This site is well kept and spacious. And the closest site to Water Wheel which is about ten miles away and Arizona’s best kept secret. I usually set up camp the afternoon before and get up early to make the drive to Water Wheel and get in a day hike. This place has extraordinary water falls and swimming holes. I have probably camped at Mesa Houston more than any other place in Arizona just so I can hike Water Wheel and have never had a negative experience. Payson is beautiful and this camp site is near amenities and great hiking spots.
This campground has really nice sites, that can accommodate large trailers. Each horse site has two large corrals, a fire pit, and picnic table. There is water locations around the campground as well as bathrooms. Across the street is the main non horse campground, and there is pay showers if needed and an amphitheater there. The trails weren't my favorite, a bit rocky, but were not bad either. The campground is a great location near Payson.
We LOVE Houston Mesa! This is our second time staying here, and we had an even better time this time then last time (and we had an amazing time last time, so that was hard to beat).
Located just 1.5 hours from Phoenix, this is a super easy getaway from The Valley. Houston Mesa Campground is also right off the main highway of town, so if you forgot something (or just want McDonalds instead of hot dogs) you can find civilization about 2 minutes away.
This time we went up with friends and stayed at sites Black Bear 4 and 5. These sites were PERFECT to book together, since they made one huge space when connected. We had 3 families, each with large tents, and had plenty of space. We will stay at these same sites next time. The bathroom is also right next to site 3, so it was easy to walk to.
Bathrooms are clean and have flush toilets. There are showers available at a central shower building, but we did not use those.
Each site comes with a picnic table and a fire pit (complete with BBQ grill topper). I also found the sites to be freshly racked on arrival, so that was nice.
There is also a great nature walk at the park that you can do with young kids. Every few feet is a sign describing local animals and plants.
A short 15 minute drive away is the Tonto Natural Bridge State Park -- a must see in the area! Beautiful and easy hike to see a absolutely gorgeous natural wonder.
As a Ranger for The Dyrt, I get products to test from time to time - at Houston Mesa I was testing the GrubStick Deluxe Kit.
Wow. Wow. WOW. This set is a GAME CHANGER for campfire cooking. We have been using dinky little forks forever and having to buy new ones every few trips because they get bent out of shape or burned up. This kit will last you FOREVER. They are so well made!
This kit includes two grippy telescoping handles, and then a ton of accessories (2 fork toppers, a cage for whole S’mores, a cage for burgers, a small metal rod to make bacon cups, and a large metal rod to cook dough). There are also 4 other accessories, like hot pags and cage openers that are thoughtful additions. AND they come in their own mini duffel bag!
My friends were seriously blown away when they saw our set and were asking so many questions about it. My favorite part was the dough rod, because we made delicious campfire cinnamon-sugar crescent roll cylinders!!
5 Stars for GrubStick, can’t wait to try out new recipes!
Check out my video review here: https://youtu.be/JPNznJ7wApE
So grateful for the showers. Love this campground.
All paved driving and campsite parking except equestrian area no hookups they have places to fill water and to dump. Restrooms and showers nice a clean.
Nice spot . No hook ups ,full bath and showers .Very nice and quiet but noisy on weekends. Helpful staff.
What a great day at Houston Mesa! We are from Phoenix and the weather has been 115 every day, so we needed a break from the heat. This campsite was only an hour and a half from our house, and there was a 30 degree temperature drop. Loved the relief!
Each of the sites has a lot of space and are well spread out and mostly shaded. Our site was gorgeous with big trees and no one we could see or hear nearby. When we arrived, one of the camp hosts came right to our spot in a golf cart to check if we needed anything and to give us a pamphlet on bears (yikes!).
There are several bathrooms with flush toilets, and each was clean and well cared for. Showers are there and are coin operated ($3 for 6 minutes). Firewood is also available to purchase for $7 a bundle.
Features we loved: privacy, clean bathrooms, and they even had an adorable nature trail! The kids loved running from sign to sign. There is also an amphitheater there, if you were having a family or group gathering.
The campground is rather close to the highway, so you do get some noise off of that, but it really wasn’t bad and didn’t bother me a bit.
Really recommend this place, we can’t wait to come back!
As a Ranger for The Dyrt, I get products to test from time to time. At Houston Mesa, I got to test out some OOFOS OOahh Sport Slide Sandals.
These sandals are SO SOFT and SQUISHY! They claim to absorb 37% more than other foam type shoes, and I sure believe it. They are incredible soft and take a lot of pressure off my feet.
I chose the slip on ones because I like to wear socks with my sandals (haha) especially while camping. Going in and out of the tent I could put these on and off so easily, I loved it.
The only negative thing I have to say about them, is that I got a small blister on my instep while wearing them (barefoot). This is hardly a negative remark because I have VERY sensitive skin (my feet always get blisters if I’m not wearing socks) and I have been wearing these all day every day since I got them!
I promise these will be your new favorite sandals! Perfect for camping, the gym, around town, or lounging around the house!
Grab your own pair at https://www.oofos.com/
For a video of the campground from our trip, visit: https://youtu.be/ZAtHtVGTjU4
This campground is within a three minute drive of Walmart, Home Depot, and restaurants. You can have a pizza delivered here. Very convenient, very crowded, but I recommend this spot to families with young kids trying to acclimate them to camping or adults who want to camp but also go out for drinks in town. Water Wheel Falls is a 15 minute drive, where a pool collects beneath a small waterfall, popular for swimming. The campsite has a host and firewood available for purchase.
Easy to find and plenty of sites. Can be a little confusing in the dark, but we found our site! Our site easily held two tents and had a great fire pit!
The campground is RIGHT outside of town which is great if you forget a toothbrush BUT it is also very easily accessible and very crowded. The spaces aren't very far apart so you will hear your neighbors. From about half the campground you will also hear highway noise. The bathrooms are uneventful but present which is a plus. The roads are all well maintained (and paved) so most cars should be fine getting around the campground. The sites had picnic tables and metal fire rings with grills. The sites are fairly level and many have spaces for larger tents. The tree coverage isn't SUPER thick so if you go mid summer you may find it a bit warm during the day. There is water available for fire dousing and washing.