Many of the roads on the Mogollon Rim go through impressive forests and pass scenic alpine meadows. They are also fairly smooth, easy driving, and sometimes crowded. If you are looking for all that minus the smooth and crowds, FR 109 might be for you. This seldom-used road follows along the Bargaman Draw. A draw is a western term for a shallow canyon. Starting at the northern end, you leave Bargaman Park, a wide and beautiful alpine meadow. The road quickly becomes a rock-littered two-track. The pines on the west side of the trail show some soot from 2016's Jack fire. But the forest is in largely good health. Looking through the pines to the west, you can make out the slopes of Pine Mountain, a promontory topping out at almost 8,000 feet. The road makes a rocky crossing of Bargaman Draw just over four miles from the start. Large boulders are strewn haphazardly, making you choose your line with care. The crossing changes frequently following summer monsoon storms. Not long after clearing the crossing, it is almost a shock to round a curve into a large, open meadow. There are some great campsites on the southern side of this unnamed park. FR 109 deposits you onto Willow Valley. If you want more of what you just went through, turn left for a rocky ride. A right turn takes you onto the smooth part of the Willow Valley trail.
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