Escaping the Heat in Arizona

Dori Wittrig July 26, 2023

Escaping the Heat in Arizona: 5 Refreshing Getaways within Two Hours of Fountain Hills

As the Arizona sun blazes overhead, residents of Fountain Hills and neighboring areas eagerly seek solace from the summer heat. Fortunately, the Grand Canyon State offers a variety of stunning destinations within a two-hour drive, where you can escape the sweltering temperatures and embrace the beauty of nature. Let’s explore five refreshing getaways that promise to beat the heat and rejuvenate your spirit.

1. Sedona: Red Rocks and Cool Creeks Distance from Fountain Hills: Approximately 1.5 hours

Oak Creek- Sedona


Sedona’s mesmerizing red rock formations and lush forests make it an ideal escape from the summer heat. While temperatures can still be warm, Sedona’s higher elevation provides relief compared to the desert lowlands. Take an early morning leisurely hike through the Coconino National Forest, enjoy the stunning views from Airport Mesa, and don’t forget to dip your toes in the refreshing Oak Creek.

2. Payson: Embracing the Rim Country Distance from Fountain Hills: Around 1.5 hours

Horten Creek- Payon
Nestled in the Mogollon Rim, Payson offers a pleasant escape into the “Rim Country.” The area boasts beautiful forests, picturesque lakes, and mild temperatures. Head up to the Tonto Natural Bridge State Park to witness the world’s largest natural travertine bridge and cool off by the flowing creek. Don’t miss the opportunity to fish, kayak, or paddleboard at the serene Willow Springs Lake.

3. Prescott: The Mile-High Oasis Distance from Fountain Hills: Approximately 1.5 hours

Sharkit Hall Museum
Prescott’s mile-high elevation provides a welcome escape from the desert heat. This charming town offers a delightful mix of history, art, and nature. Take a stroll through the historic downtown, visit the Sharlot Hall Museum, and explore the nearby Prescott National Forest. The Lynx Lake Recreation Area offers boating and hiking opportunities, ensuring a refreshing retreat.

4. Tonto National Forest: Lakes and Trails Distance from Fountain Hills: Varies depending on the entry point, but generally less than a 1 hour

Just a short drive away, Tonto National Forest encompasses over three million acres of diverse landscapes. The forest boasts several picturesque lakes such as Saguaro, Apache, and Canyon Lakes, perfect for boating, fishing, and picnicking. Enjoy a boat cruise on the Desert Belle keeping an eye out for the unique flora and fauna that thrive in this arid wilderness.

5. Mogollon Rim: Escaping to the Pines Distance from Fountain Hills: Around 1.5 hours

Bear Cannon Lake
Escape to the shade of the ponderosa pines along the stunning Mogollon Rim. This dramatic escarpment offers breathtaking views of the expansive pine forests below. Explore the hiking trails, enjoy a family picnic, or simply relax and breathe in the crisp mountain air.
So, pack your bags, grab your sunscreen, and embark on a memorable adventure to beat the heat this summer! Arizona’s diverse landscape offers numerous opportunities to explore nature’s wonders. Whether you prefer the red rocks of Sedona, the cool creeks of Payson, the charm of Prescott, the tranquility of Tonto National Forest, or the refreshing pines of the Mogollon Rim, these getaways within a two-hour drive of Fountain Hills are sure to provide you with a much-needed respite from the summer heat.

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