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Get the 411 on everything you need to know in the Creek

CHRISTOPHER CREEK ARIZONA at 5900 feet elevation, just 22 miles east of Payson, is nestled on the banks of spring fed Christopher Creek, below the Majestic Mogollon Rim.  This towering 200-mile escarpment of Red Rock with its zigzag cliffs and ledges marks the edge of the Colorado Plateau.  The Christopher Creek area was made famous by author Zane Grey, many of whose classic Western novels were set in this mystical wild “Tonto Country”.  The lush riparian environment of Christopher Creek and its neighboring streams is found in the world’s largest stand of Ponderosa Pines and provides habitat for many species of plants and wildlife.  Within minutes of Christopher Creek, avid anglers can be knees deep in Beautiful Creeks and Streams below a canopy of pines; or fishing on one of the 7 Lakes on top of the Mogollon Rim. Elk, deer, turkey, squirrels, & rabbits can be seen roaming the countryside.  Hikers, mountain bike riders, and equestrians can enjoy over 51 miles of recreation along the Highline Trail under the Mogollon Rim, with additional trails ascending to the top of the Rim.  From Christopher Creek, the adventurers can explore caves, fossil beds, streams, lakes, and experience the miles and miles of wild woodland.  The solitude and peace will grip ones heart and city life will feel miles away.  There is no playground like the forest.


There are four Campgrounds near Christopher Creek:  Upper Tonto Creek Campground is on Tonto Creek with 9 campsites with picnic tables & grills, campfire rings and trash service. Christopher Creek Campground is on Christopher Creek with 43 campsites with tables & grills, trash service.  For more information on these campgrounds call 928-468-7135, no reservations.  Sharp Creek Campground is located at MP 275.5 on Hwy 260 with 28 campsites with picnic tables & grills, campfire rings and lantern holders. Ponderosa Campground is located at MP 265.5 on Hwy 260 with 61 campsites.  For more information on these campgrounds and reservations call 1-877-444-6777 or All campgrounds are normally open April-Oct. Additional information go to


Driving tours of the area are numerous and beautiful.  The Forest Service 300 Road on top of the Rim is a scenic drive with look-outs providing an awesome view of the Tonto National Forest below.  Along the way stop and fish at one of the many lakes or streams or stop at the Historical Sites.  The Tunnel to Nowhere is a 1/2 mile hike below the rim, where in 1883 the AZ Mineral Belt Railroad tried to bore through the Mogollon Rim for a south to north railroad.  Numerous stables operate daily to show visitors this diverse country on horseback.


Christopher Creek is approximately 100 miles from Phoenix.  Take the Beeline Highway (Highway 87) east to Payson, then Highway 260 east from Payson 22 miles to Christopher Creek Loop on left.

ROAD CONDITIONS: or call 511


Tonto Creek & Canyon Creek Fish Hatcheries, Rancho Tonto Fishing Pond, hiking, fishing, (7 lakes and many streams are stocked with trout through the summer), boat rentals available at Woods Canyon Lake, camping, horseback riding, driving tours, wildlife & bird watching, ATV trails, cross country skiing, and snowmobile trails.


15-20 Degrees cooler than Phoenix.  Possible snow in winter.  Elevation 5700′ – 6300′.


Bring comfortable shoes, a sweater for summer evenings, make room reservations in advance (rates are lower during week).


Stay In The Know

Stay informed about all the things coming up in Christopher Creek, Arizona

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Community Info

The area is made up of several small communities.  Which one is the best fit for you?


Creek Biz!

During your visit in the Creek our excellent business community will take care of your needs.


Follow The Code!

In these parts we all follow a certain code.  We all call it the Code of The West.


Town of Payson

Learn more about the largest town in the region - Payson, Arizona


Whooper Stories

We have some great stories about this part of Arizona and its history and heritage


Coat or Shorts?

The weather under the Mogollon Rim changes all the time.  Get the latest forecast.

Christmas, Dec 2010 Horseshoeing, Roosev

Mogollon Rim History

Learn about the Mogollon Rim and its early pueblo people that inhabited this majestic area.


Our Forest

We are surrounded by the largest ponderosa pine forest in the world!


Business Resources

Looking to start a business?  Get connected to the Rim Country Chamber of Commerce


Candid Camera

Check out our 24/7 Webcam to check the weather and you might see a friend or two!


Food & Sleep

There is nothing better than staying in a cabin on the creek and enjoying a good meal.


What's It Made Of?

Learn about the make up of the Mogollon Rim and how it was formed and came to be.


Find Adventure

Discover hundreds of Adventures, itineraries, natural wonders, river, lakes and more!


We Love Pics!

Have a great photo shot?  Share it with us on our Social pages - we love photos and video!

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