Young, also known as Pleasant Valley, is surrounded by

mountains and lies in the heart of the Tonto National Forest. At an

elevation of 5,177 feet, the town is located halfway between the

Mogollon Rim and Roosevelt Lake. Young began as a cattle ranching

community in the 1880s. The town became semi-famous as the site

of the Pleasant Valley War between the Grahams and the

Tewksburys, two cattle ranching families. Pleasant Valley eventually

became known as Young in honor of long-time citizen Miss Ola

Young, who served 50 years as the town's first postmistress.

Young is accessible via graveled roads on Forest Road FH-12, from

state Highway 260 on the Rim and state Highway 288 on the east

side of Roosevelt Lake. Of the approximately 5,000 acres in the

community, 1,500 acres have been broken up into two to five-acre

parcels with the balance remaining as grazing land.

 

Young is primarily a retirement and second home community. Half

of the population is 50 years old or older. The few remaining cattle

ranches are mostly owner-operated, offering few job opportunities.

The Young Public School and the United States Forest Service are

the area's largest employers. The Arizona Department of

Transportation, Gila County road maintenance, the post office and

library each employ two or three individuals. The few local businesses

are owner-operated and service-oriented. Additional self-employed

people provide construction, lawn care, housekeeping or other

personal services.

 

The Tonto National Forest attracts more visitors than any other

national forest in the United States. Hunting and fishing, as well as

camping and hiking are available with spectacular scenery and

abundant wildlife. Young is located between the Sierra Anchas and

Hell's Gate Wilderness areas. There are major archaeological and

historical sites in the area. Tours feature the various century old

cabins, museums and battle sites of the Pleasant Valley war.

The Arizona Department of Transportation, Forest Service and the

Pleasant Valley Community Council are developing the Pleasant

Valley Airport as a fly-in sports/wildlife recreation area. Forest Road

FH-12 has been selected as a Scenic Byway. Young is also a common

stop on the Payson/Rim Lakes/Pleasant Valley/Roosevelt Lake scenic

loop drive.