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part ofTonto National Forest, US Forest Service
Status: Open through Sat Oct 31 2015   Season Dates


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.

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.


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.


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 to 75 people. A group picnic shelter is available as well.

A dump station is located at nearby Ponderosa Campground.

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.

Activities and Amenities

Within Facility
  • Accessible Sites
  • Birding
  • Campfire Rings
  • Creek Access
  • Drinking Water
  • Firewood
  • Fishing
  • Grills
  • Group Camping
  • Hiking
  • Picnic Shelters
  • Trails
  • Trash Collection
  • Vault Toilets
  • Wildlife Viewing
Know Before You Go
  • No off-highway vehicles allowed.
  • Check-in time is 2 p.m.; check-out time is 1 p.m.
  • There is a second vehicle charge of $7 per night collected on-site.
  • Please be advised bear activity has increased due to drought conditions. All campers need to practice the following measures to prevent problems in bear country: 1) Always store your food securely. Use an airtight bear-proof container. Backpacks and coolers are not adequate; 2)Put all food away whenever you leave your campsite and at night. If bear-proof food storage boxes are not available, lock it out of sight in your trunk or hang it from a tree. 3) Store anything that has an 'attractive' odor good or bad - in the same way. Lotions, soap, toothpaste, bug spray, etc., may attract a curious bear. 4) Be extremely aware of your garbage. Deposit it in bear-proof refuse container. Burn what can be burned and pack out the rest. Do not bury it - you can't hide it from a bear's nose!

    Always respect wild animals, especially bears. Never attempt to feed or pet a bear. Avoid surprising, aggravating or harassing bears. Avoid what might be misconstrued as aggressive behavior.

  • No dump station at campground. Closest dump station is at Ponderosa Campground.

  • Two tents maximum per campsite.

    For more information please visit: BeBearAware.org
  • Don't Move Firewood: Prevent the spread of tree-killing pests by obtaining firewood near your destination and burning it on-site. For more information visit dontmovefirewood.org.

Getting There:

GPS Info. (Latitude, Longitude):
34.29972, -110.99806
34°17'59"N, 110°59'53"W

This facility is located 23 miles northeast of Payson, Arizona, approximately 1.5 miles east of Christopher Creek. From Payson, take Highway 260 east for 23 miles. The campground is on the south side of Highway 260.

Contact Information:

Mailing Address:

PAYSON  AZ  85541

Phone Number:

Project Office: (928)468-7135
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