Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Show Low to The Mogollon Rim


Rainbow Lake, Show Low, AZ


On Memorial Day we drove about 80 miles from Alpine to Show Low, and spent the night at Lakeside Campground, a Forest Service campground right on Hwy 260. And I mean right on the highway. Some of the sites back right up to the road and nearby businesses, and 260 is quite a busy road. Since all the weekenders had gone, we had our pick of sites and were about as far off the road as you could get. Having said that, it was still rather noisy, but there was a laundromat a half mile and a Wal Mart and Home Depot just 3 miles down the road, so we spent the afternoon doing laundry and shopping.


This was another $6 (with the pass) campground, no hookups, but they have a dump and water. The Forest Service charges for the dump even if you stay there, so it cost us another $8 to dump on our way out yesterday.

We took a walk around the area, and although they say the park is on Rainbow Lake, it really isn’t. There is a parking area for fishermen behind the campground, but it appears most of the shoreline is private property with homes and cabins. We wouldn’t want to spend much time at this campground, but would stop here again for a night if passing through. It’s very green around here, with lawns of real grass, something we haven’t seen in a long time.

Rainbow Lake and some residents.



Unusual adornment on a roof.


Just after we dumped and were filling up with water, the water shut off. There was a leak somewhere in the campground, so Debbie was unable to dump her tanks. The camp host directed her to another park just a few miles away, so we went on to try and locate a dispersed campsite.

Yesterday we drove 70 miles to the Rim Lakes Recreation Area, along the Mogollon Rim off Hwy 260 about 30 miles east of Payson, AZ. There is a large parking lot at the Mogollon Rim Visitor Center across from the Rim Road, (Forest Road 300), so we pulled in there and unhooked the car. We first checked out FR 171, and did find a couple spots we could get into, but we really wanted to be closer to the rim (sorry, Boonie). When we got back Debbie had arrived, so we took the Subaru up the Rim Road to FR 9350, where we heard there were nice sites with rim views. There was hardly anyone there, and we found a lovely spot. It’s about 5 miles from the Visitor Center, 3 miles or so on a very bumpy dirt road, but can be driven by any size RV if you don’t mind a bit of jostling and dust. Some of the sites have rocky, rutted driveways to get into, but ours wasn’t too bad.


The Rim is our backyard for a week. There are plenty of hiking trails within walking distance, and it is so peaceful here. If Jim didn’t have an appointment in Phoenix next week, we would definitely stay the 14 day limit.




  1. Looks like a beautiful, peaceful location! Enjoy your time! Looking forward to pictures of your hikes.

    I read in your comment to Lisa that you had been in Durango last year. Since we arrived here Monday, I went back through your blogs from that visit. Thanks for info. We took the bike ride along the Animas River today. Beautiful trail. Hans and Lisa arrive tomorrow.

  2. I'm glad you camped near the has breath taking postcard views! (Sorry are sooooo in the minority, which doesn't make you "wrong," just out of touch with reality) Ha!
    Box Canyon Mark from Lovely Ouray, Colorado

  3. You do find the most beautiful locations. I should have been writing them all down so I'll know exactly where to camp when I get out there. What gorgeous views you have now. I love solitude.

  4. Now you've got us thinking about heading east instead of north! Any plans of going through Flag? Maureen

  5. Jim & Gayle,
    You guys are certainly doing a good job of it. Your rig is designed for camping in a campground with hookups, but you are still managing to avoid such places, many times.

    The Mogollon Rim is "designed" for mountain biking rather than hiking, but you are still managing to do a lot of hiking.

  6. Boonie, I do have remodeling plans to rip out the frig, AC, stove, plumbing, bed and install a bed of nails.


  7. ATVers, motorcyclists, and Jeep Durango guys might feel that you are already a "bed of nails" type person for hiking. Just think, movement without an engine, and without spending money!

    How would you explain to them that you're not some kind of weirdo ascetic for hiking?

  8. It definitely looks like my kind of campsite.