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Things To Do In Rim Country, Arizona 
 
by Toni Vernetti June 21, 2005

National Parks and Museums

  • The Tonto Natural Bridge, 12 miles north of Payson, features the largest natural travertine bridge in the world. The natural bridge is 183 feet high and 400 feet long. Visitors can choose from one of four trails that lead to the natural bridge. Enjoy breathtaking waterfalls and lush landscapes. The Tonto Natural Bridge is home to several species of birds and wild animals such as javelina, whitetail deer, cottontail rabbit, and squirrel. On the premises is a historic lodge that offers rooms for overnight stay as well as a gift shop. On the grounds there is a large park area with picnic tables, barbecues, and shaded ramadas.
  • At the Tonto National Monument, near Roosevelt Lake, visitors hike a 1-mile or 3-mile (round-trip) trail to enter the Upper and Lower cliff dwellings that were occupied by the Salado Indians in the 13th, 14th, and early 15th centuries. Here the Salado Indians farmed the Salt River Valley and supplemented their diet with native plants and wildlife. In the Visitor Center Museum visitors will find pottery and woven textiles made by the Salado Indians. The 1-mile Lower ruin trail is self-guided and is open most of the year. The Upper ruin trail is open from November through April and is a guided tour which requires a reservation. Contact the Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce for more information.
  • Visitors to Rim Country can take a self-guided tour of the Shoofly Indian ruins near Payson and learn about the native people that lived here between 1000 and 1250 AD. These ruins were excavated by ASU archaeologists.
  • The Rim Country Museum, in Payson, is located in a 1906 Forest Service ranger station and a replica of a historic hotel. It houses an extensive collection of artifacts and memorabilia from the history of Rim Country as well as a bookstore and gift shop. Being added to the museum in 2005 is a replica of the Zane Grey cabin which was originally located near Kohl’s Ranch but was destroyed in the Dude Fire in 1990. Zane Grey is a famous western novelist who used the Rim Country as the setting in many of his stories.

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