With elevations climbing to more than 11,000 feet, the White Mountains area of east-central Arizona is a winter wonderland and a summer haven from the desert heat. In the 1870s, the U.S. soldier John Gregory Bourke wrote in his diary that the White Mountains region was "a strange upheaval, a freak of nature, a mountain canted up on one side; one rides along the edge and looks down two or three thousand feet . . . into a weird scene of grandeur and rugged beauty." The area, although much less remote than in Bourke’s time, is still grand and rugged, carved by deep river canyons and tall cliffs covered with ponderosa pine.
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