There is a large paved parking lot, one picnic table, restroom building and a short quarter-mile trail, which begins just to the left of the picnic table. The Overlook marks the halfway point along the Coronado Scenic Byway, which is 120 miles long and full of curves. Continuing further south from the Overlook you'll descend down off of the rim toward the town of Clifton. To keep it reasonable as a day trip, I suggest turning around at this point. The view is alone worth the drive, especially in autumn.
This vast area known as the Blue Range Primitive Area is home to the Mexican Wolf. Almost extinct in the Southwest, the animal was listed as endangered and in the late 1990s captive-reared wolfs were released back in several areas, one of them being the Blue Range mountains.
I've been to the Overlook a couple of times before, but on this particular day I had a different reason and it was to find my first geocache. Geocaching is an entertaining adventure game for GPS users. Participating in a cache hunt is a good way to take advantage of the wonderful features and capability of a GPS unit. The basic idea is to have individuals and organizations set up caches and share the locations of these caches on the Internet. GPS users can then use the location coordinates to find the caches. Once found, a cache may provide the visitor with a wide variety of rewards. The only thing the visitor is asked to do is if they take something from the box that they should leave something in its place.
After arriving at the Blue Vista Overlook, I noticed the Forest Service interpretive signs were gone due to vandalism. The ranger district knows they are gone so (let's hope) maybe someday they will be replaced. The signs list the names of the mountains seen in the distance. The cache was close to the best viewpoint just off of the trail at coordinates N 33 33 655 W 109 21 166. The tan ammo box cache contains a logbook and other miscellaneous items. I had nothing with me to leave in the box, so I didn't take anything, but I did sign in the book. If you have a GPS, go for it. It was fun and now I am hooked on geo-treasure hunting.
Regardless of its number, this scenic highway passes through some of the most beautiful countryside in this part of Arizona and is known as one of our nation's top 10 scenic byways. From mid-September until nearly November, the colors along the Coronado Trail are outstanding. The gorgeous golds, reds and browns of the aspen, oak, maple and mountain ash are contrasted by the many shades of green from the pines, firs, juniper and pinon trees. The Coronado Trail offers some of the best viewing in Arizona for those in search of autumn colors (and treasure)!