The Mountains of Arizona •
Moqui Lookout & Blue Ridge Point • Blue Ridge
• Coconino National Forest
• Coconino County

Moqui Lookout Blue Ridge, Arizona
The lookout is visible from FR-95 below.
Moqui Lookout Blue Ridge, Arizona
Some of the access road.
Moqui Lookout Blue Ridge, Arizona
The lookout.
Moqui Lookout Blue Ridge, Arizona
Another view, and the old residence.
Moqui Lookout Blue Ridge, Arizona
This is Blue Ridge Point.
Moqui Lookout Blue Ridge, Arizona
Sign back at the Moqui Lookout.
Moqui Lookout Blue Ridge, Arizona
A bear print!

All images

• • •

The Arizona
Mountains Gazetteer

Click to find out more!

Date: April 19, 2020 • Elevation: 7,465 feet • Prominence: 345 feet • Distance: 2.5 miles • Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes • Gain: 355 feet (to lookout), 45 (to Blue Ridge and back) • Conditions: Sunny with some clouds, cool.


The Moqui Lookout Tower lies on the east tip of the long (and flat) Blue Ridge, a little peninsula of the Colorado Plateau flanked by canyons on its south and east, and lands that fall away to the north, heading toward Winslow. The summit is flat, but it is a ranked summit with about 345 feet of prominence.

I got a late start, leaving home about 10:30 a.m.. I wanted to explore this area for future visits, and knew the hike itself would not be long nor challenging. I drove northbound on AZ-87 out of Payson, then up over the Mogollon Rim and onto the plateau. I continued up highway 87, passing through the area that got slammed by a localized blizzard last saturday. Today, it was sunny and serene, all the snow gone except for tiny patches.

I stayed on 87 past the Clint's Well turnoff, and for another few miles to where the highway starts to drop elevation. I exited onto Coconino Forest Road 95, heading south. The tower is visible from the road. I drove four miles on this road, then found FR-751B, the access road to the tower. I parked in a small clearing beside the road, and started walking at 11:30 a.m.. The day was cool with puffy clouds that would blow through quickly.

I walked the road up to the top, a gain of 350 feet. The tower is easily visible, and there was a car parked there so I think someone was home. Visitors are welcome. but unless I am personally beckoned to climb the stairs, I usually don't. You never know if they're up to something important up there.

I tagged a few rocks that might be the highest point but locating an actual summit is just a big guessing game. I walked around and gave the area a solid look. I also wanted to visit Blue Ridge Point, where an older tower once stood. This point is on the southeastern tip of Blue Ridge, overlooking East Clear Creek Canyon.

I followed forest roads generally south for a half mile, dropping about 45 feet in elevation. The roads were in much worse shape, with lots of rocks and downed trees. I was at Blue Ridge Point in about twenty minutes. There is a clearing, a couple giant juniper trees, and the foundations of the old lookout. However, there were no views, the forest being too thick. There were a lot of animal prints in the roads, including a bear print that I took an image of.

I walked back to the tower and looked at it some more, snapping more photos since I had a spell of sun for this little bit. I also wandered the light forest to see if there were any odd rocks or bumps that could be the highpoint. I found nothing promising. I then walked down to my car, total time gone about 70 minutes.

The road was so good that I decided to drive it back up. My odometer read 0.7 miles as I neared the tower, and 1.5 when I returned to the base, back at FR-95. Most vehicles could manage this road if dry. Reasonable high clearance is all that would be required.

I then drove back to highway AZ-87 and home. This wasn't that far, just under 50 miles one-way from home. This "peak" is also not on any beaten paths so I figured I would come and tag it now while the weather was good. However, the whole area is lovely and with light traffic and I got a lot of great ideas for future camping and hiking options.

The following is an excerpt from the Arizona Forest Lookouts website. It details some of the happenings at the Moqui Lookout back in 1954, and the displeasure of one inspector:

May 7, 1954: I inspected the construction work on the Moqui Lookout Tower on the afternoon of May 6, 1954. While I was very favorably impressed with the progress of the job, I was amazed at the complete disregard for common-sense rules of safety which I encountered. The catwalk surrounding the cab was in place and its guard-rails properly installed. The crew all wore hard hats. With these exceptions, safety measures failed to exist.

(1) The 2x4s which are to support the sub-floor of the cab have been installed, forming an open lattice. One member of the crew, apparently in an attempt to impress me with his surefootedness, walked across one of the center 2x4s. While I might have admired his skill in doing so, I take a very dim view of his attitude toward safety on the job. After pointing out that a slip would result in a very messy job of clean-up work on the lower steel, or on the ground, I insisted that planks be placed across the 2x4s and all walking be confined to them. Only one 2x12 was available for this purpose. This provided minimum safety, which was my only reason for not shutting down the job immediately.

(2) As is usually the case, certain steel members fitted rather crudely. To lever them into place required the concerted efforts of all four men in the crew. These men stood on whatever was available, apparently with the hope that nothing would slip. The potentialities of an accident involving two or more fatalities were too numerous to mention.

(3) There was no staging at an intermediate level below the work area. Any fall would almost inevitably have been for the full 80 feet from the catwalk to the ground.

I left the crew bolting into place the steel frames below the window level. All of this work could be done from the catwalk, and with minimum hazard.

Upon my return I phoned Mr. Adams and advised him of my findings. He agreed to visit the job first thing on the morning of May 7, and take care of all of the safety measures necessary. He is also to discuss construction safety with the crew, especially the foreman. Since safety on this particular job is his complete responsibility, I shall expect him to stay with the crew until he is fully satisfied that the work is being conducted in the proper manner. K.A. Keeney, Forest Supervisor.

(c) 2020 Scott Surgent. For entertainment purposes only. This report is not meant to replace maps, compass, gps and other common sense hiking/navigation items. Neither I nor the webhost can be held responsible for unfortunate situations that may arise based on these trip reports. Conditions (physical and legal) change over time! Some of these hikes are major mountaineering or backpacking endeavors that require skill, proper gear, proper fitness and general experience.