Christopher Creek

Payson, Arizona

Overview

With an elevation over a mile-high(5640 ft), Christopher Creek Campground's crisp, fresh air and vibrant views are a joy to behold. The facility is tucked along the banks of the spring-fed Christopher Creek, which passes just below the Mogollon Rim.

The Mogollon Rim, pronounced by locals as "muggy-own," is a 200-mile long cliff in northern Arizona that ranges between 5,000 and 7,000 ft in elevation. The unique landscape was created by extreme erosion and faulting that has sculpted spectacular canyons and buttes. The rim serves as the geographical dividing line between the cool high country above and the hot, dry desert below. Christopher Creek is located in the desert portion, but is balanced by the cool waters of the creek and forested surroundings.

Recreation

After a day of horseback riding or mountain biking, take a dip in one of the facility's three swimming holes to cool off from the summer sun. Or if winter is more your thing, visit during the snowy months to take advantage of the miles of cross-country skiing available. Each spring, the creek is stocked with rainbow trout, allowing anglers the opportunity to cast their hearts out for rainbows as well as brook and brown trout.

Facilities

The family-friendly campground has 43 sites on both sides of the creek, plus a group site that accommodates a maximum of 25 people.

Natural Features

Christopher Creek provides creek side dwelling in Tonto National Forest, at the base of the Mogollon Rim. Sites are surrounded by ponderosa pines, junipers, oaks and manzanita evergreen shrubs.

Nearby Attractions

The small town of Christopher Creek is just a short drive away and offers a few restaurant options for those who tire of cooking at the campground.. A series of lakes called the Rim Country Lakes are about a 10 minute drive east. Woods Canyon Lake is one of the most popular recreational lakes in the state and offers options for boating as well as a nature trail that loops around the lake's perimeter.

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Adventures Nearby

  • Hike to Water Wheel & Ellison Creek Cascades

    A short and easy out and back hike for adventurers of all ages with scenic waterfalls along the entire trip!Starting at the Water Wheel day use area you will simply follow the well traveled path that meanders alongside the creek. You will reach th...

    1.8 miles 105 ft gain

  • Hike the Pine Creek Loop in Tonto Natural Bridge SP

    There is a fee to enter this area. It was $7 when we went. There are 4 trails with many viewpoints from the parking lot, all of which are out and back. We followed the recommendation of the ranger working at the visitor's center and took the Gowan...

    1.8 miles 300 ft gain

  • Hike Barnhardt Trail

    To get to the trailhead, use the turnoff of highway 87 labeled Barnhardt trail (has a marked sign coming from both Payson and Phoenix). Barnhardt road is just over 4 miles and is unpaved. The road can be driven on by lower clearance cars because t...

    8 miles 1912 ft gain