- Pine Trailhead to the Mogollon Rim
- 20.2 miles
Southern Trailhead: Pine Trailhead
- GPS Coordinates: 34.37432° N, 111.44310° W
Drive south of Pine on AZ 87 for 0.6 miles and turn left (east) to reach a large parking area and the trailhead.
Northern Trailhead: FR 300 Trailhead
- GPS Coordinates: 34.45368° N, 111.25088° W
From the intersection of AZ 87 and AZ 260 north of Pine, drive east 2.6 miles on AZ 87 then turn right (south) toward FR 300. Go 0.1 miles and turn left onto FR 300. Avoid the frequent side roads and drive 12 miles on FR 300 to a turnoff on the left (north) at a historical marker for the Battle of Big Dry Wash. This is where the AZT crosses FR 300. Turn left and follow a power line 0.3 mile to General Springs Cabin. The road curves right to a small parking area and the trailhead.
Trail Route Description
East from the Pine Trailhead the trail climbs two long, gentle switchbacks ending at an open area overlooking the eastern front of the Mazatzal Range. Working its way east along the Highline Trail (#31), it skirts the southern edge of Milk Ranch Point, passes a nice camping site at Red Rock Spring and crosses Webber Creek at the Geronimo Trailhead. Excellent creek-side camping locations are to the right, a few hundred yards south of the creek crossing. Continuing east, the trail crosses Bray Creek and then comes to the Washington Park Trailhead. Here the trail crosses a utility road, passes a trail register and drops to a steel bridge across the East Verde River, a small stream at this headwaters location. Across the bridge and left around a quick S-turn the AZT departs the Highline Trail for the Colonel Devin Trail (#290), marked by a sign on a very stout post. The trail continues north along the east stream bank through tall pine, alder and walnut trees, crosses a small puncheon bridge, another steel bridge and one more puncheon bridge before climbing through the rocks and joining the utility road. Near the base of the steep ascent to the Mogollon Rim the trail turns sharply right. A few hundred yards ahead at a switchback the faint Tunnel Trail (#390) departs the AZT. The AZT continues climbing the Mogollon Rim where the passage terminates at FR 300 near the Battle of Big Dry Wash historical marker.
- Spring, Summer and Fall
- Current weather forecast
Water may seasonally be found at Red Rock Spring and Pine Spring. It is usually found at Webber Creek, Bray Creek, North Sycamore Creek, and East Verde River. Check the online Arizona Trail Water Report for current information at https://aztrail.org/explore/water-sources/.
- All water along this passage should be purified prior to use.
- Over 17 miles of this passage follows the well-established Highline Trail in the Tonto National Forest. Designated as a National Recreation Trail in 1979, this historic trail was established in the late 1800’s to link various homesteads and ranches under the Mogollon Rim.
- North of Washington Park the trail passes the junction with the Tunnel Trail. The Tunnel Trail leads to what remains of the failed attempt to build a 3,100 foot tunnel through the Mogollon Rim for carrying ore from Globe to Flagstaff.
- For more on the Battle of Big Dry Wash, download the January 1931 Arizona Historical Review from http://hdl.handle.net/10150/623320 and see “The Apaches’ Last Stand” by Will C. Barnes, page 36.
- USGS Topographic Maps: Kehl Ridge and Dane Canyon.
- Earth Tracks – Mogollon Rim West map.
- Arizona Highways – Rim Guide Hiking map.
- Highline Trail brochure from Payson Ranger District – Tonto National Forest.
- Tonto National Forest map.
- BLM Information Center maps.
- Day Hikes & Trail Rides in Payson’s Rim Country by Roger and Ethel Freeman,
Gem Guides Book Co., Baldwin Park, CA., ISBN 1-889786-24-1.
For more information
- The Passage Steward
- Arizona Highways, 2039 W. Lewis Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85541 (800) 543-5432.
- Tonto National Forest, Payson Ranger District, 1009 E. Hwy 260, Payson, AZ 85541 (928) 474-7900.
- BLM Information Center (602) 417-9300.
Current Passage Info
Photos from the Arizona Trail Association’s Flickr galleries, for this specific passage. View the entire Flickr account.