Mortimer Farms

Mortimer Farms – 90 minutes north of Arcadia, in Dewey-Humbolt.


Just an hour north of Phoenix lies a 60-acre property, lush with cottonwoods that create a cool canopy along a winding creek. Readers and viewers will often hear me say, “just off an Arizona Highway.” Well, in Mayer, The Creekside Lodge and Cabins really are just off the highway. Turn off State Route 69, and you’ve arrived. 

Owner John Papuga recently bought the lodge on Bug Creek and did an entire remodel. 

There are a total of 19 rooms, each 410 square feet. Seven rooms have Santa Fe décor, and seven others are cowboy-themed with heart-shaped tubs. There are also four lodge rooms with adjoining doors, in case it’s a family getaway. 

There’s plenty to do in the surrounding area: horseback riding, a winery in nearby Dewey and two casinos close to Mayer. If guests want to hang out at the lodge and enjoy some r-n-r, there’s a steakhouse on the property with a Thursday night Prime Rib special and a bar with live music that plays creek side during the summer. The lodge brings in different bands, from country tunes to the blues – a few musicians even play acoustics. Papuga wanted to provide a place with a unique environment so that visitors could experience it all. 

Ten minutes from Mayer is Dewey-Humboldt, Arizona’s “country town.” Although its history dates back to the 1500s, when Spanish explorers and missionaries scoured the land in search of gold, silver and lost souls to convert to Christianity, Dewey-Humboldt didn’t officially become a town until 2004. 

This quaint and historic town is worth exploring, especially in the fall. Mortimer Farms is known for its Pumpkin Festival and Corn Maze, which takes place on a 324-acre farm. The festival is comprised of a 15-acre corn maze, pumpkin fields with 54 varieties of pumpkins, farm-inspired rides, games, activities, farm to table food, entertainment, hayrides and more. Their mission is “connecting your family to your food.” There’s also the Freedom Station Family Fun Center which has laser tag, mini golf and other family activities. Don’t forget to enjoy the beautiful fall colors at Fain Park and nearby Watson Lake. 

On our last trip to Dewey-Humboldt, we stopped in for a bite at Mamma’s Kitchen, a place “where everyone knows your name.” It’s a neighborhood joint full of regulars, but visitors are also treated like family. The most popular breakfast items are chicken fried steak, Mamma’s home fries, biscuits and gravy or the machaca huevos rancheros breakfast burritos.

Mamma does most of the cooking, and her two daughters have worked there since they were young. Guests say it’s a warm and inviting environment but get to Mamma’s early, as it’s only open until 2 p.m., an hour earlier on Sundays.

So, if you are looking for some hometown fun, a fall color spectacular and a place where friends feel like family, head to Mayer and Dewey-Humboldt. The Creekside Lodge and Cabins are a little oasis and at Mamma’s Kitchen – just like the Cheers bar, they are always glad you came.

— Robin is the host and executive producer of the Arizona HighwaysTelevision, Saturdays and Sundays on CBS.