Granite Dells of Payson

The Mogollon Rim area near Payson sets the backdrop for sensational outdoor excursions.

First things first, there is more than one Granite Dells in Arizona. The better-known Granite Dells near Prescott
forms an otherworldly landscape of boulders on the shores of Watson Lake. In the Granite Mountain Wilderness area near Payson, the hidden, secret Granite Dells feature a forest backdrop dense with pine trees and wildlife. This outdoor playground offers a cool respite during the summer months and year-round outdoor recreation near one of Arizona’s favorite mountain towns.

Mile-High Hiking

High elevations set the stage for strenuous hikes, awesome viewpoints that stretch for miles in all directions and surprising topography typical of Arizona backcountry expeditions. In Arizona’s Rim Country, visitors find a cool respite from the lower elevations of the state. For a nice introduction to hiking in the area, set off on the Cypress Trail, which connects to the Boulders Loop Trail. Combined, this moderate hike spans over 5 miles and passes through shaded pine forests and sandy flatlands that lead to the namesake granite formations. Seasonal creeks add water to the hike, another reason visitors enjoy Arizona’s cool mountain retreats.

Astonishing Photo Ops

Geologic wonders in the area include deep ravines and enormous rocky outcroppings that share airspace with the forest’s pine trees. Cool lakes dot the area, providing a surprising backdrop for nature photography in Arizona. Wildlife include deer, wild boar and an array of birds and critters that attract photographers to the area. Stalk the area for action shots or wait in one place for golden hour to capture the perfect sunrise and sunset shots. Both methods come with the soul-satisfying side effects of being surrounded by Arizona’s natural beauty.

Scenic Drives

The open road is synonymous with Arizona. Generations of road trippers who have explored the state’s backroads know that Arizona is so much more than scenic desert landscapes. Head to the high country and explore charming small towns surrounded by expansive forests. Camping is not allowed within the wilderness area. Outdoor adventurers who want to turn an Arizona road trip into an overnight stay pick the woodsy retreats of nearby Payson and neighboring small towns for hotel and camping options.

For More Information

Town of Payson Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Department
1000 W Country Club
Payson, AZ 85541
(928) 472-5110

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