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Canyon Creek and Hatchery
Canyon Creek, an outstanding high elevation riparian community just under the Mogollon Rim, is a very popular fishing and birding destination. Canyon Creek Hatchery is one of Arizona’s five fish hatcheries and is built at the headwaters that feed into Canyon Creek. In 2000, a large wildfire swep...
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Tonto Creek Hatchery
Description: Located in a marvelous canyon, Tonto Creek Hatchery is the most visited of the state’s fish hatcheries. Its riparian habitat along Tonto Creek is an excellent site to watch big game, especially elk.

Wildlife to Watch: Wide range of riparian birds year round includes heron, belted kingfisher and osprey. American dipper can also be found at the hatchery and along Tonto Creek, particularly during the fall and winter. Riparian breeding birds along the creek include common black-hawk, broad-tailed hummingbird, black phoebe, warbling vireo, American robin, bridled titmouse, Virginia’s and MacGillivray’s warblers, black-headed grosbeak, and occasionally indigo bunting. Merriam’s turkey, band-tailed pigeon, acorn woodpecker, nuthatches, towhees, and a variety of other woodland birds also frequent the area. The hatchery raises Arizona’s state fish, the Apache trout, as well as rainbow and brown trout. White-tailed deer, elk, black bear, Abert’s squirrel, Arizona gray squirrel, and mantled ground squirrel are also found in the area. Reptiles and amphibians inhabiting the hatchery grounds and Tonto Creek include Mexican gartersnake, Sonoran mountain kingsnake, Arizona black rattlesnake, greater short-horned lizard, plateau lizard, many-lined skink, Arizona treefrog, and Arizona toad.

Special Tips: Hatchery work areas are paved for self-guided tours. The famed Highline Trail on adjacent Forest Service lands can be accessed near the hatchery parking lot.

Ownership: Arizona Game & Fish Dept. 
Size: 15 acres 
Closest Town: Payson / Christopher Creek

RestroomsParkingHandicap AccessibleDrinking Water

Best Seasons for Wildlife Viewing:

Rainbow Trout - photo by USFWS
Use link below please

Driving Directions:
Twenty-one miles east of Payson off Hwy. 260. Turn north at signed road near Kohls Ranch Resort and travel 4 miles to end of road.

Map Link

Tonto Creek Hatchery : Wildlife Viewing Area