The heart of Arizona’s Rim Country is Payson. Payson, Arizona is one of our favorite areas to escape the Phoenix summer heat. This beautiful area is surrounded by national forest. Cooler temperatures attract thousands of visitors each year. Payson is a popular spot for Phoenix residents to visit during the summer.
Explore Payson Arizona
Payson is home to several lakes, forests of ponderosa pines, and the White Mountains. This area has some incredible hiking opportunities and nice campgrounds. Payson is a favored destination for nature lovers.
What’s even better is that Payson is just a short drive from Phoenix. Take the Beeline Hwy (87) for about 90 miles and you are on your way to cooler temps and some beautiful vistas.
Tonto Natural Bridge State Park
Payson is best known for the beautiful Tonto Natural Bridge State Park. If you are visiting Payson do not miss this natural attraction. The park hides one of Arizona’s treasured spots, the Tonoto Natural Bridge.
The Tonto Natural Bridge is the largest natural travertine bridge in the world. This gem is surrounded by trees and offers great hiking and photography opportunities.
Payson Arizona Hikes
In addition, Payson’s forest of towering pine trees, cool lakes, creeks and waterfalls create some fantastic hiking trails. Several trails are located within the Tonto Natural Bridge State Park including the Waterfall Trail, Anna Mae Trail and Gowan Trail.
If you are looking for waterfall hikes in Arizona, Payson has some great choices. Some of the prettiest hikes include:
Scenic Drive in Rim Country
If you don’t feel like hiking, take a drive on Rim Road to see some awesome views from Mogollon Rim. The Mogollon Rim region is nestled in the Tonto National Forest. Characterized by high limestone and sandstone cliffs the view is beautiful. Woods Canyon Lake is a popular and easily accessible lake at the edge of the Mogollon Rim.
Pine & Strawberry Arizona
Enjoy the cooler weather and towering pine trees. Stop by some of the cute little shops in Pine. One of our favorite stops in Pine is to grab a local beer at That Brewery. You can’t miss their sign. Dogs are welcome too.
Visit the oldest school house in Arizona. The Strawberry Schoolhouse is open for tours on the weekends. You can learn more about the Strawberry Schoolhouse...
In the summer the town holds their annual Strawberry festival and in the fall they have an apple festival. The towns of Pine and Strawberry hold several festivals throughout the year.