Cutthroat Campground

Area Status: Open
This area is Open

Temporary Notice:

No Water: On Friday, April 30th, this facility will open without water. Due to late season snows within the Big Lake complex and downed electrical lines, the water system will not be operational until approximately May 12th, 2021. The fault toilets will be open for your use and a $2.00 per night fee reduction will be offered. 

The U.S. Forest Service and R.R.M. of A. apologize for this inconvenience. Once power has returned, we will work diligently to restore water system functionality to the public.

The campground has many large ponderosa pines trees and stands of spruce and aspen. Located in the Big Lake Recreation Area, this 18 site campground, accommodates tents only. It sits on the shoreline of Big Lake and affords visitors many recreational opportunities in a quiet, scenic setting. Popular activities include trout fishing and hiking.

Natural Features:

The campground is located in a very scenic area, forested with ponderosa pine, spruce, Douglas fir, and aspen trees, which provide ample shade. Summer temperatures are pleasant and cool, a nice respite from the heat of lower deserts. Visitors should come prepared for cool nighttime temperatures and occasional summer rain storms.


Named after a species of trout, Cutthroat is adjacent to 450-acre Big Lake, one of Arizona's top fishing lakes. The lake is known for its trout fishing, with rainbow, cutthroat, brook and Apache being the most sought-after species. The recreation area is also popular for hiking, mountain biking, birding and wildlife viewing.


Sites for tent camping only are scattered throughout this small facility and spaced a good distance apart. Some are directly on the waterfront. The basic amenities of restrooms, picnic tables and drinking water are provided, and anglers and boaters have the convenience of a boat ramp. An RV dump station is one mile away.

EZ Camping

At a Glance

Current Conditions: As of April 30th: No water.
Reservations: Make a reservation at
Area Amenities: Boat ramp,Tent camping,Picnic tables,Toilets,Drinking water
Fees Per vehicle per night $16.00
*Additional Camp Unit $16.00
Interagency/Senior Discount $8.00​ EZ Camping Tent Sites
Tent Package-Per night $55.00
Reservation Fee $10.00 Additional Camp Unit fees collected at the campground.​ 
Usage: Light
Best Season: Mid-May through September.
Closest Towns: Springerville, AZ
Water: Yes
Restroom: Flush Toilets
Operated By: Concessionaire
Information Center: Springerville Ranger District
(928) 333-6200
TTY: (928) 333-5397

General Information


Cutthroat Campground is located in the Big Lake Recreational Area.

From Eagar: Go 5 miles west on State Route 260 turn south on State Route 261 go 29 miles to Sate Route 273, turn west go about 3 miles, Big Lake Recreational Area will be on the west side.

From Show Low, Arizona: take Highway 260 east for 42 miles to Highway 273. Take Highway 273 south for 30 miles Big Lake Recreational Area will be on the west side.

General Notes:
  • Full service store at the lake
  • Campground hosts
  • Fire rings, grills, and picnic tables
  • Dump station
  • Showers 
  • Expect cool to cold nighttime temperatures.
  • Be prepared for rain, often heavy, through July and August.
  • Cutthroat is not designed to accommodate trailers or motor homes. 



Most sites are walk-in and offer no parking at the site.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information



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Camping & Cabins

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Nature Viewing

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Picnic tables Yes
Drinking water Yes
Toilets Yes
Boat ramp Yes
Tent camping Yes
Areas & Activities


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