Due to the ongoing rebuild process of the Observation Deck, the south side of Tonto Natural Bridge State Park and all hiking trails remain closed. A 1/4 mile section of the paved path as well as Viewpoints #1 and #2 remain accessible. Fire restrictions have been lifted; charcoal grills are now allowed. Masks are required in all park buildings and in areas where people are unable to properly socially distance.
As a response to the uptick in COVID-19, the gift stop and museum area located in Goodfellow Lodge will be closed to the public.
Explore Payson and the Mogollon Rim
The town of Payson and the communities of Pine and Strawberry are located in the heart of Arizona in what is considered the “Alpine Region,” northeast of the Greater Phoenix metropolitan area. The drive up State Route 87 passes through some of the most beautiful desert and mountain landscapes in the entire state. Rim Country lies at various altitudes, Payson at 5,000', Pine and Strawberry, a short distance north, from 5,400' to 6,000'.
The following links are provided as a convenience only; they are not a recommendation of any product, service, or organization. Arizona State Parks maintains this list at its own discretion. Links will open in a new window and leave the Arizona State Parks website.
Rim County Chamber of Commerce
Represent towns of Payson, Pine, Strawberry, Star Valley, and Christopher Creek. 100 W. Main St. Payson. (800) 6-PAYSON.
Rim Country Museums including Zane Grey Cabin
The Northern Gila County Historical Society operates the Rim Country Museum and the Zane Grey Cabin.
Payson Ranger Station
1/2 mile east of Payson to the Mogollon Rim on Highway 260, on right. Information on camping, hiking, fishing and hunting in the Rim Country below the Mogollon Rim. Short exercise trail adjacent to the station.
Shoofly Native American Ruins
2.3 miles north of Payson on Highway 87, turn right on Houston Mesa Road. Approximately three miles to the ruins. Marked trail through the ruins with great views of the rim.
14 miles north of Payson on Highway 87, on right. The west end of the 51-mile-long Highline National Recreational Trail with trails ascending to the Mogollon Rim. The historic trail was established to link early homesteads and ranches in the late 1800s.
Christopher Creek Campground
21 miles east of Payson to the Mogollon Rim on Highway 260, on the right. Fishing and wading in Christopher Creek which runs through the middle of the campground. A full-service campground.
Rim Visitor Center
30 miles east of Payson to the Mogollon Rim on Highway 260, on right (well worth the trip). Located on the Mogollon Rim (Over 7,000 feet in elevation) where you can obtain information on the many vista points (view of the Tonto National Forest below), the lakes, fishing, picnicking, camping, boating, hiking and wildlife.
Tonto Creek Fish Hatchery
North of Payson, feed the fish, take a self guided tour or photographs, or enjoy birding. Forest Rd. 289. Arizona Game and Fish, Tonto Creek, (928) 478-4200.
Highline National Recreation Trails: West Entrance
14 miles north of Payson on Highway 87. Pine trailhead, Geronimo trailhead, Washington Park trailhead, and the Highline trailhead. For maps and brochure contact the Payson Ranger Station at (928) 474-7900.
The Arizona Trail
A 790-mile border-to-border route between Utah and Mexico. Contact the Payson Ranger Station at (928) 474-7900 or (602)-252-4794.
Fossil Creek Trailhead
Trail to Fossil Springs, hiking, swimming, photograghy, and birding. Contact the Payson Ranger Station at (928) 474-7900.