Meadow Trail Loop; Mogollon Rim, October 21, 2016 GPS Map

By leaving home while it was still dark, I got to watch daybreak light up the Mazatzal Mountains. But the sun didn’t shine on me until I got well past Payson. Started hiking the Meadow Trail at 7:15 in the morning. Chilly, but the walking kept me warm.

The Meadow Trail is paved. Trees along the General Crook Trail have white chevrons tacked to them and ribbons wrapped around them, in some places, anyway. If you can’t see any, keep going in the same general direction and remember that the trail is always close to the road. The General Crook Trail is more popular east of the Military Sinkhole Trail than west, so it’s easier to follow.

I could have walked along the fence line and bypassed Rim Top Trailhead. But I didn’t, because I wanted today’s hike to be the same as last time. The Rim Lakes Vista Trail was well worn and well marked, until I got to the logging operation. They’ve cut down thousands of trees, left logs in house-sized piles, and left tire tracks everywhere. I was able to follow the trail for a while, but then a big log had fallen across the trail. On the other side were branches and tire tracks, but no hint of a trail.

Hmmm. The sun is in the east, at my back, so I must be going west. Forest Road 300 is nearby. So if I keep walking this direction I should arrive at the Rim Campground. It has a connector trail south to the Rim Lakes Vista Trail.

Didn’t bother to turn on my GPS, since I had recorded this hike before. So the GPS Map doesn’t include my wandering.

The Rim Campground was shut down for the season, but sure enough it was there, up ahead. I followed the connector trail south. Although the junction is unmarked, I know what the Rim Lakes Vista Trail looks like. Soon I was walking west on the Rim Lakes Vista Trail.

The day was pleasant, though I could have done without logging trucks kicking up dust in my face. Autumn leaves were out, and even a few flowers. Didn’t see any large animals except for homo sapiens, at least 20.

Autumn color along the Meadow Trail.
Leaves change color by stages. The tick knows.
Red, yellow, and orange are the most popular colors.
Achillea millefolium - Western Yarrow
Arida arizonica - Arid Tansyaster
Verbascum thapsus - Common Mullein
Prickly pears growing on the rock have a magnificent view.
Logging sure kicks up a lot of dust.
This tree was cut down very recently. Sap is still flowing.
The same leaf has every shade of color.
Remember, I’ve got horns and you don’t.
Let’s do the Twist.
All right now, who did this?
Colorful leaves brighten the Rim overlooks.
The hike ends in a blaze of glory.

  More Hike Pictures updated August 14, 2018