Just north of Payson you will find the majestic Mogollon Rim. This 2,000-foot-high, rugged escarpment stretches 200 miles across central Arizona into New Mexico. While sightseeing is the favored pastime along the Rim, it also boasts a world class system of hiking, mountain biking, horseback trails, and seven picturesque forest lakes for boating and fishing. During the winter months it also provides back-country skiing for the truly adventurous. The Mogollon Rim near Payson has seven picturesque forest lakes and excellent camping opportunities in both established campgrounds and dispersed camping in both the Coconino National Forest and the Apache Sitgreaves National Forest.
It shows up on maps as little more than a jagged ink line making its way across Arizona. One of the state’s defining natural features, this giant, slanting escarpment of volcanic and sedimentary rock and pine has amazed and hypnotized travelers for centuries. Dropping as much as 2,000 feet in some areas, the Mogollon Rim provides some of the most far-reaching scenery in Arizona. Views stretch from its rocky precipice to Four Peaks of the Mazatzals northeast of Phoenix.
Just below the Mogollon Rim, streams and springs which make up the region’s natural drainage also cascade off the 2,000-foot escarpment of the Mogollon Rim and have created a wealth of trout streams both on the plateau above and in the forest below. In the summer months the most accessible areas of these streams are heavily stocked with catchable rainbow trout from the Tonto and Canyon fish hatcheries operated by the Arizona Game and Fish Department. These waters also contain a healthy population of wild rainbow and brown trout.