Whether you’re an ax man, ATVer, archer, biker, runner, Dutch Oven enthusiast or horseshoe pitcher, the Payson Mountain High Games are where you need to be June 3 through June 5.

Put a new spin on outdoor adventure in the Rim Country this year. Test those rough and tumble recreational skills at Payson’s Mountain High Games June 3 through June 5.

Known for natural attractions like the Mogollon Rim and Tonto Natural Bridge, Payson is the perfect place to enjoy the great outdoors.

Outdoor enthusiasts flock to Payson and the surrounding Rim Country because of its abundance of camping, hunting and fishing opportunities. It is a close, cost-effective vacation getaway for people looking to escape the heat in the Valley, not to mention a great staycation for those of us lucky enough to live here.

This year to celebrate the great outdoors, the Town of Payson along with McMahons RV and Bob Lee and Sons Tree Service will be putting on an outdoor sports competition. The Arizona Office of Tourism has sanctioned the Mountain High Games as an official Arizona Centennial Event.


Max Foster photo

It is time to take those ATVs and quads away from the recreational jaunts and try some competition this weekend.

The Mountain High Games will be held at the Payson Event Center and include: Mountain Bike Race, 5k Trail Run, Dutch Oven Cooking Contest, Archery Competition, ATV Rodeo, ATV Trail Rides, Loggers Sawdust Festival, an old-fashioned Horseshoe Tournament and a large, outdoor expo.

Professional and amateur athletes from all over the Southwest and the Pacific Northwest will converge upon Payson to compete for over $10,000 dollars in cash and prizes.

The outdoor expo will feature all the latest gadgets dealing with hunting, camping, hiking, mountain biking and fishing.

Schedule of events:

Friday, June 3

3 p.m.– 5 p.m.: Event Registration (all events)

4 p.m. – 6 p.m.: Open Archery Range Shooting

4:45 p.m. – 5:45 p.m.: Barbecue Dinner, $5 per plate, open to the public

5:45 p.m. – 7 p.m.: ATV Trail Ride - Snow Mountain Ride

9 p.m. – 1 a.m.: Dance at the Historic Oxbow Saloon, featuring Nashville recording artist Candyce Kain

Saturday, June 4

7 a.m. – 10 a.m.: Event Registration (all events)

8 a.m.: ATV Trail Ride - Table Mountain Ride

9 a.m.: Mountain Bike Race/Kids Mountain Bike Race

10 a.m.: Trail Run

11 a.m.: 3-D Archery Tournament

Noon: Horseshoe Contest

1 p.m.: Dutch Oven Cooking Contest

3 p.m.: Loggers Sawdust Festival

5 p.m.: ATV Rodeo

7 p.m.: Summer Concert Series at Green Valley Park featuring Nashville recording artist Candyce Kain

9 p.m.: Dance at Oxbow Saloon with Landon Shill performing


Competitors of all ages will find something to try their skills at the Payson Mountain High Games. Youngsters have their own events, such as the Pinecone Toss, at the annual Loggers Sawdust Festival, which will take place Saturday, June 4 and Sunday, June 5 at the Payson Event Center. With formal permission from their parents or guardians, young people can also compete in the ATV Trail Ride and ATV Rodeo, Mountain Bike Race, Trail Run and more.

Sunday, June 5

7 a.m.: ATV Trail Ride - Royal Flush Mountain Ride

9 a.m.: Finals of the Loggers Sawdust Festival/Open Archery Range Shooting

Noon: Sawdust Festival Awards Ceremony

Beginners and professionals are encouraged to compete in the events. Go online to www.paysonrim country.com/mountainhighgames or call (928) 474-5242, extension 7 for registration information, including details for overnight camping.


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