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Forests, Mountains & Lakes – Nature & Sports


The great naturalist John Muir once said, “Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountain is going home.“ No matter where home may actually be, anyone who ventures into the White Mountain region will be rewarded with an immediate sense of tranquility and peace. Those who work hard all year long and seek a little rest and relaxation amid the rugged beauty of pine forests and mountain streams will not be disappointed. This is Arizona’s four-season wonderland. Summer temperatures here are typically 10 to 20 degrees cooler than the desert regions. So a day of fun-filled outdoor recreation is always an option. Choose from backpacking, mountain biking, hiking, canoeing, golfing, game recreation, water sports, horseback riding or camping. In winter, 11,000-foot Mr. Baldy invites skiers and snowboarders to endless downhill adventures at Sunrise Park Resort, Arizona’s largest ski area. Other favorite cold-weather pastimes throughout the area include: cross-county skiing, snowshoeing, ice fishing, snowmobiling, tubing, sledding and even sleigh rides. Whatever the time of year, Arizona’s White Mountain community offers beauty, enjoyment, exercise and adventure for everyone.


There are numerous opportunities for off-highway vehicle (OHV) recreation in the area. Lyman Lake State Park allows off-road vehicles in designated areas, and Saffel Canyon has an extensive OHV trail through beautiful, scenic country. It offers ponderosa, aspen, fir and alligator juniper forests along with an interesting variety of terrains. The Arizona Outlaw Trail Jamboree is a five-day celebration of OHV riding and the history of the Old West. It is designed to raise awareness of the need to establish trails in the area, and to provide a good time too. Local history is filled with stories and legends of outlaws who used to roam the area, and the Outlaw Trail is part of a route the desperadoes commonly took to escape with stolen horses or cattle.



The White Mountain Trail System provides over 200 miles of developed interconnecting loops and multi-use trails and enjoys national recognition as one of North America’s outstanding trail destinations. It was ranked third in the nation by the American Hiking Society and accommodates hikers, bikers and equestrians. Created to preserve the region’s scenery, no motorized vehicles are allowed. Most trails are eight to 10 miles in length, and all trails are linked either by connector trails or forest roads, so the entire 200 miles can be done without interruption.

Lyman Lake State Park offers additional interesting trail choices: Rattlesnake Point Pueblo Trail, with a view of 14th century ruins; Peninsula Petroglyph Trail, a 14-mile self-guided route; and the Ultimate Petroglyph Trail, a 12-mile, steeper trail on the east side of the lake that can only be accessed by boat.

Water Sports

Lyman Lake State Park is Arizona’s first recreational state park, and features a 1,500-acre reservoir at an elevation of 6,000 feet. It is fed by snowmelt from the slopes of Mt. Baldy and Escudilla Mountain, the second and third highest mountains in Arizona. Because of its size, it’s perfect for fishing, boating (no boat size restrictions), swimming and a variety of popular water sports. Swimming is also available at Round Valley Swimming Pool, St. Johns City Pool, Snowflake Swimming Pool and Show Low Family Aquatic Center.


log cabin

This vast open area is normally blanketed with snow throughout the winter, especially in the higher elevations. Cross-country skiers can enjoy miles of picturesque trails, both groomed and rugged, including miles of scenic territory within the White Mountain Trail System. Situated in the largest ponderosa pine forest in the world, Sunrise Park Resort is a winter sports paradise. Three mountains, 10 lifts, 65 trails, over 800 acres of skiable terrain, promising adventure and fun at any level. Whether young or old, a first-timer or an experienced powder seeker,

Sunrise Park awaits with plenty of downhill action. Additional features include separate snowboard runs, cross-country trails and children’s ski area.

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