Juniper Mesa Wilderness
Juniper Mesa is a large, flat-topped mesa in the heart of the 7,554-acre Juniper Mesa Wilderness. Elevations vary from a low near 5,650 feet at Juniper Spring to a high around 7,050 feet near Gobblers Knob. Juniper Mesa Wilderness is in the southern end of the Juniper Mountains and characterized by a sharp limestone cliff dropping away at its southern edge. The views from that cliff edge are incomparable with Apache Creek Wilderness laid out below and Granite Mountain, Sycamore Canyon and Woodchute Wilderness Areas off in the distance.
In a countryside that is mostly formed of granite, the limestones and sandstones that make up the face of that southern cliff really stand out. That puts Juniper Mesa at the southern edge of the original Colorado Plateau, a huge chunk of ground that was uplifted some 65 million years ago and includes all of northeastern Arizona, southeastern Utah, northwestern New Mexico and southwestern Colorado. This is the near the western terminus of the Mogollon Rim.
The northern slopes of Juniper Mesa Wilderness are covered in Ponderosa pine and alligator juniper while the southern slopes tend more to the Utah juniper and pinion pine side of things.
The Forest Service says there are seven maintained trails (15 miles worth) in Juniper Mesa Wilderness but maintenance and signage seem to be short... Springs are real iffy on this property and there are no perennial streams. You might find mule deer, bobcat, black bear, elk and Abert's squirrel, though. The biggest users of the property: hunters and equestrians.
Upper left photo courtesy of Josh Keith, via Wilderness.net
Lower right photo courtesy of the US Forest Service
Map courtesy of National Geographic Topo!