Christopher Creek Information|
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THIS PICTURESQUE MOUNTAIN VILLAGE, at an elevation of 5900 feet just 22 miles east of Payson, is
nestled on the banks of spring fed Christopher Creek, which runs just beneath the majestic Mogollon
Rim. This towering escarpment of Red Rock known locally as "The Rim" heaves its zig zag cliffs and
ledges gloriously upward for over 200 miles, reaching elevations near 8,000 feet.
The Christopher Creek area was once traveled by the ancient Anasazi, and was more recently made
famous by Zane Grey, many of whose classic Western novels were set in this mystical, wild land he
called "Tonto Country". Located within one of the world's largest stand of Ponderosa Pines.
The pure air carries aloft the sweet fragrance of pine and juniper, day in and day out.
Within minutes of Christopher Creek, avid anglers can be found knee deep in rushing streams that tumble
beneath a canopy of oak and sycamore; or you may find them casting into one of the Seven Rim Lakes on
top of the Mogollon Rim.
Wildlife of all kinds and descriptions inhabits this beautifully rugged and sometimes primitive area. Elk,
deer, eagle, turkey, squirrel and rabbit are among the many species that can be seen almost at will.
Hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians can enjoy the Highline Trail, over fifty-one miles of maintained
recreational area, winding through the foothills beneath The Rim, with occasional trails that break away
and ascend throught the pines to the very top.
From Christopher Creek, the more adventurous can explore caves and hidden fossil beds, while others
follow clear streams and lakes, becoming part of the wild woodland. Experience the miles and miles
of rolling greenery, the peaceful solitude... feel thousands of miles from home.
There is no playground like the forest! The Seven Rim Lakes and many streams are stocked with trout
through the summer, and Woods Canyon Lake offers boat rentals. Among the many activites to enjoy
are hiking, fishing, camping and horseback riding; driving tours, wildlife and bird watching; cross country
skiing and snow mobiling. All activities are seasonal, of course.
The various driving tours of the area are numerous and truly spectacular. On top of the Rim is Forest
Service Road 300, or FS 300, a scenic drive with lookouts providing breathtakingly awesome views of
the vast Tonto National Forest below.
Along the way, visitors are encouraged stop and fish one of the many lakes and streams, or explore the
numerous and well-marked Historical Sites.
Numerous horse rental stables operate daily throughout the area. Most have guides ready to show visitors
this diverse country on horseback. The "Tunnel to Nowhere" is a short 3/4 mile ride just below The Rim to
the spot where, in 1883, the Arizona Mineral Belt Railroad company, desiring a more direct route for a
north-south rail line, tried to bore into and up through the Mogollon Rim!
Christopher Creek is approximately 100 miles from Phoenix. Take the Beeline Highway (State Route
87) north to Payson, then Highway 260 east for 22 scenic miles to Christopher Creek.
A delightful 15 to 20 degrees cooler than Phoenix. Possible snow in winter. Elevation 5700' - 6300'.
Bring comfortable shoes, sweater for summer evenings, make room reservations in advance (rates are
lower during week).