Arizona is a popular destination for many keen out-of-town, out-of-state and also local walkers. Nowhere in the state is hiking more interesting and exciting than in Payson. Hotels in the area are often full of capacity with walkers during the spring and fall seasons. Payson offers a myriad of beautiful, well-maintained hiking trails that will satisfy the hiker all the way to the very advanced hiker.
One of the local hiking trails is the Payson Area Trails System (PATS). This system is a work in progress that incorporates an interconnecting trail system that uses things such as tapered paths, open sidewalks, and bike paths to create a comprehensive interior path network. These trails connect to Forest Service roads and peripheral trails and offer a rustic, nature-centered hiking experience. Trails include American Gulch Trail, Boulders Loop Trail and Cypress Trail, Goat Camp Ruins Trail, Houston Trail and Houston Loop Trail.
In addition to PATS, the Tonto National Forest and surrounding wildlife areas have nearly 900 miles of National Forest System Trails. These trails provide a range of opportunities for walkers, cyclists and horse enthusiasts to enjoy all that Payson nature has to offer. Many outdoor lovers visit the area, stay at Payson hotels and spend their days exploring the great Arizona outdoors.
In addition to hiking, the Payson area has plenty of places to fish in the Mogollon Rim. Many of the streams below the edge have plenty of stock and stream-spawned trout. A number of hot water anglers inhabit lakes, reservoirs and rivers in the lower elevation. Rim Country – just an hour from Payson hotels – contains many lakes full of different fish. Roosevelt Lake is notorious for its ability to produce trophy fish, so if you are into fishing, make sure you plan to visit Payson!