Arizona’s premier ski destination, Sunrise Park Resort, is located near 11,400-foot Mt. Baldy and is only a thirty-minute ride from Wenima Valley. The Ski and Recreational area feature ten lifts and two T-Bars, serving 65 trails on a variety of slopes. Ski school and equipment rental, childcare facility and funland area for small children are also available. The Resort also features Three Lodges, several restaurants and a cafeteria.
The complex is owned and operated by the White Mountain Apache Tribe. Nearby is the Sunrise General Store, which features 13 miles of groomed trails for cross-country skiing.
Also included at this recreational area: snowmobile tours, ice fishing, sledding, snowshoeing, and horse-drawn sleigh rides.
Sunrise Ski Area consists of three peaks: Sunrise, Apache, and Cyclone Circle. Forty percent of the Sunrise ski trails are engineered for the novice, and another forty percent are for intermediate skiers. The remaining twenty percent are for advanced and expert skiers.
A blanket of snow is usual in the White Mountains from mid-November until the end of March. Winter activities include alpine skiing, snowboarding, snow shoeing, cross country skiing, snowmobiling, and sledding. Along with Sunrise Ski Area, the White Mountain area features four Winter Recreation areas.
Horseback riding, once a traditional mode of travel through backcountry terrain, is a recreational pastime for many in the White Mountains of Arizona. Featuring a bounty of trails with diverse ecology, you can experience trail rides through the pine, aspen, and oak tree covered mountains of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest. You will also be able to view various varieties of wildlife: deer, elk, antelope, and wild turkey. Many horseback riders are avid photographers.
Spring and fall are best for horse riding in the cooler weather. Venture into the alpine areas for summer rides, which are best in the morning. Watch for storms, especially lightning.
To encourage the implementation of proper horse handling, some horse use etiquette tips are included as follows:
Wildflowers erupt throughout Wenima Valley, the Round Valley, and the White Mountains throughout the spring, summer, and (sometimes) fall. Wenima hosts a variety of sunflowers along with many unique herbs and plants.
Wenima Plant Assessment
Learn the many medicinal and edible plants that grow wild at Wenima. This chart was prepared by the Foragers Path of Botanical Studies, Flagstaff, Arizona.
Fall Foliage Drive Tour (From Travel Awaits)
"Truthfully, every season is gorgeous in the White Mountains of eastern Arizona. In the spring and summer, the banks of babbling creeks erupt with wildflowers, and in the winter, the rugged peaks and sloping meadows are blanketed in sparkling white.
But it is perhaps in autumn that the White Mountains are at their brightest. Interspersed with the mountains’ pine and fir trees are lovely stands of white-barked aspens and thickets of Gambel oaks.
In late September and early October, the changing colors of the aspens and oaks alternate with the evergreen pines, creating a striking green-and-gold patchwork landscape.
Fall is also a time of glorious weather in Arizona’s high country. Owing to its altitudes that soar to the 6,500-to-9,000-foot-plus range, the White Mountains are always considerably cooler than the lowland deserts of the Phoenix and Tucson areas.
Average high temperatures in White Mountain communities such as Greer and Show Low are in the 70s and 80s in the summer and in the 60s and 70s in the fall. Prime leaf-peeping typically occurs during the first three weeks of October. The September shoulder season, although it might be too early to see the full range of fall colors, is still a wonderful time to visit the White Mountains.
Encompassing a broad region that takes in the Mogollon Rim communities of Pine and Strawberry in the west and continuing 150 miles east to the towns of Springerville and Eager near the Arizona-New Mexico border, the White Mountains area includes countless scenic stretches of road.
Among the most eye-catching is the 40-mile drive on Highway 260 between the Hon-Dah Resort Casino in Pinetop and Springerville/Eager. For even more spectacular terrain, add in a 20-mile detour southeast on the White Mountains Scenic Drive on Highway 273 toward Big Lake and the area’s ski resort, Sunrise Park Resort. Along the way, you’ll pass by immense meadows speckled with ponderosa pines and Douglas firs and bisected by lovely creeks.
In the fall, expect the meadows to be transitioning from vivid green to mellow yellows and browns and the distant peaks to be changing to gold. Plan to take 3 to 4 hours driving the route and stopping at the various overlooks and trailheads along the way."
Wenima throughout the Four Seasons
This FREE PDF shares information regarding Wenima, Round Valley, and the Arizona White Mountains throughout the four seasons. Features skiing, winter sports, horseback riding, wildflowers, stargazing, mountain-biking, hiking, beautiful fall foliage, and much more.