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Payson, Utah, was founded in the 1850s just a few years after Mormon pioneers began settling in Salt Lake City, just a short distance to the north. After the turn of the century, Payson became a major sugar beet farming area, however, just a couple decades later the crops failed and processing plants shut down. Today, Payson stands as a quiet suburb of nearby Provo, home to Brigham Young University and one of the largest Mormon communities in the United States. That Mormon influence can be seen today with a visit to Payson’s recently constructed Latter Days Saints Temple, the 15th to be built in Utah.
When you book an RV in Payson, there’s a good chance you’ll want to head into some of the larger surrounding cities like Provo and Salt Lake City. If you do, you can take advantage of public transportation so you can avoid the challenges of parking and traffic. However, Salt Lake City’s streets are famous for being some of the widest in the country, so maneuvering the Payson RV rental here may be a bit easier than it would be in other cities of similar size.
The state’s largest freshwater body, Utah Lake, is also not far from Payson. Kayak rentals are available from the marina if you’re looking to do some paddling. There’s also the Grotto Trail, which is a very easy hike to a nice little waterfall that’s actually located in town. It’s suitable for any age or experience level and is a perfect activity for a summer afternoon when exploring the area with a camper rental near Payson.
The Nebo Loop Scenic Byway is one of the many beautiful drives through the Wasatch Mountains and is one of the more popular activities to enjoy with an RV rental from Payson. It can be done in a few short hours, but if you want to experience the amazing landscapes, it’s best to budget a half day to do a short hike or two along the way. The bright orange rock formation known as Devil’s Kitchen, about halfway through the mountains, is a fantastic place to get out and stretch your legs.
For more low-key activities closer to town, Payson has a few golf courses and community pools that are excellent places to spend a leisurely afternoon. Gene Hillman Recreation Complex on the southeastern edge of town also has some sports fields if you’re looking for a pickup game.
Canyon View RV Park, outside the town of Spanish Fork, is one of the closest dedicated RV parks with some amenities. Sites have electrical and water hookups and there’s a playground for the little ones. It’s also adjacent to a golf course if you’re hoping for a tee time during your stay in Payson. Another option is Maple Bench Campground in the Unita-Wasatch-Cache National Forest; it’s one of the closest rustic campgrounds to park with a motorhome rental from Payson. They have drinking water available, but only simple vault toilets and not much else in the way of amenities.
If you’re willing to stay a little farther out of town, the Springville / Provo KOA Journey is another option. You’ll find full hookups, a swimming pool, a dog park, and a game room to keep you entertained when you choose an RV rental in Payson, UT. With manager permission, you could also camp out at Payson’s local Walmart, but you won’t have any amenities so come prepared with full tanks.
To learn a little bit about Payson’s history, visit the Peteetneet Museum, which is located inside the old high school. It houses an excellent assortment of artifacts from the town’s past including everything from old saddles from its leather producing days in the late 19th century to wood carvings from its Native American inhabitants.
While the area is primarily known for its Mormon residents, there are quite a few other religions and ethnicities that make their home here. The Sri Sri Radha Krishna Temple in Spanish Forks is an example of this, and visiting their massive Hindu temple is a great way to learn more about the Payson area’s diversity. Additionally, if your trip with the RV rental in Payson is during the month of July, don't miss the annual Scottish Heritage Festival. Scots make up a substantial portion of the Payson population and their festival features bagpipe competitions, sword dancing, and, of course, loads of delicious Scottish food.
If you get a familiar feeling walking around Payson, it’s probably due to the hit 1980’s film Footloose being filmed here. If you’re interested in visiting some of the locations from the film, make stops at Payson High School and Sudsies, the local car wash. Oh, and don’t worry, Payson doesn’t have any prohibition on dancing, so feel free to show off your moves at one of the local nightspots.