Young is a small community located in the mountains of central Arizona, about 140 highway miles northeast of Phoenix, with beautiful panoramic views of the Tonto National Forest which surrounds it. Situated at around 5200 ft. in elevation, Young boasts a relatively moderate climate, clean fresh air, and gorgeous sunsets. We enjoy all four seasons, including fragrant gardens in the spring, cooling monsoon rains in the summer, changing colors in the fall, and light snowfalls in the winter. Typically, Young will be 15 degrees cooler than the Phoenix metro area high at any time of the year. Wildlife abounds, as deer, elk, coyotes, javelinas, wild turkeys, bobcats, and even bear inhabit the surrounding land.
There are many benefits of living off the beaten path. With a population under 600 residents, Young is more of a community than a town. Not only is it a quiet, safe and friendly place to live and raise children (or retire to), but there are also various opportunities for fellowship. The residents of Young support the local businesses, volunteer to serve their community, and their children benefit from an advantageous teacher to student ratio at the Pre K-12 school.
In the late 1800s, Young, then called Pleasant Valley, became a backdrop for the infamous Graham-Tewksbury ranching feud which led to the Pleasant Valley War. The independent spirit of this wild west history still holds true in Young, from self-sufficiency (electricity didn’t arrive in town until the mid 1960s!), to personal freedoms, to few deed or building restrictions. Businesses in town are locally owned and operated, including a small grocery store, a convenience store with gas pump, two restaurants, a bar, winery, feed store, auto parts store, auto shop, motel, B&B, RV park, hair salon, and, of course, Waite’s Country Realty. You won’t find any big chain stores or corporations here!
Locals and visitors alike take advantage of Young’s pristine natural setting. You can hike, hunt, fish, swim, go horseback riding, or go off-roading in the vast surrounding forest. There are other popular activities: gymkhanas in the summer at the Pleasant Valley Arena, BINGO nights at the fire hall, and shopping at the non-profit thrift store, or you can join the Garden Club or PV Veterans group, for example. Check out the Pleasant Valley Community Center Facebook page for updated information on the entertaining weekend and holiday events that they hold throughout the year. Finally, on the third weekend of July, the town celebrates its local history by hosting Pleasant Valley Day, with food, a beer garden, arts and crafts, a roping that attracts participants from all around the state, and a parade that’s on a fun, small-town scale. Furthermore, the Historical Society Museum, as well as other old-west sites around the area, also open their doors for tours during this annual event.
Young is a unique town in Arizona. Due to its remote location within the Tonto National Forest, residents enjoy a simple country life. They do so without having to sacrifice comfort, however. APS provides service to the town, while wells and septic systems are installed on the individual properties by local businesses. In addition, Midvale Telephone Exchange (MTE) provides telephone and high-speed Internet. Other essential services include a post office, K-12 school, a volunteer fire department, a sheriff deputy patrol, several different places of worship, a public library, and a medical clinic associated with Cobre Valley Regional Hospital.
It is a scenic "desert to tall pines" drive from the Phoenix area to Young, approximately 3 hours via Payson (SR 260 to FR 512) or via Globe (SR 188 to SR 288). The town itself can only be accessed via unpaved roads from either direction, which helps maintain the unspoiled, rural feel that the locals treasure. You’ll know you have arrived in Young once you encounter the friendly waves of its residents. Feel free to wave back.