Christopher Creek Campground Tonto National Forest Arizona

1090 E. Highway 260
Payson, Arizona 85541
928 468-7135
Lat / Long:

34.30806, -111.03472

Christopher Creek campground has 42 single-family campsites and is located on the banks of the spring-fed creek.  There are 27 first-come first-serve campsites including 3, 4 and 18 to 43. The others are reservable. Group camping is also available. The group site can accommodate up to 25 people and 7 vehicles (including 3 RVs up to 45 feet).   It also has vault toilets, BBQs, fire rings/grills and tables.

The campground is open early April through October. Campsites can accommodate tents, trailers and RVs (up to 22 feet). Each campsite also has a table, lantern post, fire ring and grate. Campground amenities include drinking water (with water spigot) and vault toilets. Firewood is also available for sale from the camp host (campsite #20). A few shared food storage lockers are also available in the campground. Cell service is fair to poor. A picnic/day-use area is located just outside the campground.

Christopher Creek – Area Recreation

Outdoor recreation includes hiking, mountain biking, fishing, horseback riding, picnicking, wildlife viewing and going for a swim in one of the facility’s 3 swimming holes. The winter also offers cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

Other campgrounds in the area include Sharp Creek, Upper Tonto Creek and Ponderosa.

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Best Campsites

4, 5, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 22, 23, 25, 26, 28, 33, 34, 41

Regions
Campsite Types
  • ADA
  • Group
  • RV
  • Tent
  • Trailer
Season:

April 1 – October 30

Elevation:

5,638

# of Campsites:

42

Amenities
  • BBQ Grills
  • Campground Host
  • Campsite Tables
  • Cell Service Fair
  • Cell Service Poor
  • Drinking Water
  • Equestrian trail
  • Fire Pit
  • Fire Rings
  • Firewood Available
  • Golden Age & Access Passports accepted
  • Grills
  • Group Camping
  • Lantern Post
  • Pets OK
  • Picnic Tables
  • Recycling Center
  • Restrooms (Vault Toilets)
Activities
  • Biking
  • Bird Watching
  • Creek
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Horseback riding
  • Mountain Biking
  • Nature Trails
  • Photography
  • Picnicking
  • Stargazing
  • Swimming
  • Walking Trails
  • Wildlife Viewing

Christopher Creek Photos

Christopher Creek Comments & Reviews

Visited Christopher Creek Campground lately? We'd love to hear about your adventure. Did you find us useful? Did we forget something? Anything our community should know before heading out to Christopher Creek?

46 Replies to “Christopher Creek”

  1. What are the best camp sites # to camp at?

    • Hi Chris,
      Our favorite campsites at Christopher Creek campground are 5, 9, 10, 13, 22, 25, 27, 28, 33. Most of these are close to the creek, are large sites and have nice shade.

  2. Mischa Genet says:

    The hosts were very helpful,informative and checked up on us frequently and made sure we have plenty of wood and the camp ground was clean

  3. Hello, i will be heading to Christopher creek campgrounds next Sunday, wanted to know if fires are still allowed? Thanks

  4. My family will be coming up on Monday for a few days. Is it possible to fill our travel trailer with water (25 gal tank) there at the campground?

    • Hi Joel,
      For sure there is drinking/potable water at Christopher Creek campground, but we’re not sure if there is a water spigot for filling your water. You may want to call the campground to check: 928 468-7135

    • Hi Joel,
      We did learn there are water spigots at Christopher Creek campground. Not sure though if the camp host will allow trailers to pull up and fill tanks.

  5. Hello, I saw that the fire danger is very high so is a campfire still allowed? We plan to come July 18. I also saw chances of thunderstorm. Also, we don’t have reservations but in your experience, what are our chances of grabbing a site if we arrive a bit before check in time at 2PM for mid July? Thanks! Our first time and we are excited.

    • Hi Kim,
      I recommend calling the Christopher Creek campground/ranger station directly to ask about campfires: 928 468-7135. And you’re chances are good to get a site if you arrive be mid morning to noon on July 18th / Thursday.

  6. Are Pets welcome? i have a friendly boxer dog that i am interested in taking up there.

  7. When are they openi g back christopher creek

    • Hi Mario,
      We are hearing that US Forest Service campgrounds will start to open late May. For example, Cave Springs, Pine Flat and Manzanita campgrounds (Oak Creek Canyon) in the Sedona area will open May 20. We have not heard about Christopher Creek, but hopefully it too will open later in May.

  8. Hello, we are planning a weekend trip for the first weekend of June. When would you suggest to arrive for a better chance to secure a spot? Also, I see that a campfire restriction is in place right now, do you expect it to be in place in the coming weeks?

    • Hi Brandy, Christopher Creek will reopening May 22. I see all of the reservable campsites are reserved for the first weekend in June, so you can expect it the first-come, first-serve sites to be popular. If possible, I recommend arriving Friday before noon. Currently a Stage II fire restriction is in place (no campfires). This may be because a combination of dry conditions and wind. You can click on the link below to keep updated on the fire restrictions:https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/tonto/alerts-notices/?aid=58436

  9. Ron Barry says:

    Can someone tell me what the status is on Christopher Creek campground’s opening? It was supposed to pen today 5/22 but I received an email that said it would be closed through May 31st. I have a reservation for 5/29-5/31.

