Bicycling and Hiking in Pinetop-Lakeside
Bicycling and Hiking
Listed in the American Hiking Society's "Trail Town Hall of Fame," Pinetop-Lakeside is the primary trailhead for the White Mountains Trails System, which includes roughly 200 miles of interconnecting multiuse loop trails that span the White Mountains. All these trails are open to mountain bikers, horseback riders, and hikers.
Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests. You can get trail brochures or other information from the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests, including a $2 booklet on the White Mountains Trail System. Lakeside Ranger Station, 2022 W. White Mountain Blvd., Lakeside, AZ, 85929. 928/368–2100. www.fs.usda.gov/asnf.
Big Springs Environmental Study Area. Half a mile off AZ 260 on Woodland Road, Big Springs Environmental Study Area is a 0.5–mile loop trail that wanders by riparian meadows, two streams, and a spring-fed pond. A series of educational signs is devoted to the surrounding flora and fauna. Easy. Woodland Rd. and AZ 260, Lakeside, AZ, 85929. 928/368–6700. ci.pinetop-lakeside.az.us/bigsprings.htm.
Country Club Trail. The trailhead for Country Club Trail is at the junction of Forest Service roads 182 and 185 (but it's more helpful to ask for directions at the ranger station). These 3.5 miles of moderately difficult mountain-biking and hiking trails can be spiced up by following the spur-trail to the top of Pat Mullen Mountain and back. Moderate.
Mogollon Rim Interpretive Trail. The well-traveled and easy Mogollon Rim Interpretive Trail follows a small part of the 19th-century Crook Trail along the Mogollon Rim; the 0.25-mile path, with a trailhead just west of the Pinetop-Lakeside city limits, is well marked with placards describing local wildlife and geography. Easy. 3 miles west of Lakeside Ranger Station on AZ 260, follow signs for trail, Pinetop-Lakeside, AZ, 85929.
Panorama Trail. The 8-mile Panorama Trail, rated moderate, comes with astonishing views from the top of extinct double volcanoes known as the Twin Knolls and passes through a designated wildlife habitat area; the trailhead is 6 miles east on Porter Mountain Road, off AZ 260. Moderate. Pinetop-Lakeside, AZ, 85929.