Mogollon Plateau

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The Mogollon Plateau or Mogollon Mesa ( /mʌɡɪˈjn/ or /mɡəˈjn/ ) [1] is a pine-covered southern plateau section of the larger Colorado Plateau in east-central Arizona, United States. [2] The southern boundary of the plateau is the Mogollon Rim. The Mogollon Plateau is 7,000–8,000 feet (2,100–2,400 m) high. The plateau lends its name to the Mogollon tribe, part of the Cochise-Mogollan peoples who inhabited this and nearby areas from 5,000 to 2,500 years ago. Their descendants are believed to include the Anasazi.

Pine genus of plants

A pine is any conifer in the genus Pinus of the family Pinaceae. Pinus is the sole genus in the subfamily Pinoideae. The Plant List compiled by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and Missouri Botanical Garden accepts 126 species names of pines as current, together with 35 unresolved species and many more synonyms.

Plateau An area of a highland, usually of relatively flat terrain

In geology and physical geography, a plateau, also called a high plain or a tableland, is an area of a highland, usually consisting of relatively flat terrain, that is raised significantly above the surrounding area, often with one or more sides with steep slopes. Plateaus can be formed by a number of processes, including upwelling of volcanic magma, extrusion of lava, and erosion by water and glaciers. Plateaus are classified according to their surrounding environment as intermontane, piedmont, or continental.

Colorado Plateau plateau in the southwestern United States

The Colorado Plateau, also known as the Colorado Plateau Province, is a physiographic and desert region of the Intermontane Plateaus, roughly centered on the Four Corners region of the southwestern United States. This province covers an area of 336, 700 km2 (130,000 mi2) within western Colorado, northwestern New Mexico, southern and eastern Utah, and northern Arizona. About 90% of the area is drained by the Colorado River and its main tributaries: the Green, San Juan, and Little Colorado. Most of the remainder of the plateau is drained by the Rio Grande and its tributaries.



At the south and southwest of the plateau, bordering the Mogollon Rim numerous lakes occur. [3] At the east near Show Low, Arizona, is Little Mormon Lake, Whipple Lake, Long Lake, and Fool Hollow Lake. At the western plateau region, are Soldier Lake, Tremaine Lake, Soldier Annex Lake, and Stoneman Lake further west. Just south is Blue Ridge Reservoir on East Clear Creek. Eastwards, just west of the center of the plateau, and southwards, adjacent the Rim are: Knoll Lake, Bear Canyon Lake, Woods Canyon Lake, Willow Springs Lake, and Black Canyon Lake; just north of this lake group, on Chevelon Creek (Chevelon Canyon), is Chevelon Canyon Lake. Numerous washes, or creeks trend north on the plateau from the Mogollon Rim; at the west they trend more northeast, towards the Painted Desert region.

Mogollon Rim mountain range

The Mogollon Rim is a topographical and geological feature cutting across the U.S. state of Arizona. It extends approximately 200 miles (320 km), starting in northern Yavapai County and running eastward, ending near the border with New Mexico. It forms the southern edge of the Colorado Plateau in Arizona.

Show Low, Arizona City in Arizona, United States

Show Low is a city in Navajo County, Arizona, United States. It lies on the Mogollon Rim in east central Arizona, at an elevation of 6,345 feet. The city was established in 1870 and incorporated in 1953. According to the 2010 census, the population of the city was 10,660.

Whipple Lake is a lake in Clearwater County, Minnesota, in the United States.

Wilderness areas

Three wilderness areas also trend westwards from the west-(west-southwest) area of the Mogollon Plateau. The southern one, Fossil Springs Wilderness, is more closely associated with the Mogollon Rim. The two north of it, and also running due-westwards in parallel creeks to Fossil Creek of the Fossil Springs Wilderness, are the West Clear Creek Wilderness, and the Wet Beaver Wilderness.

Fossil Springs Wilderness

Fossil Springs Wilderness is an 11,550-acre wilderness area within the Coconino National Forest in the U.S. state of Arizona. It is at the bottom of a steep canyon at the edge of the Colorado Plateau, just south of the Mogollon Rim. Here, water emerges at the surface at the rate of about 2,700 cubic feet per minute. The perennial water supply supports one of the most diverse riparian ecosystems in the state, with more than 30 species of trees set among native desert shrub. It also creates a haven for abundant wildlife, including elk, deer, javelina, coyote, skunk, racoon, ring-tailed cat, fox, mountain lion, black bear and more than 100 species of birds.

