Town Snapshot: Town of Payson

Nestled among the majestic mountains of the Mogollon Rim - - a 7,000-foot, 200-mile-long escarpment - - lays the breathtaking and serene town of Payson, Arizona. Graced with spectacular natural beauty, this small town is located between the Sierra Ancha and the Mazatzal Mountain Ranges. Giant pine trees dot the landscape, and create the largest stand of ponderosa pine forest in the world. Beautiful rivers run rampantly through surrounding canyons which offer residents and visitors alike an outdoor lover's playground complete with such activities as hunting, fishing, mountain biking, camping and sightseeing. Residents like to brag that their town is situated in one of only three pure air ozone belts in the world.

At an elevation of 5,000 feet, the area enjoys a mild climate that accommodates year-round outdoor exploration, but not at the expense of missing out on seasonal changes.

Until the completion of the Beeline Highway, Payson was a hidden gem in Arizona's rough country. Modern convinces now make a trip that used to take two days from the Valley of the Sun a short drive, only 90 minutes to be exact. Proximity coupled with 320 days of sunshine and generally 20 degrees cooler weather than the Valley, it is a pleasant retreat for many Valley residents during the hot summer months.

Payson is a friendly community where people know each other and enjoy getting together to socialize at many of the areas special activities and events. The back drop for many of these events is the spacious 40-acre Green Valley Park. This park is an excellent fishing, picnic, and recreation destination.

Payson is widely known as the birth place of the modern rodeo and for over 128 years has hosted the World's Oldest Continuous Rodeo, as well as other rodeos, festivals, and activities that showcase the Old West. Payson produces roughly over 100 special events a year including the popular Mountain High Games, The Old Time Fiddlers Arizona State Championship and the Beeline Cruise-In Car Show.

Payson's rugged landscape, pristine mountain vistas, breathtaking wildlife and natural attractions make it a must see when visiting Arizona or if you are just looking to take the family somewhere close. A visit to Payson is not complete without a trip to the one of the world's most breathtaking natural attractions, Tonoto Natural Bridge State Park. Discovered by David Gowan, a prospector who stumbled across the bridge as he was being chased by Apaches, it is believed to be the largest natural travertine bridge in the world. The bridge stands 183 feet high over a 400-foot long tunnel that measures 150 feet at its widest point.

Visitors have been coming to Rim Country for hundreds of years and many of them have left their footprint on this small community. Zane Grey is one of those individuals. Often referred to as the father of the Western novel Grey used to visit and write many stories about the rim country, and his hunting escapades. Today you can visit his fully replicated Cabin/Museum at Green Valley Park.

Whether you are looking for an extreme outdoor adventure or a peaceful getaway filled with history, beauty, and rustic charm - Payson delivers! We hope to see you soon.

Please visit our website at

League of Arizona Cities and Towns
1820 W. Washington St.
Phoenix, AZ  85007
Phone: 602-258-5786
Fax: 602-253-3874

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