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Drew Trail #291

Drew trail
Hiker looks at the Mogollon rim from the Drew trail
Enjoying the views along the Drew trail
Horned toad on the Drew trail
Views from the Drew trail
Elevation plot: Drew trail
map: Drew trail


How to Get There
This hike is located near Payson, AZ.

From the Phoenix area, take HWY 87 North towards Payson. Once in Payson, take HWY 260 east toward the town of Christopher Creek, AZ (about 22 miles from Payson). The town is a little off the HWY-260, so follow the signs for the turn off. Once in the town of Christopher Creek, turn left on the signed FR 284. Take this dirt road (high clearance vehicle required) about 1.5 miles to the parking area at the end of the road.
Christopher Creek
Mogollon Rim

Hike details

6.00 [Miles] Total
Hike Distance- Details
6.0 miles to the rim road and back again.
3.00 [Hours]
It took us about three hours with a 30 minute stop at the top for lunch.
Elevation Change
3,000 Total gain/loss [Feet]
Elevation Gain
1,500 Total Elevation Gain [Feet]
Hike Trail Type
Out and Back


Season Details
fall, summer, spring. Spring is nice because the creek is running very well from the snow melt. Fall would be nice to see the leaves changing color.
Date Hike completed
August 22, 2009


Solitude Details
Excellent. Although the parking lot may seem crowded, most people hang out at Christopher Creek. Once on the trail, we only saw two other hikers.


Difficulty Rating
difficulty detail
30 yr old Recommendation: Hiking through a forest to great views along the Mogollon rim make for an enjoyable hike. This is a Moderate difficulty hike. Considering how popular the Payson area trails are, the solitude we found on this hike was a treat.


Be Aware of
Some route finding, watch out for mountain bikes

Hike the Drew trail on the Mogollon rim, Arizona.

The Drew trail was a hidden gem for us. We've hiked the nearby See Canyon trail and enjoyed it, but we liked this one even more. Both the Highline trail and the Drew trail can entertain mountain bikers on occasion, so be aware.

There is some route finding at the start in order to make sure you are on the Highline trail instead of the See Canyon trail. The See Canyon trail goes generally North as it follows along the east side of Christopher creek. The Highline trail goes generally East from here. The trailhead is well signed from the north side of the parking area. After about 100 yards, you'll need to cross Christopher Creek. To get to Highline trail (and later the Drew trail) you will need to rock hop across the creek here to the East side of the creek. Right away after crossing the creek, head right at the signed junction to stay on the Highline trail.

To get to the Drew trail, you'll hike through the pine forest about two miles to the signed trail junction (JCT on the map). This section alternates between good shade and a more open meadow, the result of some recent burns. The trail is easy to follow all the way to the junction with the Drew trail. After going through a opening in a fence, there will be a sign pointing to the rim. This is the Drew trail. From here, you'll gain elevation more quickly and begin to enjoy the periodic views of the surrounding forest as you near the top of the Mogollon rim. Your hard work will pay off after about a mile of hiking, as you emerge onto the Mogollon rim at FR 9350. There are some good views if you walk along the rim, as well as some lovely places to sit down and enjoy lunch with a view.

After you've finished your lunch and taken a few pictures, return the way you came.


Swap Start/End
Adding markers to the map ...