Consistent fall and winter rains combined with mild temperatures have created optimal conditions for riotous displays of floral color all up and down Highway 87 (The Beeline) from Phoenix to Payson, Arizona. Spring has sprung in the High Country and it is truly splendid. A trip to the Payson and Rim Country area is often full of beauty, adventure and lots of things to do. We at Berkshire Hathaway Homeservices Advantage Realty see ourselves as much more than just a great team of Realtors looking to help you find your Mountain retreat, we also see ourselves as area experts that can help you find all the best places to explore and enjoy. Below is a list of some of the things you can do this spring with your family and truly explore the beauty of Rim Country.
TAKE A SCENIC DRIVE ON RIM ROAD 300
The Mogollon Rim. That’s the biggest reason you’ll want to make this drive. Although there are different opinions on how to pronounce the name — Spanish scholars go with “mo-go-yawn,” locals use “muggy-on” — everyone agrees that “the Rim” is impressive.
Measured in thousands of feet and hundreds of miles, it’s a massive wall of rock that begins near Arizona’s border with New Mexico and stretches diagonally across most of the state. Through the lens of a camera, a set of binoculars or your baby blues, the views from the top of the Rim are stunning, and on a clear day, you can see to Mount Lemmon.
The vistas steal the show, but there’s a lot to see along Forest Road 300, which can from the east, near Woods Canyon Lake, or from the west, just north of Strawberry. Rim Road 300 is an unpaved scenic road that follows the edge of the Mogollon Rim. This article is written from the western perspective, and it begins with an uphill climb through a thick pine forest — the Mogollon Rim is home to the world’s largest stand of ponderosa pine trees. After 1.2 miles, FR 300 intersects what used to be the General Crook Trail, a historic wagon route that was used in the 1870s and 1880s to provide logistical support for General George Crook in the U.S. Army’s war against the Apaches.
From there, the gravel road winds downhill to an area of grassy meadows crowded with tall evergreens. It’s a beautiful place to pitch a tent or stop for a lunch. Hardwoods and spruce start mixing in after that. You’ll also start seeing the first of many worthwhile side trips: Potato Lake, Lee Johnson Spring, Kehl Springs Campground. Then, after 7.5 miles, you’ll get to the dead zone of the Dude Fire.
Heading east, that perfect landscape includes Crackerbox Canyon and the Arizona Trail, one of several great hikes on the Rim. Another keeper is the Houston Brothers Trail, which shows up after 16.2 miles. Barbershop Canyon is just beyond that, followed by the Myrtle Trail and turnoffs to Lost Lake and Knoll Lake. Add them to the list of great side trips.
Moving on, about 25 miles in, the Rim Road, as it’s known, crosses from the Coconino National Forest into the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests. The transition isn’t important except that it coincides with a large meadow dotted with young ponderosas. It’s nice to see the new growth. The upper trailhead for Horton Springs is ahead on your right, and a few miles later, you’ll arrive at the turnoff for Bear Canyon Lake, one of the Rim’s premier recreation areas — go for the camping, hiking fishing. Of all the detours, this one deserves some real consideration.
Aspens, evergreens panoramas mark the home stretch to Woods Canyon Lake, where the scenic drive comes to an end. You won’t want it to end, though. if you could pick one place to break down, get lost or drop out, Forest Road 300 would be it. Wildlife sightings (elk and mule deer in particular) are common cool pine forest is refreshing, the vistas are remarkable no matter how you pronounce it, the Mogollon Rim is one of the most scenic drives anywhere.
Green Valley Park in Payson, AZ
Green Valley Park is part of Arizona's Urban Fishing Program and is recognized nationally as one of the best in the country. The program is a partnership with the Game and Fish Department and local Parks and Recreation Department to intensively stock and manage the park lake for fishing recreation. Simply put, the program operates on the premise that "if people can't get out of town to fish, we will bring fish into town for the people." The program provides convenient, affordable, accessible, and fun fishing for anglers of all ages and abilities. ,The Park is surrounded by 3 lakes, (1 large lake and two smaller lakes). There are mature trees, manicured sidewalks and plenty of grass for the kids to play while mom and dad enjoy the light spring mountain breezes and bright sunny days.
Tonto Natural Bridge State Park
The view from the top at Tonto Natural Bridge State Park is pleasant enough. When you first enter the park nestled in a Pine Creek Canyon north of Payson, AZ, by tree-covered mountains and a peaceful setting that would be perfect for a picnic or family gathering.If you stopped you could have a pretty good day, but boy would you be missing out.
The Tonto Natural believed to be the largest natural travertine formation in the world. eons, geological forces have carved out the bridge, which towers 183 feet over the water coursing below it in Pine Creek.Visitors to the bridge say that it is almost magical.There are several trails that you can hike that will get you to lower portion of the bridge. When you finally get to the you will see the massive before you that Mother Nature has formed over millions of years. A small cascading sprays your face as you enter the large cavern and you begin to explore.
Payson and Rim Country is also well know for great family events and activities. Here are several springtime events that the whole family will enjoy.
PAYSON GRAND PRIX – April 20th, 2019 – This is a race series that includes motorcycles, ATV's, UTV's, trucks and buggies. Age divisions range from peewee to adult. Check out details @ https://www.azopracing.com. This event is held at the Payson Multi-Event Center just as you come in to Town.
ZANE GRAY 50 MILE ENDURANCE RUN Saturday, April 27th
Regarded as the toughest, roughest and most beautiful 50-mile trail runs in the country. It runs on the Highline trail near Christopher Creek, Arizona, at the base of the Mogollon Rim.
The Mogollon Rim is an escarpment defining the southwestern edge of the Colorado Plateau. Its central and most spectacular portions are characterized by high cliffs of limestone and sandstone, namely the Kaibab Limestone and Coconino Sandstone cliffs. The escarpment was created by erosion and faulting, cutting dramatic canyons into it, including Fossil Creek Canyon and Pine Canyon. The name Mogollon comes from Don Juan Ignacio Flores Mogollón, the Spanish Governor of New Mexico from 1712 to 1715.
The Highline Trail dates back more than 100 years to the 1870’s, when trails were built below the Mogollon Rim in Central Arizona to connect the homesteads to early settlers and pioneers. The beauty of the area is overwhelming. The four miles just east of Christopher Creek are thought by many to be the most beautiful section of this scenic trail.
The trail, which lies entirely in the Tonto National Forest and runs from just south of Pine, AZ to several miles east of the town of Christopher Creek, was designated a National Recreation Trail in 1979. The Forest Service and many volunteers including several runners have worked countless hours over the years to restore, maintain, clear and mark this scenic and historic trail.
For more info visit: www.zanegrey50.com
KID’S FISHING FESTIVAL
Payson, AZ - Sat Apr 27th 8:00am - 10:00pm 13th Annual Kids Fishing Festival at Green Valley Park in Payson. This popular event brings families from all around for a free day of fishing. No fishing license is required and kids can catch as many fish as they want.
These are just some of the fun things to do during a visit to Payson and Arizona’s Rim Country. We invite you to be our guest and come enjoy the “Adventure Where We Live”. If during your exploration you need information or you would like to discuss making your visit more permanent we have an amazing staff of professional Realtors that would love to introduce you to many more amazing features and amenities of our community.
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