Lonna and Roger Wick just moved to Payson from central Oregon, and they're glad to be here.
Actually, they had a three-year stint in Mesa first. But the heat and the traffic got to them, so they decided they wanted an atmosphere similar to central Oregon again.
They found that type of setting here in Payson. We found them camping at a favorite local spot, the Houston Mesa Campground just outside town.
The site is located just a mile and a half north of Payson at the junction of State Highway 87 and Houston Mesa Road/Forest Road 199. You'll turn east on FR 199 for 1/10 of a mile to the Houston Mesa Campground located on the north side of the road. The Houston Mesa Horse Campground is located on the south side of the road.
Obviously, you don't have to go far outside Payson to find a great flat campsite. And at the Houston Mesa site, you'll find lots of spots to pitch your tent, or set up your RV. Also, here you'll find restrooms, showers, drinking water, picnic tables, a dump station and an amphitheater.
Because there are so many facilities here, there is a fee to camp. It will cost you $16 per night per camp unit and $7 for a second vehicle. In addition to traditional camping, the Houston Mesa site has a horse camp, located on the opposite side of the Houston Mesa Road.
AT A GLANCE
What: Houston Mesa Campground
Elevation: 5200 feet
Where: 1 1/2 miles north of Payson
What you'll find: more than 40 spots in a heavily forested camping site, with campfire rings and a grill.
Reservations: not required, but recommended, especially on holiday weekends
Reservations at: 1-877-444-6777 or online at: www.ReserveUSA.com
Limit: 14 days