Payson is located in north central Arizona often called the “heart” of Arizona. It is a beautiful 90-minute drive from the Phoenix metropolitan area and is known for its beauty and many recreational opportunities. The area enjoys a mild four season climate that attracts international as well as national visitors throughout the year. Payson is rich in Western heritage, and hosts the “World’s Oldest Continuous Rodeo”. With approximately 30,000 residents, it offers the atmosphere of rural America along with most of the amenities of larger cities.
Payson was founded as Union Park in 1882. People in the area called it Green Valley until the post office was established. Then the postmaster, Frank C. Hise, named it for Senator Louis Edward Payson, who was the congressional chairman of Post Office and Post Roads.
It sits at the base of the majestic Mogollon Rim which is a 7,000-foot high, 200-mile long escarpment located in the world's largest Ponderosa Pine forest. Payson’s 5,000 foot elevation provides the town with it pleasant climate and four mild seasons. A variety of mountain lakes and trout streams, hiking trails and campsites are easily accessible from Payson. The area offers many outdoor recreational activities such as hiking, camping, fishing, hunting, and biking.
Local attractions include Tonto Natural Bridge State Park, Shoo-Fly Indian Archeological Site, Tonto Fish Hatchery, The Rim Country Museum and the Zane Grey Cabin.
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