It was a sweltering Sunday afternoon. 112 degrees in the valley, rained the night before, so the sweat was pouring. One of those days where all you really want to do is lay in a pool, or better yet, a stream. So we set out to find a new place to soak.
All too often, I find myself visiting these places and wondering how it is that as a native Arizonan I've never been here before, or worse yet, never even heard of them. Water wheel is one of those places. Just a quick 1 and a half hour drive from Central Phoenix will get you out of 112 degree temps and into cool clean mountain air. When you get to the McDonalds in Payson, continue north a couple of miles to the Houston Mesa Road (accross from Home Depot) and head East. Staying on Houston Mesa another 7ish miles will bring you in and out of pines and scrub until you get to the Water Wheel day use parking area.