504A Club Dr, Payson, AZ 85541



Winter Sports

The town of Payson is at 5,000 feet possessing a mild climate and receiving minimal snow fall each year. However, within a short 25-minute drive of Payson you can be atop the Mogollon Rim which is a 200-mile-long escarpment defining the southwestern edge of the Colorado Plateau. The area of the Mogollon Rim near Payson rises to an elevation of closer to 7,500 feet, creating a completely different winter and opportunities for a variety of winter recreation. Elevations above the Mogollon Rim typically receive enough snow to support skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, and other snow play opportunities.

Payson Arizona Winter Sports | Payson AZ Skiing Snowmobile

Cross-Country Skiing

The most popular cross-country skiing trails near Payson are located on top of the Mogollon Rim. Three of these trails are the Woods Canyon Overlook Trail, the General Crook Trail, and the Forest Lake trails.

Woods Canyon Overlook Trail
Black Mesa Ranger District
(928) 535-7300

This 8.5 mile out and back ski follows FS235 from highway 260. It is located at the edge of the Rim near the Woods Canyon Lake turnoff in the Rim Lakes Recreation Area. To reach the cross-country skiing trailhead from Payson, head east on SR260 for to the Rim Trailhead parking area. The overall difficulty of the trail is rated as easy.

Forest Lake trails
Black Mesa Ranger District
(928) 535-7300

The Forest Lakes Ski Trail System consists of 13 miles of loops above the Mogollon Rim. The cross-country ski trailhead is in Forest Lakes between Payson and Heber on SR260 and is marked. The overall difficulty of the trail is rated as easy.

General Crook Trail #140
Black Mesa Ranger District
(928) 535-7300

The Crook Trail is named after General George Crook, the Commander of the Military Department of Arizona in 1871. The General Crook trail is 58.9 miles long. It begins at Coconino National Forest and ends at Cottonwood Trail.

An easy way to find the trail is by visiting the Rim Visitor Center on State Highway 260. The trail passes just east of the Center and is well-marked. There are also numerous roads south of State Highway 260 that bisect the trail. Major trailheads are at Military Sinkhole and Al Fulton Point.

Payson Arizona Winter Sports | Payson AZ Skiing Snowmobile

Snowmobile Trails

Long Draw OHV Route
Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest
Black Mesa Ranger District
(928) 535-4481

Located on the Mogollon Rim northeast of Payson. The route is a 30-mile loop starting at either Long Draw North Trailhead (Chevelon Crossing) or Long Draw South Trailhead (Chevelon Lake). The route is restricted to street-legal /licensed vehicles. Trailhead includes staging area, toilets and campsite facilities. Area has many shared use routes open for off-highway vehicle use, including snowmobile trails. Ponderosa Pine Forest. Generally all seasons, however, routes may be closed due to winter snow.

Payson Arizona Winter Sports | Payson AZ Skiing Snowmobile

Sledding, Tubing and Snow Play

Families and kids sometimes just want to play in the snow, safely out of the way of downhill skiers. Activities like sledding and tubing down snow covered hills, building a snow man, throwing snowballs.

Occasionally there is enough snow in the town of Payson for kids and adults can have a blast sledding and frolicking in the winter snow at spots such as Green Valley Park. However, snow sneakers generally head east outside of Payson up highway 260 to higher elevations in search of spots with snow covered hills.


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Where to find us

Chaparral Pines Office
504A N. Club Dr., Payson, AZ 85541

Payson Office
600 E. Hwy 260, Ste #11, Payson, AZ 85541

Rim Club Office
2101 E. Rim Club Dr., Payson, AZ 85541

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