Parks & Monuments

White Mountain Trail System

Near the eastern border of Arizona, the White Mountains surprise visitors with dense pine forests and year-round recreation.

Charming mountain towns in the White Mountains offer a refreshing change of scenery for residents of the lowland deserts of Phoenix and Tucson, especially when temperatures rise. Out-of-state visitors also get in on the action, with 200+ miles of loop trails for hikers, mountain bikers and horseback riders. The White Mountain Trail System invites visitors to discover Arizona’s pine forests and mountain meadows in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest. Head to Pinetop-Lakeside and Show Low to access these magnificent trails.

High-Elevation Hiking

Multiple loop trails and connector trails allow avid hikers to spend a day in the mountains and never backtrack. Trailheads begin at elevations more than a mile high and the steep trails climb even higher. Timber Mesa just north of Pinetop-Lakeside is one of the shorter loops in the system at 7.5 miles. The Los Caballos loop measures in at nearly 15 miles. These Arizona hiking trails have multiple entry points, so visitors can plan shorter out-and-back hikes if completing the entire loop is intimidating. Novice hikers and families with small kids can get their bearings on the Woodland Lake Park Trail, an easy urban loop around a small lake close to civilization.

Trout Fishing

More than 200 lakes and streams flow throughout the White Mountains and White Mountain Apache Tribal Lands, creating ideal destinations for fishing in Arizona. Big Lake and Crescent Lake are popular fishing holes in the White Mountain area. Surrounded by national forest, the pristine area offers the best trout fishing in the state. Troll for rainbow, brown, cutthroat and brook trout in the cool mountain waters. Arizona requires licenses to fish in the area’s waterways. Get more licensing details at

Four-Season Playground

In autumn, aspens and oaks in the White Mountains create a color show in the evergreen forest. Winter transforms many of the hiking routes in the White Mountain Trail System into cross-country ski paths. Winter adventurers find even more action at Sunrise Park Resort, the state’s largest ski resort just 45 minutes southeast of Pinetop-Lakeside. The surrounding area also boasts the second-highest peak in Arizona. Mount Baldy tops out at an elevation of 11,400 feet, a bucket-list accomplishment for serious summit hikers.

For More Information

White Mountain Trail System of Arizona
958 S Woodland Rd
Lakeside, AZ 85929
(928) 368-6700

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