Sharp Creek

Payson, Arizona

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Overview

Sharp Creek is a small campground located in an area of central Arizona known for its pleasant temperatures, spectacular scenery and outdoor recreation. There are tent-only, family and group sites to accommodate a wide range of visitors.

Recreation

The campground is in a central location for hiking, fishing, boating and picnicking.

Anglers can try for trout in nearby Christopher Creek. Hikers can access the historic Highline National Recreational Trail, which runs for 51 miles along the base of the Mogollon Rim, from the 260 Trail three miles east of the campground. Two lakes nearby offer additional fishing and boating options.

Facilities

Sharp Creek is a small campground with 20 campsites conveniently spread out into four loops. Campsites are spacious, comfortable and well-maintained, with some shade. Each has a picnic table, grill, campfire ring and lantern holder. One loop contains three group campsites that can each accommodate 50 people. A group picnic shelter is available as well. A dump station is located at nearby Ponderosa Campground.

Natural Features

Sharp Creek sits at a cool 6,000 feet elevation, perfect for escaping the desert heat of southern Arizona and getting away to shaded forests and refreshing creeks and lakes. It is surrounded by a thick ponderosa pine forest below the Mogollon Rim. The clear waters of Christopher Creek are less than a mile away.

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 feet 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.

Nearby Attractions

The small town of Christopher Creek is less than a mile away and has a few restaurant and shopping options for basic conveniences.

Woods Canyon and Willow Springs Lakes sit above the Mogollon Rim, only a 10-minute drive away, and offer boating and fishing.

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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