From Holbrook to Heber, the road climbs gently, along the Colorado Plateau.
After Heber, the road roughly parallels the Mogollon Rim, the southern escarpment of the
Then the road drops off the Mogollon Rim, coming to Payson at the lower limit of the pine forests.
From Payson to Scottsdale, the road drops then climbs then drops again, descending into the
Valley of the Sun.
The descent of some 7000 feet goes through a remarkable ecological transition from montane
forest to Sonoran Desert.