Located in the heart of the White Mountains of Arizona and nestled among the largest stand of Ponderosa pines in the world is the town of Pinetop. This resort community has something for everyone, especially the outdoor enthusiast. Throughout all four seasons there are plenty of opportunities for hiking, biking, fishing, golfing, skiing, antiquing or just a relaxing picnic in the many parks and lakes throughout the town.
Geography- Pinetop is surrounded by the White Mountain Apache Reservation and National Forest Lands. There are no less than 57 natural fishing lakes with a wide assortment of wildlife. Bear, elk, deer and lion has been spotted on many occasions as well as smaller wildlife. This is a place where the air is still fresh and at an elevation of 7,800 feet, it feels as if the stars are within touch when they light up the night skies.
RV Sites and Campgrounds
There are six RV parks and two campgrounds in and around Pinetop. In side the town limits, Blue Ridge Motel and RV Park, Hondah RV Park, Pine Flats and Lakeside RV Park offer electric and sewer. These parks are the most popular and reservations are a good idea. Call in advance to make sure there is room available. However, for a more pristine experience with no fees attached, there is Scott’s Reservoir and Los Burros Campground. These campgrounds are on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Things To Do and See
Summertime offers many activities. For those who love to golf, there are seven golf courses of all levels. Furthermore, for the avid hiker, there are more than 200 miles of hiking trails in the White Mountains. Trails range from the very easy such as the mile walk Mogollon Rim Overlook to a 14-mile round trip up Mt. Baldy, the second highest mountain in Arizona.
Love music and culture? Check out the Blue Grass Music or the White Mountain Native American Festivals in June and July. History buffs will enjoy exploring Casa Malapais Archaeological Park or Raven Site Ruins just outside of town because these attractions offer a glimpse of history of northern Arizona’s once wild west.
Mormon pioneers founded the area in the early 1800s and the name Pinetop was a nickname for a saloon keeper who served the Fort Apache soldiers. Walt Rigney took over the saloon after Johnny Phipps died. who was the first Anglo to settle here. Rigney had a fuzzy lock of red hair on top of his head and the soldiers used to say, “Let’s go to the top of the pines and see old Pinetop.”
Since Pinetop sits at such a high elevation, remember to drink plenty of water and acclimate yourself first before trying anything strenuous. July and August are the time of the monsoon rains and the weather can change suddenly. When hiking or boating, always brings adequate clothing and food.