Beaver Creek's slow curves and sweeping vistas leisurely take you back to an older Arizona, a land with an ancient history and rugged pioneer ranchers. Beginning in the fertile Verde River Valley, the trail winds upward through fields of prickly pear cacti and dry grasses waving in the breeze to junipers and pinion pines. Walker Creek's towering cottonwoods shimmer in the sun. Campsites tempt you to stop and stay awhile. Cattle guards rattle under your wheels, often reminding you this was, and remains, ranching country. Signs on side roads bear the brands of the V Bar V and M Diamond. You occasionally glimpse horses in a green pasture or cattle grazing among the junipers. Ahead, the buff-colored fortress buttes front the red rock cliffs of the Mogollon Rim, the geologic boundary between the Sonoran Desert and the uplift known as the Colorado Plateau.
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