Payson is located 90 miles north of Phoenix, Arizona on Highway 87. Take the Beeline Highway (Hwy 87) that starts on the east end of Phoenix. Either the 202 East or Shea Blvd. East will take you to the Beeline. From Shea Blvd and Highway 87, go 63 miles north.

This is a beautiful drive if you’ve never seen this route to Payson, not to be missed. You will be passing through the Mazatzal Wilderness that contains over 252,500 acres of the Tonto and Coconino national forests. It is an easy escape for people who want some relief from the heat of Phoenix. Its famous for Tonto national park, which contains the Natural Bridge.

Phoenix is an agricultural, industrial and service center. It is surrounded by 22 other cities in the Valley of the Sun where western style homes and sprawling shopping malls abound. There is exhilarating adventure, breath-taking golf courses, trendy shopping, modern nightlife and enriching culture.
Additional Information about Phoenix

Long known as a retirement and snowbird destination, the magic of Scottsdale begins with the setting in the heart of the lush Sonoran Desert. Iindigo skies beckon you out of doors to explore pristine desert trails, rivers and mountains.

Championship golf courses stand by to challenge your skills on artful layouts that wind around mammoth boulders and towering saguaros.

Local spas tap into ancient Native American healing techniques to soothe your body and soul. And a vibrant downtown tempts you with world-class shopping, fine art galleries, renowned restaurants and high-energy nightlife.

You should visit the Arizona Biltmore Resort. Known throughout the world as the "Jewel of the Desert," the provides a restful oasis of 39 acres covered with lush gardens, glistening swimming pools, and Frank Lloyd Wright influenced architecture. The Arizona Biltmore has been a favorite of celebrities and U.S. presidents throughout its colorful history.

Official City of Scottsdale Web Site
Arizona Biltmore Hotel Resort
Salt River Pima - Maricopa Indian Community
The Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community is a sovereign tribe located in the metropolitan Phoenix area. Bounded by the cities of Scottsdale, Tempe, Mesa and Fountain Hills, the Community encompasses 52,600 acres, with 19,000 held as a natural preserve.

With two distinct backgrounds and cultures, the Community is comprised of two Native American tribes: the Pima, "Akimel O'Odham" (River People) and the Maricopa, "Xalychidom Piipaash" (People who live toward the water).

Official Website
Fountain Hills

Fountain Hills is a scenic desert community surrounded by mountains with sweeping mountain views including Four Peaks, the Superstition Mountains and the McDowell Mountains, and boasts a natural desert landscape. Fountain Hills is home to the world's fourth tallest fountain,

The town of Fountain Hills is the perfect refuge from the hustle and bustle of city life. It is a place to escape and enjoy life to the fullest.

Town of Fountain Hills, Arizona Official Website
Tonto National Forest
The Tonto National Forest, Arizona, embraces almost 3 million acres of rugged and spectacularly beautiful country, ranging from Saguaro cactus-studded desert to pine-forested mountains beneath the Mogollon Rim. As the fifth largest forest in the United States, the Tonto National Forest is one of the most-visited “urban” forests in the U.S.
Tonto National Forest Government Website
Tonto Natural Bridge
Tonto Natural Bridge, 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.
Tonto Natural Bridge State Park
Tonto Apache Indian Reservation
Located in the beautiful Mazatazal wilderness south of Payson Arizona.Consisting of 85 acres, its the smallest land base reservation in the state of Arizona.

75 miles north of Phoenix, the reservation is several thousand feet higher in elevation and covered in gorgeous Ponderosa Pines, giving a much cooler temperature, and an enjoyable atmosphere.

102 members live on the reservation (Tonto Apache Tribe, 1994). One-third of the tribal members are under the age of 16. The tribe is known for its basketry and beadwork.

Tonto Apache Indian Reservation Official Website
Payson is Arizona's Cool Mountain Town!. "Zane Grey Country" is a term for the area around Payson, Arizona. Its location puts it almost exactly in the geographic center of Arizona.

It has been called "The Heart of Arizona". In recent times it is often referred to as the "Rim Country, or the Mogollon Rim. The Mogollon Rim…even the word remains a mystery, has forever scenic views.

Ninety-seven percent of the land around Payson is under the jurisdiction of the United States Forest Service (Payson is surrounded by the Tonto National Forest) or by tribal governments." The area is home to over 239 species of birds, including eagles, hawks, and ravens inhabit the forest as well as the Rocky Mountain elk, both mule and whitetail deer, black bear, mountain lion, bobcat, fox, javelina, and coyote.

Near Payson are 3 National Forests. Coconino and Sitgreaves National Forests incorporate the higher elevation mountains and forests. Tonto National Forest incorporates the lower elevation deserts and the Verde and Salt River reservoir systems.

The Payson area is a popular destination for rockhounds. In various areas surrounding the community can be found quartz crystals rivaling Herkimer diamonds in quality, geodes, agate, and onyx. Fossils are commonly found.

Payson is one of Arizona's jewels, where you can experience the beauty of dramatic mountain vistas, and the serenity of wide open spaces. Payson's 5,000 foot elevation offers mild year-round weather with four distinctive seasons and activities to match. Payson is home to authentic western rodeo heritage and has the World’s Oldest Continuous Rodeo. As you drive down the streets people will wave at you, and the friendliness behind a simple hello will make you feel most welcome.

Town of Payson Official Website
Northern Gila County Historical Society
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