PAYSON is the crossroads of the Rim Country
The Beeline Highway SR87 connects the region to the Phoenix Valley 90 minutes south, and toward Flagstaff 90 minutes to the northwest. In the heart of town, SR 260 turns east toward Show Low and the White Mountains two hours away. With a casual, small town atmosphere, Payson offers shopping, lodging, government services, churches, airport, private and public golf, schools and college, hospital, and entertainment such as rodeo, a hotel/casino, and family recreation. At 5,000 feet elevation, Payson has four seasons, about 15 degrees cooler than the Phoenix Valley. A great climate for horses, too!
North of Payson are Pine, Strawberry, and the Happy Jack – Blue Ridge area. With elevations up to 7,000 feet, expect cooler temperatures and snow in the winter. Home to vast Ponderosa Pine forest, this region is loved for its hunting, fishing, and hiking. The town of Pine has antique and gift shops, restaurants and quaint lodging, as well as an elementary school, churches, and community center. Enjoy arts & crafts festivals on many weekends, Spring through Fall.
Star Valley, a few miles east of Payson, has a commercial district, RV facilities and a wide range of residential options. Christopher Creek is near some of Arizona's best trout streams and elk hunting. Further east, Forest Lakes and Heber-Overgaard offer great cool weather getaways for outdoor activities or peaceful pine-scented relaxation. Star gazers love the deep, black night sky here.
To the south on SR 87, Rye, Gisela and Deer Creek are at about 3,200 ft. elevation. Temperatures here are cooler than the Phoenix Valley, but warmer than Payson. Enjoy country style living, with hiking, creek fishing, horse trails, and natural beauty everywhere. Tonto Basin near Roosevelt Lake is ideal for fishermen and anyone who loves big skies and mountain views. Shopping, restaurants, tourism, and RV facilities are nearby.
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Photo credits: Lake Roosevelt from Tonto National Monument by Suzy Alexander; Rim View, Colcord Creek, Willow Springs and Sunrise by Harold Rush; and Elk in Pine by Ginger Jeffers.