Close Enough, Far Enough

1,000 residents relax into pleasures of life in Christopher Creek


A small market, a small restaurant and bar and a service station is all Christopher Creek has to offer by way of amenities, but that is the main reason why people love the small community.

The people who call Christopher Creek home enjoy the solitude that comes with the community.

Christopher Creek, located about 20 miles east of Payson on Highway 260, has little traffic and is peaceful and quiet at night.

Debbie Aschbrenner, owner of Tall Pines Market in Christopher Creek, said, "It is so beautiful, and the weather is perfect. The beauty of it is unbelievable."

She said there are so many places to fish and hike within walking distance.

"It's more about nature than playing video games," she said. "There are not many places where you can go out your back yard to fish."

It's also the kind of place where the biggest danger is backing into an elk, as you leave your driveway.

"It's such a neat area," she said.

The population of the town, during the winter, hovers around 1,000 people. For part of the year, the rest of the homes sit empty as second homes.

"It's like a village now," she said, mentioning a well-known restaurant and bar that could be opening soon.

Kathy Daugherty, who works at the Creekside Steak House in Christopher Creek, said the weather is one of the main reasons she moved to the community.

"It's absolutely gorgeous up here," she said.

The location offers her the opportunity to meet different types of people who travel through the community as tourists, but, if she wants to be alone, she can retreat into the peace and quiet of her chosen home.


Christopher Creek, located about 20 miles east of Payson on Highway 260, has little traffic and is peaceful and quiet at night.

"If you do not want to be around anyone, you can just take a hike," Daugherty said. "I am from the Valley, and I can't take the heat there anymore. It's nice to see all the wildlife here.

"You meet all kinds of fascinating people here," she added, mentioning the only time she needs a vehicle is when she drives into Payson to pick up supplies.

Leslie Draheim moved to Christopher Creek from Chandler three weeks ago for more tranquility.

She doesn't even own a car because she can walk from one end of the community to other end with no problem.

Draheim also said the scenery cannot be matched.

"I sat and watched a woodpecker and squirrel fight from my front porch (the other day)," she said. "The nature and scenery are great."

The only downside is being far from Payson for supplies, she said, but that can also be a good thing.

"If we had a vehicle we would only drive it to Payson," she said.

Carol Hiscox, who works in the kitchen at the Creekside Steak House, said one of the things she enjoys the most about the community are the stars, moon and sky she can view from her telescope, without the interference of light pollution.

But the community is still close enough to Phoenix and Payson for items that are needed.

Hiscox moved to Christopher Creek two years ago, but has been visiting the location for about 40 years.

"It's a beautiful area," she said.

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