Needless to say, sightseeing is a favorite activity along the Rim and what better way to participate in this adventure then within the comforts of your car.
Self guided auto tour through prehistoric and historic sites along a 15.3-mile length of Forest Road 86 southwest of Heber. Pick up a pamphlet at the Rim Visitor Center or the Black Mesa Ranger Station, located at 2748 Hwy. 260, two miles east of Heber on the south side of the highway between Mileposts 307 and 308.
Highway 260 between the top of the Mogollon Rim near Woods Canyon Lake turnoff and Heber features an extensive stand of ponderosa pine and tremendous change in temperature compared to the Phoenix area. People flock to this area to get cool in the summer and play in snow in the winter.
The Woods Canyon Lake loop might be 58 miles long but it's long in scenic beauty, especially the vista opportunities. From Woods Canyon Lake take Forest Road 300, 13 miles to Forest Road 115, and proceed to Ohaco Lookout, where you'll take Forest Road 56; take Forest Road 56 to its junction with Forest Road 225 and proceed on Forest Road 225 to its junction with Forest Road 34; take Forest Road 34 to the junction with Forest Road 100 where you'll turn left; proceed on Forest Road 100 until it joins Forest Road 169, where you'll turn right; take Forest Road 169 until it joins Forest Road 300; turn left on Forest Road 300 and take it back to your starting point at Woods Canyon Lake.
From Forest Lakes Drive west on Hwy 260 to the Woods Canyon turnoff, turn right on to FR300; continue on FR 300 past Woods Canyon Lake; past FR321 for 17 miles to Hwy 87, where you'll turn right; follow Hwy 87 for 18 miles, past Clint's Well, to FR 95; follow FR95, FR96 to FR321 for a total of 19 miles to FR300 and return to Forest Lakes.
This scenic road follows the Mogollon Rim between AZ 260 and AZ 87 for 51 miles. Most of it is dirt, passable by cautiously driven cars. Allow three to four hours one way. Slow speeds are necessary because of hazardous washboard sections. Attractions include rim views, pretty forest scenes, wildlife sightings, and effects of the Dude Fire. The eastern section lies within the Rim Lake Recreation Area, where one must use designated campsites. Dispersed camping is allowed along the western part of the drive, which is in the Coconino National Forest.
The route generally has been in place for a century and remains the primary access to this part of central Arizona. The community of Young relies upon the route for conducting its daily business. It is the principal means of entry for visitors seeking to escape the urban environment and to enjoy breathtaking scenery, unique natural features, and interesting history.
15.2 miles and left on Control Road 64. Follow the Control Road to junction with Forest Road 29 (about 4.2 miles). Keep to the left when you come to the Tonto Village turnoff. Turn right on Forest Road 29. Forest Road 29 is a narrow dirt road and is not suited for low clearance vehicles past point 10. Self guided Auto Tour brochures are available at the Payson Ranger Station.
10 miles west on Hwy 260. Turn left. Scenic drive to rental cabins and great for viewing wildlife such as deer and elk at either sun up or sunset.
Remote and off the tourist track, Young is one of Arizona's last cow towns. To get here you must drive largely on unpaved roads. From the Mogollon Rim in the north, take AZ 260 to near Milepost 284, about 33 miles east of Payson, then turn south 24 miles on Forest Road 512; the first 20 miles are dirt road. From the south near Roosevelt Lake, take AZ 88 from Roosevelt or Globe to the junction with AZ 288, then turn north 47 miles; the last 34 miles are dirt. The roads to Young are best avoided after winter snows or heavy rains.
Four wheel drive to Weimer Point. Take FR99 north from Hwy 260. Go left onto FR170. Make another left at FR90, at .5 miles take the right fork, at 2.5 miles take the left. You'll pass through the eastern portion of the Slim Fire from 1987. After taking in the views backtrack back to FR170 and proceed north. Turn west (left) on FR504 and head toward Chevelon Crossing. You'll pass a small campground with ramadas. Then you'll turn left onto FR169 which will eventually link up with FR300 which you'll take back to Hwy 260.