At an elevation of 6,000 feet, Sharp Creek Campground is the perfect escape from southern Arizona’s desert heat. Sitting just below the Mogollon Rim, it’s deep within the shady forests and near the refreshing creeks and lakes that are popular in this area.
After a lovely stay at Aspen Campground, we drove 12 miles, and dropped 1,500 feet into Sharp Creek. With just 20 campsites spread over four loops, the campground’s main attractions are the gorgeous scenery, ponderosa forests, hiking, biking, fishing, and wildlife viewing. It’s hard to believe this paradise exists just 110 miles from Phoenix!
Sharp Creek Campground at a Glance
- Tonto National Forest
- Open mid-April through October
- 14-day stay limit
- 6,000 feet in elevation
- $24 a night; $8 extra vehicle charge
- Central Arizona 23 miles east of Payson and 32 miles west of Heber
- On State Hwy 260
- Roads to and within the campground are paved and easily navigable for large RVs
- 20 spacious, paved campsites arranged in four loops; all reservable online
- Sites are forested with good solar sites available
- Facilities include picnic tables, grills, fire pits, water spigots, vault toilets, and trash dumpsters
- Operated by a concessionaire with firewood available for sale, closest RV dump at Canyon Point ($7), a 12-mile drive from the campground
- Excellent voice coverage on Verizon & AT&T
- Our internet setup got us lightening-fast coverage on both Verizon and AT&T
- Leashed pets are welcome throughout the campground and on all national forest trails
The Mogollon Rim runs for 200 miles in central Arizona, from near Camp Verde eastward, almost to the border with New Mexico. The rim’s dramatic sandstone and limestone mark the southern edge of the Colorado Plateau in the state, and Sharp Creek Campground is located near some of the area’s most breathtaking scenery.
Open from mid-April through October, Sharp Creek Campground is located 23 miles east of Payson and 32 miles west of Heber, on State Hwy 260. Access the campground is easy, with the roads to and within the campground paved and comfortably navigable for large RVs.
Sharp Creek’s 20 spacious, paved campsites are arranged in four loops and spread under the branches of the ponderosa pine forest. Most sites are fairly level, and several have good exposure for solar. The campground is operated by a concessionaire, and facilities include picnic tables, grills, fire pits, water spigots, vault toilets, and dumpsters. Firewood is available for sale, and the closest RV dump is at Canyon Point Campground ($7), 12 miles east on Hwy 260.
Sharp Creek’s spacious sites provide plenty of privacy and great views. During our stay, the park was mostly empty during the week and busier on weekends. Our wildlife sightings included elk, rabbits, and a lone cow wandering around in the campground!
With our internet setup, the Verizon and AT&T coverage at Sharp Creek was some of the fastest we’ve ever seen, and the voice coverage was excellent, too. If you’re looking for an out-of the-way place to get some work done, you won’t be disappointed.
Tonto is the fifth largest forest in the United States, covering nearly 3 million acres, and the pet friendly recreation options are nearly endless. From Sharp Creek, hikers have easy access to many pet friendly trails, including the Rim Lake Vista Trail and the historic Highline National Recreational Trail, which runs for 51 miles along the base of the Mogollon Rim.
If your cat or pup prefers fishing, try for trout at nearby Christopher Creek or head up to the Rim Lakes Recreation Area for additional fishing and boating options. From our campsite, walking the campground roads provided plenty of entertainment and made for easy going with Ty’s stroller.
If you’ve stayed at Sharp Creek Campground, or any of the other campgrounds in the Tonto National Forest, leave a comment below and let us know how you liked it!