

Connections: The dirt road running through the area is part of FR 300, the Rim Road, and you can hike it both east and west for some distance before running into development.

Rim Trail
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