Pine-Strawberry, Arizona


Courtesy of the Arizona State Department of Commerce

Pine and Strawberry are rapidly growing vacation and retirement centers in the north central part of the state. Pine is at an elevation of 5,448 feet and is named for the surrounding pine timber country. The community's post office was founded in 1884. Strawberry, at an elevation of 6,047 feet, was named for the wild strawberries that grow in the area.

These sister communities are three miles apart on State Highway 87, about 15 miles northwest of Payson, and 110 miles northeast of Phoenix. Both are unincorporated. The area has four distinct seasons, but none are severe; although snow falls in the winter, it usually melts quickly.

Principal Economic Activities...

As vacation and retirement centers, the commercial sectors of both communities rely heavily on weekend tourists and second-home residents. With the growth in the area, light industry manufacturing development is being encouraged. Some residents travel to Payson for employment; however, most nontourist-related income comes from construction and service-related businesses.

Scenic Attractions...

The beautiful pine-clad country around Pine and Strawberry and the Blue Ridge Reservoir, Bear Canyon Lake and Knoll Lake offer many recreational opportunities and facilities. Forest Service campgrounds in the 7,000-foot Mogollon Rim area are plentiful. Fisherman enjoy the abundant trout streams, and elk, deer, turkey, antelope, bear and mountain lion hunting is permitted.

Scenic drives in the area abound. Two prime examples include Control Road which winds along the base of the Mogollon Rim, and Mogollon Rim Road, part of the historical General Crook Military Road, which follows along the edge of the Rim. Another must-see site is the Tonto Natural Bridge. This natural wonder is the largest travertine bridge in the world and is operated as a State Park.

Hikers, horseback riders and backpackers enjoy scenic Pine Trailhead located at the southern edge of Pine. There is also a walking tour of historic buildings in Pine and Strawberry.

The Chamber of Commerce and the Historical Society host a Strawberry Festival on the same day in June that the Kiwanis Club sponsors a Chili Cook-off. A shuttle bus provides transportation between the two events. The Chamber also hosts a fireworks display in July, and later in the month there is an Old-Fashioned Ice Cream Social sponsored by The Homemakers, followed by the community picnic.

On each Saturday of the three holiday weekends, Memorial Day, the Fourth of July and Labor Day, there is an early morning Cowboy Breakfast, sponsored by the Tonto Rim Search and Rescue Squad, and arts and craft festivals.

Pine also hosts the Pine Country Fair and Strawberry boasts the oldest schoolhouse in Arizona (now a state historical site).

Ed.: If you'd like an idea of what things look like around the area, take a cyber-stroll thru any one of the Galleries in the RIMages section of the site. Click the button and enjoy!

             Images of the Rim Country

1980 1990 1997
Pine-Strawberry 1,250 1,811** 2,136*
GILA COUNTY 37,080 40,216 47,450
ARIZONA 2,716,546 3,665,228 4,600,275
Sources: Arizona Department of Economic Security and U.S. Census Bureau.
* Local sources estimate population at 5,000 during summer months. 1997 estimate projected from county growth rates.
** Amounts have been revised based on current calculations by Central Arizona Association of Governments.

Pine-Strawberry LABOR FORCE...
1980 1990 1997
Civilian Labor Force 3,352 2,865 N/A
Employed 3,037 2,564 N/A
Unemployed 315 302 N/A
Unemployment Rate 9.4% 10.5% N/A
Source: Arizona Department of Economic Security.

1980 1990 1997
Postal Receipts ($)* 114,185 233,963 219,302
School Enrollment 256 267 288
Net AssessedValuation ($)** 20,980,677 24,134,827 25,750,474
* Postal receipts are for fiscal year.
** Fire District, Pine #1.

1980 1990 1997
AZ State Tax $ 0.47 $ 0.00 $ 0.00
Community College 0.38 0.50 0.54
Library 0.21 0.24 0.24
County Fire District 0.06 0.10 0.10
County 3.79 3.98 4.63
County Total $ 4.91 $ 4.82 $ 5.51
School District 5.73 5.89 5.85
Pine-Strawberry Fire District 1.64 2.10 2.08
Total $12.28 $12.81 $13.54
Note: Property tax in Arizona is based on assessed valuation which is 10 percent of market value for residential property. Average tax rate on homes in Arizona before exemptions and rebates is 1.3% of market value.

