Rim Road 40

5 Star Route

The Mogollon Rim is an escarpment that cuts across the northern half of Arizona, extending approximately 200 miles, starting in northern Yavapai County (near Prescott) and running eastward, ending near the border with New Mexico.[3] This ride focuses on just a short portion of the rim north and just a bit east of Phoenix by about 2 hours. It provides stunning vista views of the Tonto National Forest, including the Four Peaks just east of Phoenix.

The Mogollon Rim (pronounced muggy-own) is a massive escarpment marking the southwestern edge of the Colorado Plateau. It’s named after Don Juan Ignacio Flores Mogollon, the Spanish governor of New Mexico, from 1712 to 1715. The escarpment rises to 7,700 feet in some locations with much of the land south of the rim lying around 4000 and 5000 feet. The rim was formed by erosion and faulting and is comprised mostly of limestone and sandstone. A few vast canyons have been carved into the feature, with the most notable being Fossil Creek Canyon and Pine Canyon. [AZ Camp Guide]

An escarpment is a steep slope or long cliff that forms as a result of faulting or erosion and separates two relatively level areas having different elevations. [Wikipedia]

I had never been to the rim before, and I was blown away by the beauty and sheer vastness of the vistas.[micro-video]

The continuous beauty of this ride makes it a 5-Star Route. The toughest part of the route development process was identifying an appropriate turnaround point. I used a distinct crevice near the road for the turnaround point, where the views are huge. **Click to Read More

Adventure / Gravel Route

Out & Back: 39 miles / 3700 ft gain
– Surface: 100% gravel
eBike Friendly: Yes
– Location: ~ 1 hour 30 minutes east of Prescott, Arizona
– Published: June 2020

Technical Difficulty & Risk [what this means …]

Moderate. The route is remote, the entrance being about 10 miles from the nearest small town (Strawberry), and 15 miles to the nearest gas station (Pine). Cell service is hit or miss along the rim, with long sections of no service. Navigation is a cinch as you stay on the same road the entire time; it’s difficult to make a wrong turn. The road can be somewhat rough due to several washboard sections in combination with the elevation, but overall this is a route of moderate difficulty, I would say.

When we like to ride this …

I rode this route in early June, and the weather was perfect – 60 degrees when we started at almost 9 am and high 70s when we finished around 1 pm, getting into the hottest part of the day. This route should be good to ride from spring through fall.

The Start

AZ-87 Highway and the Rim Road intersection (room for parking – see pic).
Lat / Long: 34.454877, -111.396459

Food / Water



Wahoo / Garmin Direct Download
Cue Sheet / GPX file / TCX file


Brown = gravel / dirt road

For help with GPS files, the RideWithGPs mapping app and to learn how to download our routes for free, see the “Using Our Rides” page.

Ridden and Reviewed by …

JoshV / Team Dirty Freehub

I was born and raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan but now call the Valley of the Sun home. When I’m not riding, I enjoy reading, golf, camping, and spending time with family and friends. Always looking towards the next adventure and exploring more of the Southwest!

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