is surrounded by densely wooded hills at around 5,500 feet - half way in elevation between the Mogollon Rim
a few miles north and the cactus deserts to the south. All the neighboring land is part of the Tonto National Forest
, containing various trailheads and campgrounds, plus one developed attraction at Tonto Natural Bridge State Park
(13 miles away), where a small creek has carved a 400 foot-long cavern through a travertine outcrop.
There are three main roads into Payson - Hwy 87 from Phoenix
and the south, Hwy 260 from Heber
and the east, and Hwy 87 from the north; the town is centered on the intersection, and most facilities are within walking distance, including the small selection of hotels and shops. Payson also has an airport, a medical center, a few RV sites, a country club/golf course, a rodeo ground and several city parks.
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