West Clear Creek Wilderness 15,238-acre (6,167 ha) wilderness area in the U.S. state of Arizona

The West Clear Creek Wilderness is a 15,238-acre wilderness area in the U.S. state of Arizona. West Clear Creek is formed by the junction of Willow Creek and Clover Creek in the Mogollon Rim, which is part of the Colorado Plateau; the Mogollon Rim is the major part of the Arizona transition zone at the southwest of the Colorado Plateau of Utah-Colorado, Arizona-New Mexico. Located east of Camp Verde, the area is part of Coconino National Forest. Common activities in West Clear Creek are swimming, camping, backpacking, hunting, fishing, and hiking. A variety of plants and animals can be found year-round, along with extremely cold water.

Wet Beaver Wilderness a wilderness area located in the Coconino National Forest

Wet Beaver Wilderness is a 6,155-acre wilderness area located in the Coconino National Forest in the U.S. state of Arizona.

See also

Intermontane Plateaus physiographic division of the United States

The Intermontane Plateaus of the Western United States is one of eight U.S. Physiographic regions (divisions) of the physical geography of the contiguous United States. The region is composed of intermontane plateaus and mountain ranges. It is subdivided into physiographic provinces, which are each subdivided into physiographic sections.

Mogollon culture ethnic group

Mogollon culture is an archaeological culture of Native American peoples from Southern New Mexico and Arizona, Northern Sonora and Chihuahua, and Western Texas, a region known as Oasisamerica.

Sitgreaves National Forest was established by the U.S. Forest Service in Arizona on July 1, 1908 with 749,084 acres (3,031.44 km2) from portions of Black Mesa and Tonto National Forests. In 1974 entire forest was administratively combined with Apache National Forest to create Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests. The Sitgreaves National Forest is located in the southern parts of Navajo, Coconino, and Apache counties. It had an area of 818,749 acres (3,313.4 km²) as of 30 September 2008. There are local ranger district offices in Lakeside and Overgaard.

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North Central Arizona is a geographical region of Arizona. It is in the Transition Zone between the Basin and Range Province and the Colorado Plateau, and has some of the most rugged and scenic landscapes in Arizona.

Coconino National Forest protected area in Arizona, USA

The Coconino National Forest is a 1.856-million acre United States National Forest located in northern Arizona in the vicinity of Flagstaff. Originally established in 1898 as the "San Francisco Mountains National Forest Reserve", the area was designated a U.S. National Forest in 1908 when the San Francisco Mountains National Forest Reserve was merged with lands from other surrounding forest reserves to create the Coconino National Forest. Today, the Coconino National Forest contains diverse landscapes, including deserts, ponderosa pine forests, flatlands, mesas, alpine tundra, and ancient volcanic peaks. The forest surrounds the towns of Sedona and Flagstaff and borders four other national forests; the Kaibab National Forest to the west and northwest, the Prescott National Forest to the southwest, the Tonto National Forest to the south, and the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest to the southeast. The forest contains all or parts of ten designated wilderness areas, including the Kachina Peaks Wilderness, which includes the summit of the San Francisco Peaks. The headquarters are in Flagstaff. There are local ranger district offices in Flagstaff, Happy Jack, and Sedona.

Fossil Creek river in the United States of America

Fossil Creek is a perennial stream near the community of Strawberry in the U.S. state of Arizona. A tributary of the Verde River, Fossil Creek flows from its headwaters on the Mogollon Rim to meet the larger stream near the former Childs Power Plant.

Chevelon Canyon Lake is a small reservoir located in northern Arizona, about 15 mi (24 km) west of the city of Heber. It is one in a series of small, canyon-bound lakes located on the Mogollon Rim, collectively referred to as the Rim Lakes. It is among the most difficult to access in the region. It is also the second reservoir on Chevelon Creek, downstream from Woods Canyon Lake. Chevelon Creek drains to the northeast all the way to the Little Colorado River.

Woods Canyon Lake lake in Arizona, United States

Woods Canyon Lake is a small lake located in northern Arizona, about 30 mi (48 km) east of the city of Payson. It is one in a series of small, canyon-bound lakes located on the Mogollon Rim, collectively referred to as the Rim Lakes. It is among the more developed and accessible of the Rim Lakes. It is also the first reservoir on Chevelon Creek, upstream from Chevelon Canyon Lake.

Forest Lakes Estates, Arizona CDP in Arizona, United States

Forest Lakes is a small unincorporated community in Coconino County in the northern part of the U.S. state of Arizona. It is located on the edge of the Mogollon Rim and is in close proximity to several recreational lakes within the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest, and is named for such.

Arizona transition zone

The Arizona transition zone is a diagonal northwest-by-southeast region across central Arizona. The region is a transition from the higher elevation Colorado Plateau to the northeast in Northeast Arizona and the Basin and Range region of southwest and south regions of lower elevation deserts.

