The Mogollon Rim ( // or // or // ) 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.
Topography is the study of the shape and features of land surfaces. The topography of an area could refer to the surface shapes and features themselves, or a description.
In the United States, a state is a constituent political entity, of which there are currently 50. Bound together in a political union, each state holds governmental jurisdiction over a separate and defined geographic territory and shares its sovereignty with the federal government. Due to this shared sovereignty, Americans are citizens both of the federal republic and of the state in which they reside. State citizenship and residency are flexible, and no government approval is required to move between states, except for persons restricted by certain types of court orders.
Arizona is a state in the southwestern region of the United States. It is also part of the Western and the Mountain states. It is the sixth largest and the 14th most populous of the 50 states. Its capital and largest city is Phoenix. Arizona shares the Four Corners region with Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico; its other neighboring states are Nevada and California to the west and the Mexican states of Sonora and Baja California to the south and southwest.
The Rim is an escarpment defining the southwestern edge of the Colorado Plateau. Its central and most spectacular portions are characterized by high cliffs of limestone and sandstone, namely the Kaibab Limestone and Coconino Sandstone cliffs. The escarpment was created by erosion and faulting, cutting dramatic canyons into it, including Fossil Creek Canyon and Pine Canyon. The name Mogollon comes from Don Juan Ignacio Flores Mogollón, the Spanish Governor of New Mexico from 1712 to 1715.
An escarpment, or scarp, is a steep slope or long cliff that forms as a result of faulting or erosion and separates two relatively level areas having different elevations. Usually scarp and scarp face are used interchangeably with escarpment.
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.
Limestone is a carbonate sedimentary rock that is often composed of the skeletal fragments of marine organisms such as coral, foraminifera, and molluscs. Its major materials are the minerals calcite and aragonite, which are different crystal forms of calcium carbonate (CaCO3). A closely related rock is dolomite, which contains a high percentage of the mineral dolomite, CaMg(CO3)2. In old USGS publications, dolomite was referred to as magnesian limestone, a term now reserved for magnesium-deficient dolomites or magnesium-rich limestones.
Much of the land south of the Mogollon Rim lies 4,000 to 5,000 feet (1,200 to 1,500 m) above sea level, with the escarpment rising to about 8,000 ft (2,400 m). Extensive Ponderosa pine forests are found both on the slopes of the Rim and on the plateau north of it. The Mogollon Rim is a major floristic and faunal boundary, with species characteristic of the Rocky Mountains living on the top of the plateau, and species native to the Mexican Sierra Madre Occidental on the slopes below and in the Madrean sky islands (high, isolated mountain ranges) further south.
Mean sea level (MSL) is an average level of the surface of one or more of Earth's bodies of water from which heights such as elevation may be measured. The global MSL is a type of vertical datum – a standardised geodetic datum – that is used, for example, as a chart datum in cartography and marine navigation, or, in aviation, as the standard sea level at which atmospheric pressure is measured to calibrate altitude and, consequently, aircraft flight levels. A common and relatively straightforward mean sea-level standard is instead the midpoint between a mean low and mean high tide at a particular location.
The Rocky Mountains, also known as the Rockies, are a major mountain range in western North America. The Rocky Mountains stretch 3,000 km (1,900 mi) in straight-line distance from the northernmost part of British Columbia, in western Canada, to New Mexico in the Southwestern United States. Located within the North American Cordillera, the Rockies are distinct from the Pacific Coast Ranges, Cascade Range, and the Sierra Nevada, which all lie farther to the west.
Mexico, officially the United Mexican States, is a country in the southern portion of North America. It is bordered to the north by the United States; to the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; to the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and to the east by the Gulf of Mexico. Covering almost 2,000,000 square kilometers (770,000 sq mi), the nation is the fourth largest country in the Americas by total area and the 13th largest independent state in the world. With an estimated population of over 129 million people, Mexico is the tenth most populous country and the most populous Spanish-speaking country in the world, while being the second most populous nation in Latin America after Brazil. Mexico is a federation comprising 31 states plus Mexico City (CDMX), which is the capital city and its most populous city. Other metropolises in the country include Guadalajara, Monterrey, Puebla, Toluca, Tijuana, and León.
The Mogollon Rim's limestones and sandstones were formed from sediments deposited in the Carboniferous and Permian Periods. Several of the Rim's rock formations are also seen on the walls of the Grand Canyon. In many places, the Rim is capped or even buried by the extensive basaltic lava flows.
Sediment is a naturally occurring material that is broken down by processes of weathering and erosion, and is subsequently transported by the action of wind, water, or ice or by the force of gravity acting on the particles. For example, sand and silt can be carried in suspension in river water and on reaching the sea bed deposited by sedimentation. If buried, they may eventually become sandstone and siltstone through lithification.
