White Mountains Online

Apache Sitgraves National Forest


The Forest Elk Haven Cabins

The Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests are managed as one of 11 National Forests in the Southwestern Region of Arizona and New Mexico. The National Forests are "AMERICA'S GREAT OUTDOORS," here to serve the American people at work or at play. Some of the most spectacular scenery in the Southwest awaits the forest visitor on the two million acres of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests. Our elevations range from 3,500 feet in the Upper Sonoran desert life zone covered by prickly pear and yucca, to nearly 11,500 feet in the Alpine life zone where you can see beautiful stands of fir and spruce interwoven with lush green meadows.


Picture Courtesy of Roy BingamThe Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests are truly an oasis from the heat and concrete of southwestern cities in the summer and a snow-season paradise during the winter. Spectacular vistas from the Mogollon Rim and fragrant pine forests with an abundance of wildlife lure more visitors each year. 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.

TrailsThere are approximately 875 miles of trails in the forest, many of which are maintained through the generosity and hard work of volunteers and user groups. There are excellent opportunities for horseback riding, mountain biking, and hiking. The forest contains four National Recreation Trails, all of which provide beautiful vistas, varying physical challenges, and several opportunities for the enjoyment of historic interpretation.

Visit the White Mountains. Best fishing around!

In 1985, the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests and the Arizona Game and Fish Department announced an innovative program for wildlife habitat, wildlife viewing, photography, and hunting opportunities. Five wildlife habitat areas were established on the forest that were closed to the use of motorized vehicles. Since that time, two more areas have been added and one area was deleted for a current total of six habitat areas. Although wildlife habitat areas have been established in other states, this was the first extensive program of its kind in Southwestern National Forests.

Wilderness/Primitive: There are over 200,000 acres of wilderness and primitive areas in the Apache-Sitgreaves. Travel is restricted to foot or horseback and mechanized equipment is prohibited. The Blue Range Primitive Area is the only remaining primitive area in the National Forest System and remains one of Arizona's essentially untouched and little known jewels. Although still under the old designation of "primitive area", the Blue Range is managed the same as other wilderness areas.


Enjoy the outdoors!! Wildlife abounds in the forest with over 411 species of fish and wildlife ranging from big game like elk, deer, and antelope to smaller species such as squirrels, chipmunks, and a variety of birds. There are opportunities throughout the forest for the casual observer, photographer, or hunter. The Apache-Sitgreaves contains over 450 miles of fishable streams and approximately 2,000 surface acres of cold water lake habitat. This forest has traditionally been one of the top ten fishing forests in the entire National Forest System. Species include Rainbow, German Brown, Brook, and Cutthroat Trout along with other fish species such as Arctic Graylings. Bring your favorite fishing gear and try your luck!

Camping: There are campgrounds available ranging from remote, fairly primitive sites to developed sites with amenities such as hot showers and flushable toilets. Reservations can be made at least 10 days in advance for most campsites on the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests by dialing the toll free number, 1-800-280-CAMP. For free literature and specific information, contact any National Forest office. For other information about camping in the forest use the U.S. Forest Website link below.

Your imagination can go wild here.

There are thousands of miles of roads and trails that receive varying amounts of snowfall and are open to cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling. Conditions for cross-country skiing vary from busy groomed trails to isolated alpine meadows where solitude and winter beauty are the rule. There are numerous snowmobiling opportunities for family fun and enjoyment. For trained and experienced winter recreationists, snow camping is increasing in popularity. Ice fishing is also becoming a favorite winter outdoor recreation experience at many of our high elevation lakes.

No matter the time of year- come and enjoy the beauty of America's great outdoors. Visit the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests!

... What the Forest Service is All About ...

is charged with the care of the nation's forests and rangelands. We serve the needs of the people of the nation, the owners of the forest. The Forest Service is a leader in conservation; cooperates with the individual states to assist private landowners in applying good forest practices on their own lands. We are also involved in research to find better ways to manage the nation's natural resources.

Our Mission: "Caring for the Land and Serving People." This involves taking care of the land while making the forest resources available to all "shareholders". Resources include: high quality water, wilderness, and outdoor recreation; quality habitat for many plants and animals; wood for paper, homes, and hundreds of other uses; forage for wildlife and livestock; a source of minerals.

Partnerships: We are all indebted to the volunteers who work with us on the Apache-Sitgreaves; through their hard work and cooperation much is accomplished. Volunteers do all kinds of things: wilderness information specialists; stream structure construction; members of interdisciplinary teams; trail clearing and maintenance; and serving as campground hosts. If you would like to become a partner, please ask!

For More Information: You can find the U.S. Forest Service Web Site at http://www.fs.fed.us/r3/asnf/ If you would like more information or detailed maps of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests, please stop by any of our offices or contact:

  • Forest Supervisor Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests - South Mountain Avenue, Hwy. 180 P.O.Box 640 Springerville, AZ 85938 (928) 333-4301
  • Alpine Ranger District - P.O.Box 469 Alpine, AZ 85920 (928) 339-4384
  • Black Mesa Ranger District - P.O.Box 968 Overgaard, AZ 85933 (928) 535-4481
  • Springerville Ranger District - P.O.Box 640 Springerville, AZ 85938 (928) 333-4372
  • Lakeside Ranger District - RR 3, Box B-50 Pinetop-Lakeside, AZ 85929 (928) 368-5111