Cities

Payson

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.

Visitor Information

More to Discover Near Payson

Mogollon Rim

Visit the Mogollon Rim, near Flagstaff, AZ, for scenic views and outdoor recreation including hiking, horseback riding, rock-climbing, hunting,...

Tonto Natural Bridge State Park

Located near Payson, Arizona, Tonto Natural Bridge is known to be the world’s largest natural travertine bridge that you can hike to or view...

Mazatzal Wilderness

Interested in hiking along pine-covered mountains and the Verde River? Explore the 40 trails of the Mazatzal Wilderness, not far from Phoenix,...

Granite Mountain Wilderness

Take your hiking books to a geological site that will challenge and inspire you in the Granite Mountain Wilderness near Payson.