Southwestern Lodge with Onsite Fishing and Horseback Riding
Central Arizona’s seemingly endless stretches of rugged terrain sparked creativity in writer Zane Grey. The scenery served as his inspiration for 64 novels and more than 300 short stories, culminating in the western classic Riders of the Purple Sage. To immerse himself in the landscape he loved, Grey lived near Payson, Arizona. Kohl’s Ranch Lodge sits amid the same picturesque vistas that served as the backdrop for so much of his classic western fiction.
There's a rugged, cowboy feel to the log-cabin-style property—it's filled with wagon wheels, saddles, and southwestern blankets. At Zane Grey Steakhouse and Saloon, the menu includes classic breakfast dishes with names such as Outlaw Cakes and Rangers Repast. A highlight of the entrees is rainbow trout fished directly out of the adjacent Tonto Creek.
Horseback rides, fishing, and hiking are all available onsite. An ample collection of lounge chairs surrounds the heated outdoor pool, which reflects the towering trees that line the perimeter of the lodge.
Payson, Arizona: Historical Western Culture on Rugged Mogollon Rim
Pine trees and saguaro cacti cover the nearly 3-million-acre Tonto National Forest, which surrounds Payson in central Arizona. About an hour's drive from Kohl's Ranch Lodge is one of the most popular outdoor destinations in the state: the Mogollon Rim, a towering cliff about 2,000 feet high that stretches for roughly 200 miles. Hundreds of miles of roads provide access to the rim’s awe-inspiring scenery, passing campsites, hiking trails, and lakes good for fishing. Black bears, bobcats, and white-tailed deer have all been spotted in the forested hills.