Exploring Arizona

Exploring Shoofly Village Ruins & Wagon Wheel- Payson, Arizona

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Exploring the Shoofly Village Ruin

If you follow our Youtube Channel, or our blog, you know that we just love to go on weekly adventures here in Arizona. Some roads keep us closer to home, others take us farther into the desert and to some amazing historical places. Last year, we visited the Shoofly Village Ruins & Wagon Wheel in Payson Arizona. These are all great places to go with the family.

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Shoofly Village Ruin Payson Arizona

About The Shoofly Village Ruin

The Shoofly Village ruins are located on 3.75 acres on the Houston Mesa just outside of the town of Payson, Arizona. This small village housed as many as 250 people and was occupied somewhere between 1000 and 1300 AD. Many parts of the village are still visible as you follow the many trails around the site. In its prime, it had at over 80 structures including a large building that contained 26 rooms and was possibly two stories high in some places.

The Shoofly Village Architects

A unique architectural site with various styles of building designs.

Site Information:

1-5 Houston Mesa Rd,
Payson, AZ 85541

View on Google Maps

  • Head northeast on AZ-87 N toward E Frontier St.
  • At the traffic circle, take the 2nd exit
  • Continue onto AZ-260 W/AZ-87 N
  • At the traffic circle, take the 2nd exit and stay on AZ-260 W/AZ-87 N
  • Turn right onto Houston Mesa Rd/Nf-199
  • Continue 2.9 Miles to Shoofly Village Ruins (on right)

Wide gravel paths, possible wheel chair accessible.

  • Easy Hike
Payson Ranger District
1009 E. Highway 260
Payson, AZ 85541
(928) 474-7900

$0

Open to the public, self guided tour.

Wagon Wheel Third Crossing - East Verde River

After we finished exploring the history of the Shoofly Village Ruins, we headed over to the third crossing at Wagon Wheel / The East Verde River.

This is a beautiful spot to sit and relax for the afternoon and enjoy a picnic.  We found some hiking trails along the river as well as some amazing river views.  Although we didn’t bring our fishing poles with us, this is a great spot to catch some trout. 

Water Wheel Third Crossing

Site Information:

First Crossing: Travel on Houston Mesa Road (FR 199) for 7 miles.

Water Wheel: Travel on Houston Mesa Road (FR 199) for 7 ½ miles.

Second Crossing: Travel on Houston Mesa Road (FR 199) for 8 miles.

Third Crossing: Travel on Houston Mesa Road (FR 199) for 8 ½ miles.

View on Google Maps

  • Head northeast on AZ-87 N toward E Frontier St.
  • At the traffic circle, take the 2nd exit
  • Continue onto AZ-260 W/AZ-87 N
  • At the traffic circle, take the 2nd exit and stay on AZ-260 W/AZ-87 N
  • Turn right onto Houston Mesa Rd/Nf-199
  • Continue past the Shoofly Village Ruins to the Wagon Wheel Area
Payson Ranger District
1009 E. Highway 260
Payson, AZ 85541
(928) 474-7900

Vault toilets available April 1- October 31

Per the Tonto National Forest Site:

  • Fees charged by Concessionaire April 1 through October 31, annually. Concessionaire will accept cash or checks only, no credit or debit. $10 per day.
  • Site managed by the Forest Service November 1 through March 31, annually – No fee

Fish Species:  Rainbow Trout; Brown Trout; Smallmouth Bass; Sunfish

Follow the full adventure in the video below:

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