Traditionally my family has always gone to Prescott, Sedona, or Flagstaff to get away from the heat. Last summer we decided to try a different part of Arizona, and we rented an AirBnB to beat the heat and escape to Heber-Overgaard. This gem of a town is located in between Payson and Show Low in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest. I love more than 5 things about this beautiful place, but these are my top 5:
- Bison Ranch – If you can, renting a cabin or condo on this property is the way to go. There is a small fishing pond and playground within walking distance of basically every residence on this property. We love to fish, so we could spend all day at this pond and never leave. In addition to the pond and playground, there are a few shops and a restaurant right on the property.
- Woods Canyon Lake – This lake is a few miles west of the town of Heber-Overgaard, but it’s only about a 20 minute drive to get there. You can park and just fish on an edge of the lake, or you can rent a trolling motor boat, kayak, paddle board, peddle boat, or canoe. If you have your own boat, you can also bring that too. If you like to camp, there are several campgrounds right near the lake as well. We love to spend an entire day at the lake.
- Christina’s Woodshed Cafe – There are a lot of great places to eat in Heber-Overgaard, but this place is our favorite. Not only is the food delicious, but the owner (Christina) is a sweetheart. She makes you feel like family from the moment you get there. Breakfast is served all day, and everything on the menu is delicious. There is also a lunch menu that includes an elk or bison burger as an option! Take out is available too if you aren’t comfortable dining at restaurants at this time.
- Rancho Tonto Catch-A-Trout – This place is about a 40 minute drive from Heber-Overgaard but totally worth the drive. We found it while exploring accidentally one day, and we were so glad we did! You get to use a fishing pole and net (provided by the place) to catch rainbow trout in the pond on the property. You pay $1 per inch for each fish you catch (no catch and release). They will help you clean the fish if needed, and you can take fresh fish home with you to eat. Our kids loved the whole experience.
- Mogollon Rim Views – When we get up to 100+ degrees in the valley, any relief in temperature is great for us. Heber-Overgaard has this for sure, but it also has some of the most beautiful views I have ever seen. One of them is the Mogollon Rim. There are several places you can pull off near the town to see the beautiful views of the Mogollon Rim or views of the beautiful trees and forestry in the region in general.
If you don’t feel like staying the night, anything I mentioned above is reasonable for a day trip and you could still escape to Heber-Overgaard. You could leave early in the morning, explore the area, and head back home in the afternoon. Arizona is such a wonderful place!