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    Military Sinkhole, Rim Lakes, and Highline Loop

    Difficulty
    This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
    Moderate
    Duration
    This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
    5-7h
    Distance
    This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
    20.6 km
    Elevation
    This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
    497 m
    User Ratings
    These ratings are completed by users who have completed this trail and not subject to reviews by 10Adventures.
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    Directions to Trailhead

    The Military Sinkhole, Rim Lakes, and Highline Loop is a very scenic route in the Tonto National Forest that leads you through a forest on the edge of a mesa to several viewpoints. This hike is nice and shady and it’s at its absolute best during the fall when the trees come alive with color. There are lots of campgrounds on the trail on the mesa if you want to make a weekend trip out of it. Expect light traffic on this route.

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    Route Description for Military Sinkhole, Rim Lakes, and Highline Loop

    We never get tired of a good viewpoint, and the Military Sinkhole, Sim Lakes, and Highline Loop is a great way to appreciate a mesa-top sightline. This route is fairly well-signed, quite pretty, and offers the chance to backpack at the various sites atop the ridge. While this hike is always enjoyable, we definitely recommend visiting in the fall to appreciate the splendid colors of the forest if you can.

    You can do this route either way, but we recommend going clockwise to climb the steep, intense Drew Trail rather than downclimb it. The route starts from the trailhead parking area. Take a left to hike along the base of the Mesa to Drew Trail. You’ll ascend up the wall of the mesa on a clear, well-marked trail that’s very steep and rocky. Climb up to where the trail meets the creek, where you’ll cross over and begin a traverse east.

    Follow the edge of the mesa to the Military Sinkhole Vista. The traverse eventually begins to pick up a bit of elevation gain as it reaches the viewpoint, but the hard work is over after the first half of the hike. From the vista, take a sharp right to descend on Highline Trail to the trailhead.

    Getting to the Military Sinkhole, Rim Lakes, and Highline Loop Trailhead

    The trailhead for the Military Sinkhole, Sim Lakes, and Highline Loop is off SR 260.

    Route Information

    • Backcountry Campground

      Various sites

    • When to do

      Year-round

    • Pets allowed

      Yes - On Leash

    • Family friendly

      No

    • Route Signage

      Average

    • Crowd Levels

      Low

    • Route Type

      Loop

    Military Sinkhole, Rim Lakes, and Highline Loop Elevation Graph

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    Military Sinkhole, Rim Lakes, and Highline Loop Reviews

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