Rim Lakes Vista Trail to General Crook Trail Loop is a 4.1 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Forest Lakes, AZ that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
Directions from Heber: Follow State Highway 260 west for 26 miles. The main trailhead is located just west of State Highway 260 along Forest Road 300, immediately across from the Rim Visitor Center.
Don't do the loop! The rim lakes vista trail is beautiful. But the general crook trail and the military sinkhole nature trail were very disappointing.
On the suggestion of a review I read (on another website) we took the loop counter clockwise starting with the general crook trail. This is more of a dirt road than a trail. It was hot and the was no shade to be has anywhere. The first thing I noticed was that the forest was really thin and ask the tree were marked. Not long later I noticed that trees...a lot of trees...had been cut down. We saw a bulldozer and a tree-cutter parked on the side of the trail. Soon after we came across two huge piles of dead, cut down trees.
I go on hikes to get in touch with nature, and this is not what I want to see.
1.8 miles later we took a left onto military sink hole nature trail. At first it wasn't much better. We were still seeing signs of deforestation but as we went on we came across trees that appeared to have fallen naturally. A couple were blocking the trail and we had to climb over them. As the trail descended into the "sinkhole" it started to feel more like a hike. The road (fr 300) came into view as we ascended out of the "hole" and then he came to the truly beautiful part of the hike.
We crossed fr 300 to the first of many vistas. Lovely mountain views that seemed to go on forever!!! There is a parking lot here and there were quite a few people hanging out, but this is the only place where we came across anyone. We stopped for a water break and to take pictures. The rest of the hike took twice as long as it should have because I was constantly stopping to take pictures. The views were amazing! There was a storm in the distance just over the rim. It made the temperature drop about 10 degrees and made the view even more amazing!
The last mile of the hike we were walking away from the rim and there wasn't much to see but we met a cute little horned lizard.
I'm really glad we got the unpleasant part of this loop over with first. If we were to do it again I would forget about the loop and do the rim lakes vista trail out-and-back.
Great views. A little sloppy at the start but nice overall. Used road for return trip.
Nice easy hike, with great views
Good short, easy trail with views of the Mogollon Rim.