Community Facilities...

There are many community facilities in both nearby Payson and Pine. Payson has one indoor theater, an 18-hole golf course, rodeo grounds, three tennis courts, a library and two parks. Pine offers a library, a museum, a park, a roping arena and a community center. Strawberry remains primarily rural/residential.

COMMUNICATION - In addition to communication resources from the rest of the state, Pine-Strawberry has weekly and quarterly area newspapers, a local AM and FM station, and nine television channels from Phoenix, Flagstaff, Tucson and Prescott; also cable TV with 11 channels. Cellular phone and local internet dial-up services are also available.

EDUCATION - There is one public elementary school; high school students attend school in Payson. The Gila Pueblo Community College has classes in Payson and Pine.

MEDICAL - Pine-Strawberry has one medical clinic with a nurse practitioner and three nursing homes. Complete medical facilities are available in Payson, 15 miles south.

FINANCIAL - Five financial institutions are located in Pine and Payson. Further, Gila County businesses are eligible for assistance in financing fixed assets through the Strategic Finance Division, Arizona Department of Commerce. Information on private activity bonds within the county may be obtained from the same source or from the Industrial Development Authority of Gila County; Gila County Planning & Zoning Dept.; 1400 E. Ash; Globe, Arizona 85501.

GOVERNMENTAL - Pine-Strawberry is governed by the Gila County Board of Supervisors and served by the sheriff's department and highway patrol. The fire department has two stations, 10 full-time firefighters/paramedics, 13 part-time firefighters/EMTs, and 27 volunteer firefighters/EMTs.

AIRPORT - Residents of the area have access to the Payson Municipal Airport (CTAF 122.8), which supports some 30,000 operations per year on its lighted 5,500-foot runway and offers FBO, fueling, maintenance facilities, hangars, tie-downs, flight instruction, scenic flights, charter service, and a restaurant. The latest addition is a "fly-in campground" adjacent to the runway.

Electricity: APS, (928) 474-2204
Propane: Aztec Butane Co. 474-3334; Broken Bow Gas Company, 474-2294
Telephone: U.S. West Communications, 1-800-244-1111
Water: Utility Management & Operation Services, 474-2100
Sewer: Septic systems

LODGING AND MEETING FACILITIES - There are six motels with 44 units and four meeting facilities, with the largest seating 125 persons. There are also four mobilehome parks in the area.

Weather Statistic, averages*...

MONTH Daily Max °F Daily Min °F Total Precip (inches)
January 50.1 23.7 2.11
February 54.2 25.8 1.43
March 61.4 28.4 1.78
April 67.0 34.7 0.96
May 74.8 41.2 0.43
June 81.9 49.0 0.50
July 87.5 58.5 3.10
August 84.2 57.0 3.30
September 79.2 49.8 1.86
October 72.5 40.0 1.64
November 60.3 30.5 1.45
December 52.2 24.5 2.21
YEAR 72.5 38.6 20.77
*Payson Reporting Station, elevation: 4,913 feet.
Average Total Snow, Sleet and Hail Annually: 25.1 inches.
Daily temperatures based on typical 5º to 7º difference between Payson and Pine-Strawberry temperatures.
(Based on a 30-year average)

This profile was prepared by the Arizona Department of Commerce Communications Division in cooperation with the Pine-Strawberry Chamber of Commerce.

For further information, contact:
Pine-Strawberry Chamber of Commerce
Post Office Box 196
Pine, Arizona 85544
(928) 476-3547

Gila County Board of Supervisors
1400 East Ash
Globe, AZ 85501
(928) 425-3231

Arizona Department of Commerce
3800 N. Central Ave., Ste. 1400
Phoenix, AZ 85012
(602) 280-1321 FAX: (602) 280-1305


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