Buckskin Mountains (Arizona-Utah)

The Buckskin Mountains on the Arizona-Utah border, is about a 15-mile (24 km) long mountain range divided almost equally in the counties of Coconino County, Arizona, and Kane County, Utah.

Kanab Plateau

The Kanab Plateau is a 45-mile long plateau located at the north of the Grand Canyon. The plateau is adjacent west of the Kaibab Plateau of the North Rim, with a basin containing the Kanab Creek watershed in between. The basin is the site of the Kanab Creek Wilderness, with Snake Gulch at its north perimeter, and at the base of the Kanab Plateau, forming its southeast border.

Defiance Plateau Region in Arizona, United States

The Defiance Plateau, part of the geologic Defiance Uplift, is an approximately 75-mile (121 km) long, mostly north-trending plateau of Apache County, Arizona, and its east and southeast perimeter, are parts of San Juan and McKinley Counties, New Mexico.

Toroweap Fault

The Toroweap Fault of northwest Arizona and southwest Utah is part of a fault system of the west Grand Canyon region, Arizona, USA; also the west perimeter regions of the Coconino and Colorado Plateaus. The Hurricane Fault originates at the Toroweap Fault, in the region of the Colorado River, and strikes as the westerly expression of the Toroweap Fault. The Toroweap strikes northerly from the Colorado at the east of Toroweap Valley, and enters south Utah; from the Colorado River, the Hurricane Fault strikes north-northwest along the west flank of the small, regional Uinkaret Mountains, the west border of Toroweap Valley. The Hurricane Fault, and the Hurricane Cliffs strike into southwest Utah as part of the west, and southwest perimeter of the Colorado Plateau. The Hurricane Cliffs are made of Kaibab Limestone, an erosion resistant, cliff-forming rock unit.

Isis Temple mountain in United States of America

Isis Temple, in the Grand Canyon, Arizona, USA is a prominence below the North Rim, and adjacent Granite Gorge. The prominence lies north of the north bank of the west-flowing Colorado River, and is just north of Middle Granite Gorge. The Trinity Creek and canyon flow due-south at its west border; its north, and northeast border/flank is formed by Phantom Creek and canyon, a west tributary of Bright Angel Creek; the creeks intersect about 3 mi southeast, and 1 mi north of Granite Gorge.

Peacock Mountains

The Peacock Mountains are a small, 26-mi (42 km) long mountain range in northwest Arizona, USA. The range is a narrow sub-range, and an extension north, at the northeast of the Hualapai Mountains massif, which lies to the southwest. The range is defined by the Hualapai Valley to the northwest, and north and south-flowing washes on its east border, associated with faults and cliffs; the Cottonwood Cliffs are due east, and are connected to the Aquarius Cliffs southward at the west perimeter of the Aquarius Mountains; the cliffs are a result of the Aquarius Fault, which is an extension southward from the Grand Wash Cliffs and Grand Wash Fault which crosses the Colorado River at Lake Mead, and the west perimeter of the Grand Canyon/Colorado Plateau.

Canyon Creek is a 48-mile (77 km) tributary of the Salt River in central Arizona. Originating on the Mogollon Rim, the creek flows generally south to its confluence with the Salt in the Salt River Canyon Wilderness, about 16 miles (26 km) above Theodore Roosevelt Lake.

Grand Wash Cliffs

The Grand Wash Cliffs extend south-southeast from the Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument in northwest Arizona west of the Shivwits Plateau south through the Grand Cliffs Wilderness and into the Lake Mead Recreation Area. The Grand Wash Cliffs cross the Grand Canyon where the Colorado River enters Lake Mead. To the south of the Grand Canyon the Grand Wash Cliffs continue past the east side of Grapevine Mesa and then southeast above and east of the Hualapai Valley forming the southwest margin of the Music Mountains.


  1. "Mogollon". Oxford English Dictionary (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press. September 2005. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  2. U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Mogollon Plateau
  3. Lakes at Arizona Road & Recreation Atlas, pp. 40-41, 42-43.

Coordinates: 34°29′00″N110°48′02″W / 34.48333°N 110.80056°W / 34.48333; -110.80056

Geographic coordinate system Coordinate system

A geographic coordinate system is a coordinate system that enables every location on Earth to be specified by a set of numbers, letters or symbols. The coordinates are often chosen such that one of the numbers represents a vertical position and two or three of the numbers represent a horizontal position; alternatively, a geographic position may be expressed in a combined three-dimensional Cartesian vector. A common choice of coordinates is latitude, longitude and elevation. To specify a location on a plane requires a map projection.