Ponderosa Campground and Group Sites

Area Status: Open

Ponderosa Campground and Group Sites

Ponderosa pine trees surround and tower over open-space campgrounds, providing cool shade and gorgeous vistas. Most visitors enjoy taking advantage of the area’s hiking trails and lakes, traveling to Payson for the day or simply relaxing at the campsite to the sound of fluttering leaves. Review At-A-Glance below for more details about the site.

Natural Features: The ponderosa pine trees make this a memorable campground. Larger ponderosas release a vanilla scent into the air and have a relatively open understory, making the area perfect for camping. Mixed into the understory are junipers, oaks and manzanita shrubs. The campground sits on the border of the Mogollon Rim, pronounced by locals as "muggy-own," 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.

Recreation: Most visitors enjoy taking advantage of the area's hiking trails and lakes or simply relaxing at the campsite. Scenic driving and outdoor recreation abound in the surrounding Tonto National Forest. A series of lakes called the Rim Country Lakes are about a 15 minute drive east. Woods Canyon Lake is one of the most popular recreational lakes in the state and offers options for boating.

Facilities: The facility provides 47 single campsites and two group sites that can accommodate up to 25 people each. The campsites are clean, flat and spacious with a good amount of shade from pine trees.

Nearby Attractions: The nearby town of Payson, Arizona, offers restaurants, shopping and other conveniences.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: No firewood sales and no dump station. On-site automatic fee machine (no cash or checks accepted).
Reservations: Reservations can be made by visiting Recreation.gov.  Reservations must be made 3 days ahead of arrival and can be made up to 6 months in advance for the standard sites or 12 months in advance for the group sites.
  • Automatic fee machine is available on site at campground entrance, please follow the instructions.
  • $22 per night for standard sites; and $100 per night for group sites.
Open Season: April 1st - November 2nd
  • 14-day stay limit.
  • No OHV recreational riding within the campground.
  • Dogs are allowed and must be kept on a leash.
  • Please use trash receptacles or pack it in, pack it out.
  • All campgrounds have posted Rules & Regulations at entrance kiosks. Please read and observe all rules.
  • Quiet hours 10:00 pm to 6:00 am (running generators are not permitted during quiet hours).
Closest Towns: Payson
Water: Drinking Water
Restroom: Vault toilets
Information Center: Payson Ranger District (928) 474-7900

General Information


GPS Info. (Latitude, Longitude):
34.29885800, -111.11365600
34°17'56"N, 111°6'51"W

From Payson, Arizona, go east on State Route 260. The campground is located on the south side of 260. A campground sign is visible before the campground entrance.

View and download a map.


Second vehicle charge of $8 per night is required if applicable. Fee can be bundled with online reservation or purchased on-site at fee machine.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Campground Camping

There are no electricity, water or sewer site hookups. First-come, first-served sites are available. Two tents per campsite.

No. of Sites 61
Reservation Info Contact Reserve America: 1-877-444-6777 or via the internet at Recreation.gov.
Fire Information Campfire rings available. Firewood can be purchased on-site for $7.00 per bundle.

RV Camping

Group Camping


Reservation Info Contact Reserve America: 877-444-6777 or via the internet at www.recreation.gov.
Fire Information Campfire ring available

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


  Latitude : 

  Longitude : 

  Elevation : 
4,600 feet