Scenic Things to Do in Payson, Arizona

Places to visit in Payson, AZ.

There are plenty of things to do in Payson, Arizona. The town is surrounded by the Tonto National Forest, which is perfect for families. Payson, Arizona, has a lot to offer for the visitor. It is situated in northern Gila County near the state’s geographic center. The town is nicknamed “The Heart of Arizona” and is an excellent destination for a vacation in the Southwest.

Best tourist attractions in Prescott, Arizona

One of the best places to visit in Payson is the Paleo Site. This site features fossils of dinosaurs, aquatic animals, and amphibians. You can also explore the surrounding Mogollon Rim. Located just outside town, this site is a great place to spend a day.

Tonto Natural Bridge State Park

The Tonto Natural Bridge is a stunning attraction in Arizona. It is located in the wooded foothills of the Mogollon Rim.

You can take a short hike to see the Tonto Natural Bridge. The park is open from 9 am to 5 pm daily. There is also a visitor center with a gift shop and Park Rangers.

Tonto Natural Bridge - under the bridge
Tonto Natural Bridge – under the bridge

Four trails offer views of the natural bridge. However, all four are a bit strenuous.

The Gowan Trail is a short hike that will bring you to the Tonto Natural Bridge. This trail is paved. At the trail’s end, you will reach the Pine Creek Trail. Alternatively, you can take the paved side road and descend about 800 feet to the canyon floor.

Waterfall at Tonto Natural Bridge
Waterfall at Tonto Natural Bridge

Another option is to explore the waterfall cave. This trail will lead you to a cave filled with waterfalls. Swimming is not allowed in this area.

Sweet Country Charm Fudge & Gifts

One of the best things to do in Payson, Arizona, is visit Sweet Country Charm Fudge & Gifts. It offers more than 150 fudge flavors and a large variety of sweets and confections. They also serve coffee and gelato.

The store has been in business for about 13 years. It’s the first of its kind and a real find. Not only does it have a great selection of antiques, collectibles, and relics, but they’ve been doing the “making of” the fudge for years.

Places to visit in Prescott, Arizona

In addition to all of that, they’ve got a 5-star rating on Facebook. Another noteworthy item on their menu is a coffee shop that makes its own coffee. This is a lovely touch.

Green Valley Park

Green Valley Park in Payson, Arizona, is a great park. It offers many great features for families and individuals.

The master plan of Green Valley Park indicates that a large fishing dock will be added shortly. In addition, one of the lakes in the park offers non-motorized boating from sunrise to sunset.

The park has many other amenities, including an amphitheater, large grassy areas, and a pond for fishing. There are also two public restrooms and an outdoor kitchen.

Green Valley Park in the town of Payson, Arizona
Green Valley Park in the town of Payson, Arizona

In addition to the usual suspects like golf courses, baseball fields, and tennis courts, there are also two sand volleyball courts. Also, there are two self-serve disc golf courses.

The park is also home to the Zane Grey Cabin replica. It is made from Ponderosa pine trees from local forests and contains many historical items belonging to the famous frontiersman.

Water Wheel Falls Hiking Trail

Water Wheel Falls Hiking Trail is one of the best hiking trails in Arizona. This trail takes you to a spectacular waterfall and swimming hole. The hike is ideal for people of all ages. It’s also easy to access.

There are several pools to play in along the way. You can even jump in a cliff-side pool. In addition, you can see a giant tree log carved after a flash flood.

Places to go in Prescott, Arizona

The hiking trail starts from a large parking lot on Houston Mesa Road. It is a short, easy walk to Water Wheel Falls.

The hike is moderately challenging but can be strenuous if you aren’t used to the terrain. Throughout the walk, you’ll encounter mud, rocks, and boulders. At times, it’s hard to find a straight path, but it’s easy to follow cairns to help you.

Ellison Creek Waterfall

Ellison Creek Waterfall is a waterfall in the Tonto National Forest in Arizona. It is located between Payson and Mogollon Rim. The falls are a popular swimming spot. There is a trail to the falls, and it is a great day trip.

To reach Ellison Creek Waterfall, take Nf-199 from the town of Payson. Once you arrive, park in the lot near the trailhead. From there, you can walk up to the waterfall.

What to do in Prescott, Arizona

The creek is an excellent place to swim, but the waters can get slippery. You should wear rugged soles and keep your balance. A flash flood in the late summer can be dangerous, so stay away from it.

You can also check out the Ellison Creek Cascades. This area is home to four cascading waterfalls. Hikers can enjoy picnics and swim in these beautiful pools. These waterfalls are best seen between May and October.

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