The Carboniferous is a geologic period and system that spans 60 million years from the end of the Devonian Period 358.9 million years ago (Mya), to the beginning of the Permian Period, 298.9 Mya. The name Carboniferous means "coal-bearing" and derives from the Latin words carbō ("coal") and ferō, and was coined by geologists William Conybeare and William Phillips in 1822.
The Grand Canyon is a steep-sided canyon carved by the Colorado River in Arizona, United States. The Grand Canyon is 277 miles (446 km) long, up to 18 miles (29 km) wide and attains a depth of over a mile.
The uppermost sandstone stratum of the Mogollon Rim, called the Coconino Sandstone, forms spectacular white cliffs, sometimes several hundred feet high. This formation of the Permian Period is of aeolian (windblown) origin and is one of the thickest sand-dune-derived sandstones on earth.
In geology and related fields, a stratum is a layer of sedimentary rock or soil, or igneous rock that were formed at the Earth's surface, with internally consistent characteristics that distinguish it from other layers. The "stratum" is the fundamental unit in a stratigraphic column and forms the basis of the study of stratigraphy.
Coconino Sandstone is a geologic formation named after its exposure in Coconino County, Arizona. This formation spreads across the Colorado Plateau province of the United States, including northern Arizona, northwest Colorado, Nevada, and Utah.
Aeolian processes, also spelled eolian or æolian, pertain to wind activity in the study of geology and weather and specifically to the wind's ability to shape the surface of the Earth. Winds may erode, transport, and deposit materials and are effective agents in regions with sparse vegetation, a lack of soil moisture and a large supply of unconsolidated sediments. Although water is a much more powerful eroding force than wind, aeolian processes are important in arid environments such as deserts.
Cities and towns near the Mogollon Rim include Payson, Sedona, Show Low, Alpine and Pinetop-Lakeside. The Mogollon Rim is practically bisected by Interstate 17 which runs north-to-south between Flagstaff and Phoenix.
Payson is a town in northern Gila County, Arizona, United States. Its location puts it very near to the geographic center of Arizona. Payson has been called "The Heart of Arizona". The town is surrounded by the Tonto National Forest and has many outdoor activities year round. As of the 2010 census, the population of Payson was 15,301.
Sedona is a city that straddles the county line between Coconino and Yavapai counties in the northern Verde Valley region of the U.S. state of Arizona. As of the 2010 census, its population was 10,031. Most of the city lies in Yavapai County, with a portion in the east located in Coconino County.
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.
In June 2002, the eastern portion of the Mogollon Rim was the site of Arizona's second-largest wildfire, the 470,000-acre (1,900 km2) Rodeo-Chediski fire. The Mogollon Rim was also the site of the Dude fire that started on June 25, 1990. This fire grew to cover over 30,000 acres (120 km2) and killed six wildland firefighters. Other large fires have burned along the Mogollon Rim since 1990, and the area's Ponderosa pine forests remain vulnerable because of past fire-suppression efforts and the buildup of available dry fuel.
Western novel author Zane Grey built a hunting cabin on the slopes of the Mogollon Rim just northeast of Payson, above Tonto Creek. The cabin was restored by the Phoenix air-conditioning magnate William Goettl during the late 1960s, but it was destroyed by the Dude Fire in 1990.Louis L'Amour's novel The Sackett Brand, set near the Mogollon Rim, includes descriptions of its cliffs.
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.
The geology of the Grand Canyon area includes one of the most complete and studied sequences of rock on Earth. The nearly 40 major sedimentary rock layers exposed in the Grand Canyon and in the Grand Canyon National Park area range in age from about 200 million to nearly 2 billion years old. Most were deposited in warm, shallow seas and near ancient, long-gone sea shores in western North America. Both marine and terrestrial sediments are represented, including lithified sand dunes from an extinct desert. There are at least 14 known unconformities in the geologic record found in the Grand Canyon.
Northern Arizona is an unofficial, colloquially-defined region of the U.S. state of Arizona. Generally consisting of Coconino, Mohave, Navajo, and Apache counties, the region is geographically dominated by the Colorado Plateau, the southern border of which in Arizona is called the Mogollon Rim.
Walnut Canyon National Monument is a United States National Monument located about 10 mi (16 km) southeast of downtown Flagstaff, Arizona, near Interstate 40. The canyon rim elevation is 6,690 ft (2,040 m); the canyon's floor is 350 ft lower. A 0.9 mi (1.4 km) long loop trail descends 185 ft (56 m) into the canyon passing 25 cliff dwelling rooms constructed by the Sinagua, a pre-Columbian cultural group that lived in Walnut Canyon from about 1100 to 1250 CE. Other contemporary habitations of the Sinagua people are preserved in the nearby Tuzigoot and Montezuma Castle national monuments.
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.
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.
