All You Need to Know About Eastern Arizona
Should your adventuresome spirit take you off the Hannagan Meadow Lodge property, you will find a delightful variety of activities awaiting you in Eastern Arizona!
The White Mountains of Arizona includes a number of lovely communities: Alpine, Eagar, Greer, Pinetop-Lakeside, Show Low, Snowflake, Springerville, St. Johns, Taylor and Whiteriver. Major attractions in and near these communities include:
Coronado Trail Scenic Byway
State Route 191 from Morenci north to Springerville is known as the Coronado Trail. This is a spectacular feast for your eyes, with a vast array of vegetation corresponding to changes in climate, soil, moisture and elevation known as “life zones.” Coronado Trail Scenic Road Sign near Hannagan Meadow Lodge The life zones existing on the Coronado Trail are the same as what you would see on a road trip from Mexico to Canada – but more thoroughly enjoyed on a short 4-hour drive rather than a 4-day trip!
This trail ascends nearly 5,000 feet in only 60 miles, passes through some of the most beautiful countryside in this part of Arizona and is known as one of our nation’s top ten scenic byways. From mid-September until nearly November, the colors along the Coronado Trail are outstanding. The gorgeous golds, reds and browns of the aspen, oak, maple and mountain ash are contrasted by the many shades of green from the pines, firs, juniper and pinon trees. Most notable are the large stands of aspen on the Alpine Ranger District leading to Hannagan Meadow. The Coronado Trail offers some of the best viewing in Arizona for those in search of autumn colors. Other scenic routes nearby include State Highway 273 near Springerville and Forest Roads 24, 25 and 26 south of Alpine.
Blue Vista Scenic Overlook
This scenic overlook near mile marker 225 rises some 4,000 feet above the valleys below the Mogollon Rim, providing views of the dramatic topography of most of Southeast Arizona and western New Mexico right below you. There are excellent views of the Blue Range and other mountain peaks, as well as excellent visual aid signs to guide you in identifying the many distant landmarks.
From one spot, you can view beautiful forests of spruce, fir, ponderosa pine, high mountain meadows, grassland savannahs, pinon juniper stands and the upper Sonoran desert. A short nature trail hike begins at the parking lot, and the facility includes restrooms and picnic tables.
Blue Range Primitive Area
This is the only remaining primitive area in the U.S. National Forest System, and remains one of Arizona’s untouched and little-known jewels. It is a vast area of 174,000 acres of rugged topography on which travel is restricted to foot or horseback and mechanized equipment is prohibited. A diversity of geographical landscapes including the Mogollon Rim and the Blue and San Francisco Rivers provide habitat for the Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep, Bald Eagle, Mexican Gray Wolf and other potentially threatened or endangered wildlife species.
The area receives light use and can be accessed at numerous trailhead locations. The Primitive Area is perfect for pack trips, picnicking and light hiking. There are four trails leading right into the Blue Range Primitive Area within 5 miles of the Lodge.
Other Wilderness Experiences:
Some of the most spectacular outdoor wonders include the 7,000-acre Mt. Baldy Wilderness area on the White Mountain Apache Indian Reservation; 5,200-acre Escudilla Wilderness area, which includes Arizona’s third-highest peak, Escudilla Mountain; and the newly established Bear Wallow Wilderness on the Alpine Ranger District, with some of the largest acreage of virgin ponderosa pine in the Southwest.
Captain George Wheeler, who surveyed much of the American Southwest in the 1870s, wrote that the view from Mount Baldy was “the most magnificent and effective of any among the large number that have come under my observation.” In other words, he liked it . . . he really liked it. So do the scores of day hikers who visit Mount Baldy Wilderness today, making it one of the most popular hiking areas in Arizona. An extinct volcano rising to 11,403 feet, Mount Baldy stands within the White Mountain Apache Reservation; the Wilderness occupies its eastern slope
Unit 27 Hunting
Hunting permits are available at various times throughout the year for Unit 27, where Hannagan Meadow is located, for black bear, elk, javelina, mountain lion, mule deer, Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, whitetail deer, blue grouse, dove, quail, tree squirrel and turkey. Contact Arizona Game and Fish at www.azgfd.com for more information and regulations.
This highly prized unit lies almost entirely within the Apache National Forest along with small pockets of private land & to the south, some BLM & State lands as well. Unit 27 offers trophy big game hunting for elk, mule deer, whitetail, Rocky Mountain bighorn, & javelina; it also provides good hunting for black bear, mountain lion, & turkey. This unit offers great opportunities for small game such as bobcat, coyote, fox, cottontail rabbit, squirrel, & more.
Unit 27 contains two important wildlife areas: the Blue Range Primitive Area (174,00 acres) & Bear Wallow Wilderness (11,000 acres). Both offer excellent hiking, hunting, & fishing adventuring inside the Mexican Gray Wolf habitat. Additionally, & because of the numerous lakes, rivers & streams, these areas provide excellent waterfowl & fishing potential. Waterfowl species include Canadian geese, mallards, mergansers, blue-winged teal, northern pintail, & more.
Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest
The Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest offers a paradise of nature during all four seasons. Fragrant forests house abundant wildlife, including over 400 specials of fish and wildlife ranging from big game like elk, deer, antelope and bear, to smaller species like raccoons. Fishing, camping, hiking, hunting, and photography are but a few of the most popular summertime activities. In the winter there are unlimited opportunities for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, and ice fishing.
