9 Creeks in Arizona for Families to Splash In

Check out these 9 Arizona hotspots where your kids can cool off

By Amy Tryon July 31, 2020

We are lucky to have so many great creeks in the Arizona where kids can splash and play -- and you can feel good about social distancing(depending of course on how many others are playing in the water). 

Here are 9 of our readers' favorite creeks in Arizona to visit. Don't see your family's favorite creek here? Drop me a note at and I'll add it to our list!

Put on a swimsuit, bring shoes good for creek walking, and don't forget snacks, lots of drinking water and sunscreen before heading out to any of these Arizona creeks! And remember, always watch your kids in water — no matter how shallow it is!

Christopher Creek near Payson

Christopher Creek offers both camping and day use facilities. For day use, plan to pay around $10 with either cash or check. Restrooms and water should be accessible but as always, plan to bring enough drinking water for your family for the entire day, just in case. My family really enjoyed this one, as it is in the pine trees and is very pretty.

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Beaver Creek past Camp Verde off I-17

Beaver Creek offers a day use area where families can play in the water. There is a developed day use area with an all day day fee of $10 or a discounted fee of $7 after 1pm. You can also make use of an undeveloped area with no fee. Port a potties are available but no drinking water and limited parking at the undeveloped site. 

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Clear Creek near Camp Verde

Clear Creek offers a day use site as well as camping opportunities. No rates were listed on the site for day use. We aren't sure if that was an oversight or if day use is free, but plan to bring some cash or a checkbook just in case. Restrooms are available but no drinking water so be sure to pack plenty!

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Double Springs Day Use near Flagstaff

Double Springs offers a fun way to play in the water for the day. They are open from 10 AM- 4 PM. There is an $8 fee that covers up to 5 people. Drinking water and bathrooms are available.

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Fossil Creek near Strawberry

Fossil Creek has been a favorite of many but it currently has some strict guidelines. You must request and have a printed pass to access the site. Passes can be obtained here. Please be sure to read all the information and regulations if you plan to visit Fossil Creek.

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Grasshopper Point Picnic Area at Oak Creek near Sedona

Grasshopper Point offers a fun place to play in the water, but unlike some of the other sites, it offers a swimming hole. They don't recommend cliff jumping but if you want to swim this would be a great spot. There are some picnic tables and toilets available. Please make sure you pack water for drinking. The cost is $9 per vehicle per day, for up to 5 people. 

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Crescent Moon Picnic Site at Oak Creek near Sedona

The Crescent Moon Picnic Site opens at 8 AM and closes at dusk. They have drinking water, parking, and toilets. The fee is $11 per vehicle for up to 5 people. Make sure to take your sunscreen! The restrooms and picnic tables at this site are accessible. The weekends and holidays tend to be busy, so if you want less people around try going during the week.

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Horton Creek East of Payson

Horton Creek is south of the Tonto Fish Hatchery, which my kids like to go visit. Drinking water is available at the nearby upper Tonto Creek Campground. No trash service is provided so be prepared to pack out anything you bring in.

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Water User's Day Use near Mesa

If you want to use this recreation site, you must have a Tonto Daily Pass. It is a popular location for people who are tubing and kayaking. They encourage wearing water shoes if you plan to go wading in the water. Accessible vault toilets are on site. No information concerning water, so plan to pack in all the drinking water you will need for the day. 

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Just a few reminders/ suggestions:

  • Take water with you, even if they have a water supply
  • Have cash or check for payment as not every site will have card abilities
  • Watch your kids. Life vests are always a good option for younger kids.
  • Water shoes are a great option if wading in water where people go fishing
  • Always double check the website before heading out since things are changing quickly lately.

Have fun spending time with your family and keeping cool!