Head to Arizona Rim Country and Escape to the Cabins at Creekside

Written by Gretchen Pahia

August 7, 2023
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Enjoy small-town life in Northern Arizona’s Christopher Creek, located 30 minutes outside of Payson, with a visit to the Cabins at Creekside.

The hustle and bustle of busy daily life can certainly bring me down, and I often seek a quick escape from the reality of everyday tasks. When asked if I wanted to visit the Cabins at Creekside, I nearly jumped at the opportunity to get my family out of the busy city and into the quieter, slow-paced forest life, even if we only had a quick time to visit.



Welcoming environment when you arrive on the property. Photo by Gretchen Pahia

Reserve Your Cabin

It seems silly to remind people they must make reservations for a spot like this. Still, you’d be surprised how many people find themselves just happening upon a spot, looking for a place to stay, and then disappointed that the rooms, or cabins, are all booked up. I promise this will be the case at Cabins by Creekside. The property isn’t huge, so they are limited in the number of cabins available on any given day, so if you want to stay overnight, be sure to plan ahead.

Inside view of one of the rental cabins. Photo by Cabins at Creekside


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Book a Jeep Tour

Once we got up to the Christopher Creek area, which is about 30 minutes outside of Payson, we were excited about our first activity of the day. One of the most incredible things you can do when you stay at Cabins at Creekside is book a Jeep Tour with Creekside Jeep Tour. We explored the Tonto National Forest area with a professionally guided and narrated adventure truck—super cool if you ask me! The jeep tour gave us a chance to look at the beauty the rim country has to offer, including creeks, waterfalls, plants, wildlife, and much more. We also got to see famed author Zane Grey’s homestead land. The tours start around 5,800 feet in elevation in Christopher Creek and can go as high as 7,500 feet on the Mogollon Rim tour.



Overview of Cabins at Creekside. Photo courtesy Cabins at Creekside

Prepare for Rest and Relaxation

Be ready to slow down and take some time for rest and relaxation. The city’s speed alone is much slower than all that is happening in a bigger city. One of my favorite parts of visiting the Christopher Creek area is that life is much quieter, and you slow down by the very nature of the people and life around you. I got to nap in the cabin, play board games with my kids, take a chance to breathe deeply, and set my worries aside for just a few hours at least.

Fun and Games are Key at Cabins at Creekside

One of our best decisions ahead of our trip was to pack some of our favorite board games to play as a family. During the regular week at home, we don’t get the opportunity to spend a lot of “family time” doing things like playing board games and other activities. But something about being up in the woods brings out the desire to sit down and play some fun games. Cabins at Creekside also offer some outdoor fun and games, including cornhole and a giant connect four.

Enjoy fun and games with family, including some cornhole. Photo by Gretchen Pahia



Great Restaurant on Property

One of the cool things about the Cabins at Creekside is the Creekside Cabin Tavern that is right on site, meaning you don’t have to drive into Payson or Heber for a bite to eat. That means you can walk from your cabin to the Tavern, enjoy a great meal, and spend time with family and friends. The Creekside Tavern serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, a full bar, and offers live entertainment on the patio for guests every weekend. According to Tavern staff, some popular dishes include Slow-Cooked Baby Back Ribs, Craft Burgers, Bacon-Wrapped Filet Mignon, and Seasoned Grilled Salmon.

Live entertainment on the patio at the Creekside Tavern. Photo by Gretchen Pahia.

Not just Food

Another perk is enjoying a signature cocktail, beer, and wine within walking distance from your cabin. Some local residents also enjoy time at the Tavern, but this is an excellent spot for guests to enjoy a cocktail or non-alcoholic beverage. Signature craft cocktails include Duck & Cover, Mogollon Margarita, Creekside Bee’s Knees, and the Knockout. The evening we stayed overnight, the special cocktail was the specialty Mule, and I opted for the Blueberry flavor—let me tell you, it did not disappoint. If you stop at the Tavern, ask about their drink specials. There also have a full bar and beer and wine options. Non-alcoholic drinks as well for any of those underage guests or those who do not choose to drink.

Blueberry Mule from Creekside Tavern. Photo by Gretchen Pahia

Plan an Event at Cabins at Creekside

Now this is not something I was looking to do while we were staying at the cabins, but managers and staff told us it is a fantastic spot if you are looking for a smaller, more intimate wedding space. The property offers one-of-a-kind scenery, affordable wedding packages, and parties for up to 150 people. A newly designed and built wedding venue offers views of the Mogollon Rim and Tonto National Forest. In my opinion, you could hold several different events here. Weddings, anniversary parties, retirement parties, family reunions, and much more. Let your imagination be the guide, and I am sure the staff and management can help you make it a reality.

Picturesque wedding ceremony at the Mogollon Rim. Photo by Cabins at Creekside

Pet Friendly in the Pines

We didn’t bring our dogs this time but are planning our next trip to the Pines to play with our pups. Dogs are welcome on the property, a maximum of two dogs. The first dog is $30.00 per night, and the second dog is $25.00 per night.  And if you plan to stay for more than just a few days, the good news is they only charge for the first three nights for the dogs. Pet owners pay attention, though. Dogs need to be on leashes at all times for their own safety. There is a doggy do station with bags and a scooper on the property for your convenience, so please take care of the property and clean up after your animals.

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Some Final Thoughts About Staying at Cabins at Creekside

Our stay at Cabins at Creekside was quick, and we enjoyed our time on the property. There are more than a dozen cabins on site, but you do have to act quickly as those reservations fill up fast. We only stayed one evening but enjoyed our time and wished we’d had the chance to stay a little longer. Each cabin has a flat-screen TV, satellite, coffee maker, microwave oven, and a small refrigerator. The spot also includes bedding, towels, soap, shampoo, and items to make the visit easier.

Enjoy small-town life in Northern Arizona's Christopher Creek, located 30 minutes outside of Payson, with a visit to the Cabins at Creekside.

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Head to Arizona Rim Country and Escape to the Cabins at Creekside



Written by Gretchen Pahia

Gretchen Pahia has more than two decades of journalism experience. Gretchen is an award-winning television news producer and when she isn’t writing for several local publications, she enjoys spending time with her family. Gretchen is an Arizona native, born and raised in the Valley, and continues to live there with her husband and two teenage sons.

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