Millions of years ago, pressure from deep in the earth ripped a fissure in the crust. The north side of the fissure rose a few thousand feet, creating a long ridge towering over the lower southern side. That uplift, named the Mogollon Rim, runs from New Mexico through Arizona, separating the Sonoran Desert from the Colorado Plateau. Late summer winds laden with moisture from the Gulf of California and the Pacific Ocean are forced upward by the massive uplift. The moisture condenses and falls as rain creating one of the western United State's largest forests. The rain also creates deep canyons running north to south. Most of the roads up on the Mogollon Rim run north to south along the ridges between the steep and rugged canyons. But one trail cuts through that network, snaking west to east. FR 96 is literally the pretty path to adventure in the easternmost region of the vast Coconino National Forest. Forking east off East Clear Creek, FR 96 transports visitors deep into the beauty of one of Arizona's most amazing landscapes. The scenic drive gets adventurers closer to hiking, backpacking, camping, hunting, and even fishing and kayaking over on Knoll Lake. Come enjoy the area. It's truly uplifting.
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