When one thinks of Arizona they often visualize the magnificent grandeur of the Grand Canyon or the picturesque Monument Valley and it's touring sandstone buttes that make up the Colorado Plateau, the jaw-dropping meteor creator just outside of Flagstaff or the vast Sonoran Desert. However, visitors and residents alike often miss one of the most awe-inspiring gems of this great State. Nestled beneath the towering precipice that is the Mogollon Rim sits a handful of quaint towns and villages, more commonly known as Rim Country.
A short 90 minute drive from the eastern portion of the Valley of the Sun along Highway 87 or more commonly known as the "Beeline Highway", you find yourself leaving the hot desert. The cactus is soon replaced by pine trees and then you see it...off in the distance like something out of a movie... "THE RIM" majestically rises in the background, jagged, raw and amazingly beautiful. At this point, you realize you have arrived and your adventure is just beginning!
Much of the land south of the Mogollon Rim lies 4,000 to 5,000 feet above sea level, with this gigantic escarpment rising to about 8,000 ft. Extensive Ponderosa pine forests are found both on the slopes of the Rim and on the plateau north of it. In fact, The Rim Country is surrounded by the largest stand of Ponderosa pine forests in the world.
Adventure seekers of all types enjoy year-round activities like hunting, hiking, camping, fishing, mountain biking, site seeing, birding to name just a few. It also has access to many cold water lakes on top of the rim that are teaming with rainbow and brown trout.
The Mogollon Rim (pronounced Muggy-Own) is a major floristic and faunal boundary, with species characteristic of the Rocky Mountains living on the top of the plateau, and species native to the Mexican Sierra Madre Occidental on the slopes below and in the Madrean sky islands. The ecosystem is like none other, creating weather patterns of its own, and providing habitats for large herds of huge elk, deer, mountain lions, wild pigs and many more rare wildlife.
At the foot of this breathtaking spectacle, one will find the quaint communities of Payson, Pine, Strawberry, Christopher Creek, Kohl's Ranch, and Star Valley. Each of these Towns are steeped in Arizona's rich ranching and western past. The Town of Payson plays host to the Annual World's Oldest Continuous Rodeo, a celebration that is over 130 years old.
These picturesque mountain towns and villages are surrounded by amazing vistas that showcase the vast National Forest that encompasses them. Offering four distinct seasons, Rim Country is beautiful year round. The best time for snow in the high country is in early January thru February. With mild summers and absolutely perfect fall weather, Arizona's Rim Country is the perfect place for all of those fun outdoor family adventures.
The Local hub of Rim Country is Payson. With a population of over 15,000, it is the largest community in Rim Country. Home to hundreds of annual events like the Mogollon Monster Mudda, The Rodeo, and the Old Time Fiddlin' Arizona State Championship, Payson is a fun community with a lot going on.
To truly experience Rim Country you need to visit the quaint mountain communities of Pine and Strawberry. Highway 87 meanders North for about 15 minutes before you come to the small yet bustling community of Pine. Trails, local restaurants and breathtaking views of the Rim make this area like nothing else in Arizona.
Traveling east from Payson, Highway 260 winds through the pine tree covered mountains along the base of the Rim for about 30 miles. Travelers will pass by Camp Tontozona, the home to ASU Football Summer training and Kohl's Ranch. At 6000' Christopher Creek pops on to the radar and then the access to Hells Gate wilderness and the very small community of Young, AZ comes in to view. Finally, you begin to climbing the face of the Rim itself, topping out at 8000' feet near Forest Lakes. Here atop the Rim are seven sparkling, clearwater lakes, each with its own unique character and ambiance, and each worth a trip to explore.
Scattered throughout the landscape are many streams, campgrounds, trails, cabins, homes, ranches, lodges, and business opportunities for those seeking to tap into the "Adventure Lifestyle".
With something for everyone, Arizona's Rim Country offers visitors and residents a respite from life's chores and stresses. If this is the lifestyle that you seek we would love to introduce you to your potential new Home.
This article produced by Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Advantage Realty all rights reserved.