Payson, Arizona

Introduction to Payson, Arizona

Payson, Arizona, in Gila county, is 59 miles NE of Scottsdale, Arizona and 62 miles NE of Mesa, Arizona. The town has a population of 13,620.

Payson History

Payson was founded in 1882. At that time, the area was known as Green Valley. On March 3, 1884, the community was named ‘Payson’ after Illinois congressman, Louis Edwin Payson. This name was adopted at the suggestion of postmaster Frank C. Hise. Payson remained an isolated town for many years, as the town’s mail was delivered by horseback until about 1914. During the 1930s, many roads were constructed. The paved road connecting the town with Phoenix was completed in 1959.

Payson and nearby Attractions

  • Shoo-Fly Indian Archaeological Site
  • Museum of the Forest
  • Northern Gila County Historical Society
  • Elephant Head Tank
  • Payson Rodeo Grounds
  • Tonto National Forest

Things To Do In Payson

While in Payson, one can visit the nearby historical sites and museums like the Shoo-Fly Indian Archaeological Site, the Museum of the Forest, the Rim Country Museum and the Northern Gila County Historical Society. One can also visit the nearby parks that offer a range of recreational opportunities. Among these are Rumsey Park, the Tonto National Forest and the Tonto Natural Bridge State Park. The Tonto National Forest Seismological Observatory is another popular tourist destination. The town also hosts annual celebrations like Aero Fair, the Northern Gila County Fair and the Western Heritage Festival.

Payson Transportation

Flagstaff Pulliam is the nearest airport.

Payson Higher Education

Higher educational opportunities are offered by Scottsdale Community College and Paradise Valley Community College.

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