Fall is absolutely gorgeous in Rim Country, and there are several reasons why October is often one of our busiest months of the year here on the property for weddings and fall get a ways. As the weather cools and the holidays approach, our little community bustles with chili cook-offs, antique shows, and local community gatherings throughout Payson, Pine, and Strawberry and it's a great time to head up to participate with forest locals in the beauty and activities of fall.
Elk Brook Ranch Fall Colors
Whether you're here for a fall wedding, off on a fall break from school, or just cruising up to catch the fall colors on the trees and enjoy "campfire weather" - expect the property to be displaying it's full color by roughly mid-October.
The picture above and many of the "brightest" fall colors shown on the Elk Brook Ranch Instagram feed were taken between the 14th and the 25th of October over the last few years. Obviously seasonal changes are hard to pin down, but it you're after the changing leaves - shoot for mid to late October!
The best part is the forest offers up some of the best UTV and ATV riding in the country, and by launching from here and exploring the forest areas within a mile or so of the property you'll find colors that "pop" against the pine forest as you cruise - especially if you park and spend some time exploring along the creeks/river areas along the East Verde and it's feeders.
Fall Activities in Payson, Pine, and Strawberry
Fall is a time of cook-offs and craft shows up here - with everyone from local Senior Centers to local retailers offering options for browsing in the nearly perfect ~60 degrees temps during the day.
As we author this article - here's an example of what we're telling the mini-ranch guests is happening in town for the 9th and 10th of October 2021:
The 2021 Beeline Cruise-in Car show is at Green Valley park this weekend and about 250 antique/classic cars will be showing up and on display starting today. Green Valley park is down by the lake in the heart of the City of Payson - just turn down Main St and drive down to the water. Beautiful walking/fishing/car show down there all weekend.
We have a new restaurant open in town (BIG news here) at the Payson Municipal Golf Course called "Fairways". Melisa and I have met and spoken with the owners and chef (who has awesome ideas for the menu) - they've put together a very nice venue with outdoor dining at the golf course near Green Valley park and it just opened a few days ago.
The communities of Strawberry/Pine are having a fall festival this weekend with antique shows and chili cook-offs that'll have Main St/Pine's 260/87 strip jumping as many vendors bring goods to the sidewalk and line the streets. Pine is about 10-15 min North of Payson on the 87 -- GREAT food places up their including our favorite, the Old County Inn, which has an attached pub house and rotating selection of local/micro brews and wines. You can stroll from there to the local retail shops North of the grocery - and don't miss the Rusty Pine Cone for unique gifts and souvenirs, e-bike rentals, and the best lemonade stand in town.
Fall colors are a bit late this year and just getting started - as you near the house we'd recommend walking/hiking between 2nd and 3rd crossings just North of Waterwheel. Just park at one or the other parking lot and explore North or South between 2nd and 3rd crossing along the creek. It's an easy/beginner walk, and make for amazing photos along the water.
Fishing should be really good up at the Rim Lakes and at Green Valley park as waters cool and the trout (and other fish) get their bite on! You'll want to dress in layers as temps around the water will be cooler - but that chill is what signals great fall fishing in Rim Country!
If you're into UTV/ATVs you will LOVE it up here from September to late October, as typically monsoon rains have dampened the dust and the forest temps remain cooler in the the 60s and 70s during the day. For those staying with us - we have plenty of room for UTV trailers/haulers here at Elk Brook Ranch with a full turn around/circle drive beside the guest house -- and as two people who love to ride our ATVs as our primary hobby -- we're happy to give suggestions for finding some of the best views near by.
Fall Weather in Payson
The biggest advice we can give to those coming up for Fall in Rim Country is to "bring layers". Our Fall temps will swing 35 to 40 degrees sometimes as night time and early morning temps dip as low as the high 30s F, and day time temps reach high 70s or low 80s in the same 24 hour period.
We see a lot of people in our line of work as full time hosts here on the mini-ranch, and those who show up at check-in wearing shorts are often surprised at check-in time (4pm) that it's "already so chilly" and we've hear so many times: "man, I didn't bring pants!"
Be prepared for late rains as the Monsoon typically has just ended or is winding down, and bring old shoes or boots you don't mind getting muddy - especially if you'll be taking pony rides and playing with the mini-horses/chickens. It can get quite muddy around here if it rains!
For those headed our direction or those just looking for follow along to see when there's snow, rain, etc. - we run a live weather station here on the property at the office cabin. The weather station shows live images and up to the minute temps with time lapse imagery at the end of each day. Hope it helps!