$20 - $22 / night

Camper submitted image from Houston Mesa Campground - 1
View All
Camper submitted image from Houston Mesa Campground - 2
Camper submitted image from Houston Mesa Campground - 3
Camper submitted image from Houston Mesa Campground - 4
Camper submitted image from Houston Mesa Campground - 5

Established Camping

Houston Mesa Campground

37 Reviews


National Forest

Tonto National Forest


Houston Mesa Campground is located in the forested northern section of Tonto National Forest, just one mile north of Payson, Arizona and less than two hours from Phoenix. With family, equestrian and tent-only campsites, this campground can accommodate a range of visitors and offers plenty of ways to enjoy the outdoors, including several miles of hiking and horseback riding trails nearby. As the fifth largest forest in the United States, the Tonto National Forest is one of the most-visited "urban" forests in the United States (approximately 5.8 million visitors annually). Its boundaries are Phoenix to the south, the Mogollon Rim to the north and the San Carlos and Fort Apache Indian reservations to the east.


Many visitors come to Houston Mesa to horseback ride, hike, camp and picnic. Houston Mesa Loop Trail is a 9-mile round trip through a pinyon and juniper woodland and can be accessed from the horse camping area. The Houston Mesa Interpretive Trail is a 0.5-mile self-guided trail.


Houston Mesa has 102 campsites, including 46 standard sites, 27 equestrian sites for campers with horses or mules, and 29 tent-only sites for those who want a quieter experience. There are several amenities to make campers feel at home, including flush toilets. The horse camping section (Mule Deer Loop) is across the street from the main campground and features 27 individual sites with tables and grills. Corrals are also available. Campers who reserve sites 7 - 18 must have horses or mules.__You do not need to have a horse or mule present to use sites 2 - 6 and 19 - 30 in Horse Camp (First Come, First Serve). Horse Camp closes seasonally from November - March.

Natural Features

The campground is located at an elevation of 5,200 ft. in a mixed forest and shrub area, with spacious campsites offering both sun and shade. Winters are pleasant and cool with cold nighttime temperatures, while summers are warm and sunny, providing a nice getaway from the hotter deserts around Phoenix. Hawks, eagles, javelina, deer, fox, skunk and coyote live in the area.


For facility specific information, please call (928) 474-7900.

Nearby Attractions

Campers who make the quick trip to the town of Payson, one mile south, will find restaurants, shopping and other conveniences. Scenic driving and outdoor recreation abound in the surrounding Tonto National Forest, which embraces almost 3 million acres of rugged and spectacularly beautiful country, ranging from saguaro cactus-studded desert to pine-forested mountains beneath the Mogollon Rim.

Suggest an Edit

Is Houston Mesa Campground sold out?

Quickly grab cancellations!

Learn More


  • Drive-In
    Park next to your site
  • Walk-In
    Park in a lot, walk to your site.
  • Hike-In
    Backcountry sites.

Stay Connected

  • WiFi
  • Verizon
  • AT&T
  • T-Mobile

Site Types

  • Tent Sites
  • RV Sites
  • Standard (Tent/RV)
  • Group
  • Tent Cabin
  • Equestrian


For Campers

  • Trash
  • Picnic Table
  • Firewood Available
  • Phone Service
  • Drinking Water
  • Electric Hookups
  • Toilets
  • Alcohol
  • Pets
  • Fires

For Vehicles

  • Sanitary Dump
  • Water Hookups
  • Pull-Through Sites
  • Big Rig Friendly

Rent an RV near Payson, Arizona

Find RVs Nearby


Add Review

5 Stars

4 Stars

3 Stars

2 Stars

1 Star



out of 5

37 Reviews

Brad | Britany B.The Dyrt PRO User
Reviewed Feb. 29, 2024

Close to town, SxS trails, and swimming holes.

We've camped at Houston Mesa Campground several times and consistently have a fantastic experience. Here's why we give it 5 stars: 

Amazing Staff: The camp hosts are incredibly friendly and helpful, adding to the welcoming atmosphere. 

Spacious Sites: We love the ample space at each campsite, allowing us to park comfortably and spread out for a relaxing stay. Our kids adore playing in the dirt and exploring the trees. 

Nature's Playground: The campground's proximity to swimming holes, hiking trails, and the charming town of Payson provides endless opportunities for exploration and adventure. Serene Setting: The abundance of trees creates a peaceful and shady environment, perfect for escaping the Arizona sun. 

Clean Facilities: The bathrooms are well-maintained and clean, ensuring a comfortable stay. 

Dry Camping Friendly: We appreciate the ability to dry camp at Houston Mesa, making it a budget-friendly option. 

Heads Up: While Verizon service isn't optimal, it's manageable. Additionally, campsites near the freeway can experience some road noise. However, the convenience of having Home Depot and Walmart nearby outweighs these minor drawbacks. Overall, Houston Mesa Campground is a fantastic choice for families and outdoor enthusiasts seeking a comfortable and scenic camping experience. We highly recommend it and will definitely be back soon!

Site009 Mountain Lion Loop
Month of VisitSeptember
  • Review photo of Houston Mesa Campground by Brad | Britany B., February 29, 2024
  • Review photo of Houston Mesa Campground by Brad | Britany B., February 29, 2024
  • Review photo of Houston Mesa Campground by Brad | Britany B., February 29, 2024
  • (5) View All
csey R.
Reviewed Jul. 6, 2022

Houston Mesa Campgrounds AZ

  • Great location
  • close to Phoenix
  • close to Payson
  • close Tonto Natural Bridge
  • close to undian ruins, creeks, hiking, and fishing
  • we came the day after July fourth Independence Day! Many of the holiday campers did

not clean. Leave no trace! The Campgrounds stewards slow to cleaning campsites.

  • overall camp host are great and helpful and the campsites nice
SiteBear Loop 8
Month of VisitAugust
csey R.
Reviewed Jul. 6, 2022


  • Great information
  • app easy to use
  • Great updates
SiteHouston Mesa
Month of VisitAugust
  • Review photo of Houston Mesa Campground by csey R., July 6, 2022
  • Review photo of Houston Mesa Campground by csey R., July 6, 2022
  • Review photo of Houston Mesa Campground by csey R., July 6, 2022


Houston Mesa Campground is located in Arizona

Detail location of campground


From Payson, Arizona, go north for 1 mile to the junction of Highway 87 (Beeline Highway) and Forest Road 199 (Houston Mesa Road). Turn right (east) onto Forest Road 199 for .10 miles. The campground is on the north side of Houston Mesa Road.


2100 Houston Mesa Rd
Payson, AZ 85541


34.27 N
111.3141667 W

Open in Google Maps