• Exploring Arizona’s White Mountains

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    When people think of visiting Arizona, the majestic Grand Canyon or the beautiful sun-kissed cities of Phoenix and Tucson may be the first destinations that come to mind. However, there is another, less traveled, visitor’s paradise in Arizona, known as the White Mountain area. Locate in Northeast Arizona near the border of New Mexico, the White Mountains are home to one of the largest and most impressive stands of ponderosa pine found anywhere in the world. Elk, deer, bighorn sheep, and wild turkey roam freely through the cool forests and fresh mountain streams. Visitors to the White Mountains will find something to satisfy almost every interest. For the outdoor enthusiast there is hiking, fishing, hunting, horseback riding and mountain biking. Leisure lovers will find golf, the performing arts, antiquing, a symphony orchestra, and historic Native American and pioneer sites. White Mountain winters offer fireplace-warmed cabins and a variety of snow sports as well.

    The White Mountain area has been home to a number of ancient Native American peoples, including the Mogollon and Anasazi tribes. It is still home to Native Americans, including the White Mountain Apache people and the Navajo Nation. Visitors can see ancient Native American ruins or tour historic Fort Apache, a mid-nineteenth century military outpost. The twenty-seven buildings of Fort Apache today are part of a living history museum celebrating the culture of the White Mountain Apache people.

    Located on the White Mountain Apache Reservation, near the small town of Pinetop, is the Hon-Dah Resort and Casino. Visitors will find a hotel, conference center, and RV park, with an outdoor sports and ski shop. The casino features slot machines and table games, as well as live music and comedy shows. The White Mountain Apache tribe also owns and operates the Sunrise Ski Resort, featuring downhill and cross-country skiing, tubing, and snowboarding, amidst spectacular winter vistas. The ski area begins on Apache Peak, at 11,100 feet.

    Lodging in the White Mountains is plentiful. Towns like Show Low, Pinetop, Snowflake, and Lakeside offer cozy bed and breakfasts, resort lodges, budget hotels, and RV parks. Visitors also may opt to rent private cabins, many with pool or spa amenities.

    The White Mountain resort area is about a four hour drive from Phoenix, Tucson, or Grand Canyon Village. It is one option that certainly should be on the list of sites to see in Arizona.

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