Hiking Throughout The White Mountains
Hiking throughout The White Mountains is a year-round experience. From the rugged terrain of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest to the White Mountains Trail System, there are trails for all levels and ages. The White Mountains Trail System is a series of 25 to 30 interconnecting, multi-use trail loops ranging from the community of Vernon on the eastern edge and stretching to the community of Clay Springs in the west. The system includes urban trails in the Town of Pinetop-Lakeside, the City of Show Low and the Wagon Wheel area. Currently five delightful parks are being connected to the System: Fools Hollow Lake, Woodland Lake Park, Big Springs Environmental Study Area and Billy Creek.
The excellent Trail System has been nationally ranked as one of the nation’s premier hiking destinations. The region is attracting hikers of all ages and abilities and is quickly becoming a burgeoning tourism draw as well. Most trails are also inhabited by watchable wildlife, including elk, bear, mountain lion, antelope, deer, javelina, turkey, quail, as well as rabbit. Depending on the season, waterfowl are also found throughout the abundant lakes and streams.
One of the unique features of the Trail System is the Trail Loop concept. Traditionally, most trails go from point A to point B, requiring a return trip over the same terrain. The Trail System loop goes from point A and returns to point A. Loops are also joined by connector trails, making longer traverses possible. Loops vary in size, allowing a pleasant evening walk, a day-hike with a stop at selected picnic-type areas, a multi-day horseback trail ride, an adventurous back-pack trip, or a scenic mountain bike tour. During winter, selected areas are open to cross-country skiing.
Recreational Mountain Biking
One of the fastest growing recreation activities, mountain biking in the White Mountains is a huge draw. The region is primarily forest, with some high desert elevations. Throughout the White Mountains TrailSystem, as well as the miles of Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest Service roads, mountain bike enthusiasts can travel for great distances without interference from motorized vehicles. With the high altitude, triathletes are discovering the White Mountains region as a prime training location. It has been estimated that within the TrailSystem and connecting trails, a bike rider can travel for more than 120 miles without interruption.
The White Mountain Open Trails Association (WMOTA) is a family oriented group of adult ATV/UTV riders. The club is a socially oriented organization with the purpose of promoting safety, conservation, and the education of fellow members and the public on protecting our land and the future of the sport. Off-highway enthusiasts are invited to enjoy the beautiful White Mountain country while preserving the integrity of the landscape by riding trails designated for this purpose.
WMOTA has catalogued numerous trails in Arizona and throughout the western United States. Club members will have access to all of these trails and be invited to monthly rides and camping outings. More information and membership applications may be obtained at: www.wmota.org
Four Seasons of Hunting
The White Mountains are known for their abundant stock of wildlife. In accordance with Arizona Department of Game and Wildlife resource management, game hunts are planned and monitored throughout the year. The primary game stock is elk and the area has become legendary for world-class hunting. Bear, mountain lion, antelope, deer, javelina, turkey, quail, rabbit and waterfowl are also found in this area. The White Mountains offer virtual year-round hunting experiences and are quite varied. In addition to the Arizona state controlled hunting, the White Mountain Apache Tribe organizes game draws as well.
Golf in the White Mountains
When the desert summers heat up and golfing fanatics find their tee-times limited, the White Mountains offer full days of cool fun. The region is a magnet for golfers from throughout the southwest and boasts summer temperatures in the low 80’s. There are currently ten verdant courses that will challenge all levels of duffers. Although most courses are closed during the winter, they reopen in spring with full slates of classes, driving ranges, tournaments and scrambles. Golfing in the region is becoming very popular with younger players and families as well.