My partner, Gary, and I decided to take a quick 3-night mini-vacation to the White Mountains in eastern Arizona this week. It is Apache country, home to the Fort Apache Indian Tribe along Arizona’s border with New Mexico. It is beautiful country with yellow pine forests (a mixture of deciduous oaks and aspens as well as evergreen juniper and pine species). There are deep canyons, rolling foot-hills and tall mountains, lakes and hiking trails. The altitude along this area is 7000-8500 feet but is still considered high desert. The nights are cool (in the 30’s right now) and the days are pleasant (in the 60’s). Perfect weather, in my opinion!
We drove there from our home in west central Arizona, a 3.5 hr drive along the Mogollon Rim. And we brought along the newest member of our family, Dixon, a rescue from our local humane society. The three of us spent our days hiking trails in and around Pinetop-Lakeside and driving into the Fort Apache Reservation. It was just beautiful! And it provided an opportunity to take photographs of the area, some of which I’ve included below (you can click on any photo to see a full-size version).
These first photos were taken on a hike around Woodland Lake State Park in Pinetop, Arizona. The park includes a natural lake and wetlands full of migrating ducks and geese and has a walking trail that circumnavigates the lake.
The next photos were taken the same afternoon on a drive into the high country of the Fort Apache Reservation, headed toward the Sunrise Ski Resort which was closed for the autumn. The trees with the gorgeous gold and orange leaves are aspens which only grow in the higher elevation mountains of the southwest.
These last few photos were taken on Thursday, our last full day in the area. We took a good long hike along the Hitchingpost Loop and Turkey Trot trails just west of Woodland State Park. It was much hotter that day than the day before with few clouds. And the trail was rocky and dry with only a few spots in full-shade. Luckily it was a rather flat trail so not much climbing was required. Still, we were all hot and thirsty by the time we finished . . . having drunk all of our water during the first 2/3 of the hike.
We loved our mini-vacation in the White Mountains so much we plan to do it again soon. Maybe in the Spring. Getting away really feeds the creative spirit!