Apache-Sitgreaves has over 450 miles of fishable streams and approximately 2,000 surface acres of cold water lakes (many of them stocked); in fact, this forest has traditionally been one of the top ten fishing forests in the entire National Forest System. Just within a 30-mile radius of Hannagan Meadow, there are more than 200 miles of trout streams and 11 different lakes. Hundreds of miles of gorgeous hiking and mountain biking trails through the Apache-Sitgreaves and Blue Primitive Area are located near to Hannagan Meadow. Check our Warm Weather Activities page for more details.
Lesser-known but equally enjoyable recreational opportunities include searching for area rocks including Luna agate, fire agate, and quartz crystals; seasonal mushrooming, berry picking, or pinon gathering; photography and stargazing; or visiting the herbarium at the Alpine Forest Service Ranger Station, to learn to identify the hundreds of wildflowers which bloom during the spring and summer.
Whitewater Canyon and the Catwalk National Recreation Trail
Whitewater Canyon and the Catwalk National Recreation Trail near Glenwood, New Mexico is a favorite day trip for Hannagan Meadow guests. It provide a recreation experience that is unique to the region. The trail comprises a moderate one-mile walk through the narrow steep sided Whitewater Canyon.
Part of the trail is made up of a metal walkway suspended above the creek. Numerous pools and falls occur along the upper portion of the trail. At the start of the trail, large sycamore trees provide shade to the picnic area that overlooks the creek. It is approximately 80 miles to Glenwood from Hannagan Meadow.
Sunrise Park Resort And Hon-Dah Resort Casino
n the heart of Arizona’s magnificent White Mountains, Sunrise Park Resort is a recreational paradise offering a wide range of fun and excitement. In winter, three mountains offer some of the finest downhill skiing in the Western United States. 65 runs promise adventure for skiers of any level. There is also a separate snowboarding area, cross country ski trails and a special children’s “ski-wee” area.
Hon-Dah Resort Casino offers fast paced gaming, cabaret-style entertainment, restaurant cuisine at casino prices, a convenience store, RV park, and more. It is less than an hour’s drive from Hannagan Meadow.
Alpine Country Club Golf Course
A short drive from Hannagan Meadow, this beautiful course was built at an elevation of 8,200 feet and offers many scenic views. It is a short and narrow course with many trees lining its fairways. The majority of greens are small and fast. The town of Alpine (pop. 1,000, elev. 8,017), Arizona has a number of local events, including dog-sled races in January and weekly van tours and campground programs during the summer.
The 9-hole Alpine Country Club in Alpine, Arizona is a semi-private golf course that opened in 1960. Alpine Country Club measures 2650 yards from the longest tees and has a slope rating of 109 and a 32.5 USGA rating. The course features 2 sets of tees for different skill levels.
Springerville (pop. 1,972, elev. 6,968), with adjoining town of Eagar, is approximately 50 miles from Hannagan Meadow , and offers excellent cultural attractions such as the Casa Malpais Indian Ruins and Archaeological Park (a presentation of Mogollon Indian Culture); the Little House Museum (an authentic presentation of ranching, outlaw, and pioneer history); the 26 Bar Ranch (steeped in the history of the Hereford cattle industry); the Sipe White Mountain Wildlife Area (viewing area, hiking trails and seasonal visitor center, 7 miles SE of Springerville toward Alpine); and more. It is also the nearest city offering banks, medical facilities, and a municipal airport.
Located in Northeastern Arizona, the Town of Springerville is at the heart of the growing southwest. Originally established in 1879, Springerville sits at an elevation of 7,000 feet. Growing around Henry Springer’s trading post, the town was incorporated in 1948. Along with it’s neighbor Eagar, both communities reside in the Round Valley within the White Mountains of Arizona.
Springerville is the home of Arizona’s Madonna of the Trail statue, unveiled on September 29, 1928. Outlaw Cowboy Ike Clanton, who was present at the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, was shot dead in Springerville on June 1, 1887, by detective Jonas V. Brighton when he resisted arrest on charges of cattle rustling
Pinetop-Lakeside (pop. 3,582, elev. 6,800) is known for its extensive tourism and recreational activities, access for major metropolitan areas and a rural business atmosphere. The economy of Pinetop-Lakeside is heavily oriented toward trade and services for tourists and recreational-seekers, as well as residents. The Pinetop-Lakeside area offers a broad range of shopping and dining, as well as community facilities including a health center, library, three golf courses, theaters, sport courts and parks.
Sitting at an elevation of 7,000 ft, Pinetop-Lakeside offers clean crisp air, a mesmerizing star-filled sky, miles of trails through the world’s largest Ponderosa Pine Forest, and over 200 streams and lakes. This year-around, natural playground provides endless opportunities for all of your favorite outdoor activities from skiing to fishing to hiking.
There’s so much to love about Pinetop-Lakeside, Arizona, the hub of the scenic White Mountains. This vacation getaway area in central-eastern Arizona is a favorite retreat of the desert-dwellers in Phoenix, Scottsdale and Tucson to escape the summer heat. At an elevation of about 7,200 feet, Pinetop-Lakeside features cool refreshing summer temperatures with an alpine-type setting of tall mountain peaks and lush forests that boasts of four season beauty and year-round outdoor adventure.