When you’re in the area during the holiday season, it’s worth stopping by Payson, Arizona for the annual Lich Light Parade. This event transforms the town into a winter wonderland. Held on Main Street in the town, the parade begins at 6 pm and is free to attend – rain or shine. This parade includes marching bands, floats, and the opportunity to see the lights up close. Once you’ve seen the floats, you’ll be ready to see what this beautiful community has to offer.
Those with a love of fossil hunting will find the Mogollon Rim, an area stretching about 200 miles across the center of the state that showcases high sandstone and limestone cliffs. Payson is a great destination for those interested in fossil hunting, as well as rockhounds looking to find unique finds. And if you’re traveling with kids, you’ll enjoy exploring the town’s two parks and the nearby Paleo Site.
Payson is an easy drive from Phoenix. However, you should be aware that it can get quite crowded on weekends. Despite this, the city has plenty to offer visitors, from shopping and dining to exploring the city’s history. One of the most popular attractions in Payson is Green Valley Park, which is known as the “Jewel of Payson”. Besides having beautiful scenery, the 43-acre park also has a playground, picnic areas, and an amphitheater. You can also check out the local art and history at the Payson Candle Factory.
If you’re visiting Payson for the first time, don’t miss the historic Payson Pioneer Cemetery. This cemetery, managed by the Payson Woman’s Club, is home to hundreds of graves. The cemetery is shaded by juniper and oak trees, and blooms with wildflowers. The graves are adorned with flowers to commemorate those who made the town’s history. It is also the site of the renegade Apache Indian John Meadows, a famous local who was killed by renegade Apaches in 1882.
The climate in Payson is mild and pleasant year-round. Payson’s elevation and Mediterranean climate mean that temperatures rarely dip below 30 degrees Fahrenheit and rarely rise above 100 degrees. During the summer months, temperatures can reach highs of the 80s, but don’t worry because the altitude protects it from 100 degrees! The monsoon season brings heavy rain, but also lowers temperatures. If you’re looking for warm-weather activities, late May through early August is the best time to visit Payson.
If you’re into archeology, the Tonto National Forest Paleontology Site is an absolute must-see. This site was a habitat for dinosaurs millions of years ago, and now is the hot spot for archaeological digs. If you’re into hiking, this hike is suitable for all ages and offers some great views of Payson. If you’re not into dinosaurs, you may still enjoy the town’s many other attractions.