The Coconino Plateau is found south of the Grand Canyon and north-northwest of Flagstaff, in northern Arizona of the Southwestern United States.
The Mogollon Plateau or Mogollon Mesa is a pine-covered southern plateau section of the larger Colorado Plateau in east-central Arizona and west-central New Mexico, United States. 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.
The Arizona National Scenic Trail is a National Scenic Trail from Mexico to Utah that traverses the whole north–south length of the U.S. state of Arizona. The trail begins at the Coronado National Memorial near the US–Mexico border and moves north through parts of the Huachuca, Santa Rita, and Rincon Mountains. The trail continues through the Santa Catalina north of Tucson and the Mazatzal Mountains before ascending the Mogollon Rim north of Payson, eventually leading to the higher elevations of Northern Arizona and the San Francisco Peaks. The trail then continues across the Coconino Plateau and in and out of the Grand Canyon. The Arizona Trail terminates near the Arizona-Utah border in the Kaibab Plateau region. The 800-mile (1,300 km) long Arizona Trail was completed on December 16, 2011. The trail is designed as a primitive trail for hiking, equestrians, mountain biking, and even cross country skiing, showcasing the wide variety of mountain ranges and ecosystems of Arizona.
The Kaibab Limestone is a resistant cliff-forming, Permian geologic formation that crops out across the U.S. states of northern Arizona, southern Utah, east central Nevada and southeast California. It is also known as the Kaibab Formation in Arizona, Nevada, and Utah. The Kaibab Limestone forms the rim of the Grand Canyon. In the Big Maria Mountains, California, the Kaibab Limestone is highly metamorphosed and known as the Kaibab Marble.
The Mazatzal Mountains are a mountain range in south central Arizona, about 30–45 miles northeast of Phoenix and the Phoenix metropolitan area. The origin of the name remains obscure but one possibility is that it is from the Nahuatl language meaning "place of the deer". The crest of the Mazatzals forms the county line between Maricopa County and Gila County. SR 87, the Beeline Highway, traverses the Mazatzals on its way to Payson. The highest peak is Mazatzal Peak at 7,903 feet (2,409 m). They also include the Four Peaks, with elevation 7,659 ft, 2,334 m; a prominent mountain and landmark of the eastern Phoenix area.
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.
The Great Western Trail is a north-south long distance multiple use route which runs from Canada to Mexico through five western states in the United States. The trail has access for both motorized and non-motorized users and traverses 4,455 miles (7,170 km) through Arizona, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana. Designated a National Millennium Trail.
The Cambrian Muav Limestone is the upper geologic unit of the 3-member Tonto Group. It is about 650 feet (198 m) thick at its maximum. It is a resistant cliff-forming unit. The Muav consists of dark to light-gray, brown, and orange red limestone with dolomite and calcareous mudstone. The Muav is overlain in some areas by the Devonian Temple Butte Formation, but the major unit above are the vertical cliffs of Mississippian Redwall Limestone. The Muav is located in the lower elevations of the Grand Canyon, Arizona.
The Middle Permian Toroweap Formation is a thin, darker geologic unit, between the brighter colored units of the Kaibab Limestone above, and Coconino Sandstone below. It is a prominent unit in Grand Canyon, Arizona, USA, found through sections of the South Rim, Grand Canyon, and the North Rim, of the Kaibab Plateau; also the Kaibab's southeast extension to Cape Royal, the Walhalla Plateau. The Colorado River of the Grand Canyon makes its excursion from due-south to due-west around the Walhalla Plateau, as it enters the east end of the Grand Canyon's interior, Granite Gorge. The formation is also found in southeast Utah.
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, 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. The peak of Isis Temple is only ~202 ft lower than Grand Canyon Village.
The Lower Permian Esplanade Sandstone is a cliff-forming, resistant sandstone, dark red, geologic unit found in the Grand Canyon. The rock unit forms a resistant shelf in the west Grand Canyon, south side of the Colorado River, at the east of the Toroweap Fault, down-dropped to west, southeast of Toroweap Overlook, and west of Havasupai. The red, sandstone shelf, The Esplanade is about 20-mi long. At Toroweap Overlook region, Toroweap Valley with Vulcan's Throne, Uinkaret volcanic field, the resistant Esplanade Sandstone is described in access routes exploring the Toroweap Lake area.
The (Upper) Late Pennsylvanian Wescogame Formation is a slope-forming, sandstone, red-orange geologic unit, formed from an addition of eolian sand, added to marine transgression deposits,, and found throughout sections of the Grand Canyon, in Arizona, Southwest United States. It is one of the upper members of the Supai Group 'redbeds', with the Supai Group found in other sections of Arizona, especially in the Verde Valley region, or as a basement unit below the Mogollon Rim, just eastwards or part of the basement Supai Group of the southwest & south Colorado Plateau.