Heber and Overgaard, in northeastern Arizona in

Navajo County. Situated in the Sitgreaves National Forest north

of the Mogollon Rim, their elevations range from 6,435 feet in

Heber to 6,620 feet in Overgaard. Both are unincorporated. The

communities are reached by taking state Highway 87 to Payson

(north from Phoenix or south from Interstate 40), and continuing

east via state Highway 260.

 

During the Mormon migration in 1876 and 1877, the Little

Colorado River settlements were established. James E. Shelley and

Sanford Porter, Jr. founded Heber in 1883. Heber was named after

Heber J. Grant, a prominent member of the Mormon Church. The

post office in Heber was established in 1890 by James E. Shelley.

Overgaard, adjoining Heber, was originally called Oklahoma Flat

and was later named after the first sawmill owner. The post office in

Overgaard was established in 1938.

 

Economic activities are varied; retirement and tourism are an

important part of the economy. Proximity to the Sitgreaves National

Forest provides recreation opportunities, and timber is harvested for

Precision Pine Sawmill and Stone Container Paper Mill. A mulch

plant processes forest by-products. Service businesses provide

employment and services for the retirement community.

Government and schools also contribute to the local economy.

Retail trade is increasing. Construction is also a major factor in the

economy.

 

The Heber/Overgaard area is surrounded by many year-round recreational

opportunities and points of scenic interest. Immediately south

of Heber and Overgaard is the Mogollon Rim, a steep escarpment

ranging from 1,000 to 2,000 feet from the base to the highest

plateau. The Rim divides the northern plateau region from the lower

central and southern areas. The Rim offers many exceptional views

and numerous man-made lakes ideal for boating and other water sports.

Hunting for elk, deer, turkey, antelope and bear is permitted.

Fishing, in nearby trout streams, is popular. There are also extensive

picnic and camping facilities available within the area. Other scenic

attractions in the area include Chevelon Canyon Dam, the Canyon

Creek Fish Hatchery, Chevelon Butte, and the Fort Apache Indian

Reservation. The 200-acre Mogollon Lake three miles east of

Overgaard is in the planning stages.