As the gateway to Arizona's dramatic high country, Payson offers four-season recreation.
Arizonans call it “The Rim.” That’s short for the Mogollon Rim, the rugged, far-reaching landscape of the Colorado Plateau. Cutting across the state, the Rim is a picturesque destination for wilderness adventurers of all ages.
This land, where the Ponderosa Pine forest meets desert canyon country, has exerted a magnetic pull on early Mormon settlers, Western novelist Zane Grey, and actor/rancher John Wayne. Seven sparkling lakes are the centerpiece of scenic mountains, where you can ride horses in the morning and fly-fish in the afternoon. Plan a hike to wonder at Tonto Natural Bridge, believed to be the world’s largest natural travertine bridge. And once the first snow falls, strap on your skis and find a trail for cross-country skiing.
Payson also boasts a lively festival calendar. There’s big-time broncin’ in this small town setting at the World’s Oldest Continuous Rodeo, established in 1884. Annual outdoor events lure thrill-seekers from across the Southwest, and the Old Time Fiddlers Contest celebrates the area’s rich musical heritage. Don’t worry about seeing it all – this alpine playground is guaranteed to lasso you back for future trips.