Upper Tonto Creek Campground is just north of S.R. 260 about 16 miles east of Payson near Kohl’s Ranch. Nine nicely spaced units make up this campground that is known for its fishing and hiking. Upper Tonto Creek is a first come first served campground. Reservations are not accepted.
This is a great campground to check out if Christopher Creek Campground is full. There is plenty of water for the kids to play in and the fishing just gets better the farther up the creek you go. There are a few nice fishing spots to drop down into on the way to up to the Fish Hatchery which is 4 miles up river from the campground.
You can fish for rainbow trout in both Horton Creek and Tonto Creek. Horton Creek can run pretty thin in the early hot summer months.
Hiking near Upper Tonto Creek Campground
Derrick trail 33 and Horton Trail 285 both begin in the campground and will take you to the Highline trail which follows the Mogollon Rim around Promontory Butte.
The Tonto Creek Fish Hatchery is located just 4 miles north and has a self guided tour of the facility.
Always be aware of monsoon season during the summer. the campground is set well above Tonto Creek, but as that is one of the draws to the area, make sure you know when flooding conditions might happen.
- Elevation: 5400′
- Season: April to October
- Stay Limit: 14 Days
- Campsites: 9
- Potable Water: Yes
- Vault Restrooms
- First come first served – no reservations
- Campsite grills, tables and fire rings
- Information: 928-474-7900