    • Hi Ron,
      Per USDA Forest Service Order Number 03-00-00-20-011 – for the Southwest Region, Christopher Creek (and many other AZ campgrounds) are closed through June 30, 2020, or until rescinded, whichever comes first. We do know that many AZ campgrounds are reopening, but have not confirmed when Christoper Creek will reopen. I just tried to call the contact # for Christopher Creek the recording said to leave a message and they’d return the call. I recommend you give them a call at: 928-468-7135

  10. Kate Bigelow says:

    I am hoping to visit Christopher Creek Campground next week (June 16th) for a few days – how many sites are available for “first come first serve” and what would be the best week day to come?

    • Hi Kate, There are 27 campsites at Christoper Creek that are walk-in (first-come, first-serve) – campsites 3, 4 and 18 to 43. Generally a mid week arrival day is the best to arrive (for a first-come, first-serve) site.

  11. Jackie Bisset says:

    We would like to come up camping for a week in early September. Are there any pull through sites for our pop-up?

    • Hi Jackie,
      Christoper Creek has about 12-13 sites where you don’t have to back in your trailer. They are not technical ‘pull through’, but more of a parallel parking (to campsite). You can click on the campground map and see which ones. Sites 1-2, 14-22, 24, 28, and 34-43.

  12. Order Number: 03-12-00-20-394 Went into effect June 25th through July 31st which seems to prohibit camping in the campground. Is this accurate?

  13. Can sites 8, 9, and 10 accommodate a travel trailer? Based on photos and site map, it does not appear that the parking slab length is long enough to back in a trailer.

    • Hi Rachel
      Christoper Creek Campsite 8, 9 and 10 have a parking pad area that allows for a 22-foot Trailer/RV. All sites also have a maximum of 8 people per site. With that said, you could probably fit a little large trailer in each site, but the camp host makes the final call.

  14. We booked two families into spots 1 & 2 for september. Can you tell me how close they are to each other (approx). Hard to tell from satellite images. Thanks so much!

  15. Susan Nachtigall. says:

    When can you reserve spots for next June? I know this place books up fast and want to reserve the group spot.

    • Hi Susan,
      You can make a reservation for a Christopher Creek campsite 6 months prior to the day of arrival. For example, if you wanted to start your stay on July 1, then the first day you can try and reserve a site is on Jan 1 at 8am PST.

      And remember, if you don’t get a campsite reservation you can try our Campsite Assist tool. For a one time fee, it will continually scan for availability on the dates you want to camp. If a site becomes available you’ll get a text and email alert with a link to try and reserve the site.

    • Hi Susan,
      You can first try and make a reservation for a Christopher Creek campsite 6 months prior to the day of arrival. For example, if you wanted to start your stay on July 1, then the first day you can try and reserve a site is on Jan 1 at 8am PST.

      And remember, if you don’t get a campsite reservation you can try our Campsite Assist tool. For a one time fee, it will continually scan for availability on the dates you want to camp. If a site becomes available you’ll get a text and email alert with a link to try and reserve the site.

  16. What are the fire restrictions currently in place?

    • Hi Nate.
      Tonto National Forest (Christopher Creek) is in a Stage 1 Fire Restrictions (extreme) – so no campfires allowed.

      • if no campfire allowed then is propane fire allowed? I will be there on October 12.

      • Hi Tara,

        The Tonto National Forest (including Christopher Creek) is under a Stage 1 Fire Restriction. Here’s what is not allowed:

        Igniting, building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire, campfire, or stove fire, including charcoal and briquettes, outside a fire structure that is provided by the Forest Service within a designated area. 36 C.F.R. § 261.52(a).
        Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site, or while stopped in an area at least three (3) feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of any flammable material. 36 C.F.R. § 261.52(d).
        Discharging a firearm, air rifled, or gas gun. 36 C.F.R. § 261.58(m).

  17. How is the cell service at the campground (verizon)? My work expects to be able to reach me if there’s an emergency.

  18. Are there any campsites for a 26 ft motorhome?

    • Hi Laurie,
      All campsites are listed as having a maximum vehicle length of 22 feet at Christopher Creek campground. However, some campsites look like they have a decent overhang off the back that would fit a 26′ motorhome. You just need to make sure all wheels are on the paved parking surface and the front of our motorhome is not sticking out into the campground road.

  19. Yolanda Armenta says:

    How many picnic tables are in the group site?

    • Hi Yolanda,
      Unfortunately we did not get a photo of the group campsite. It can accommodate up to 25 people. Generally they have 1 table per 8 people in a group site so you should expect to have about 3, maybe 4 tables.

  20. Rika Mcculloch says:

    I reserved a group site for May 2022, we have 25 people coming i in from allover the state. Can you please advise how may tents we can have in a group site? At this point we will have about 10, some very small and some a bit bigger. The site has no info on the number of tents allowed. there will be no rv’s.

    • Hi Rika,

      Sounds like you have a fun campout planned at Christoper Creek!

      The group site can accommodate up to 25 people and 7 vehicles (including 3 RVs up to 45 feet).   It also has vault toilets, BBQs, fire rings/grills and tables. As for the # of tents – you can fit as many as will fit within the group campsite area. The two photos below show you a front view and rear view of the group campsite. I’d say you’d have room for 10-15 tents, depending on the size of each.

      • Thank you so much for the reply!! We are so excited to have this family camping experience! Would you happen to know if the location of the group site is near the creek? Also how many bear boxes will there be for the group? Again, thank you so much for the reply!!

      • You are welcome Rika!
        And the group campsite is right along the creek. It’s really nice. Not sure how many bear boxes, but I would guess at least 2.

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