Entertainment and Events
Enjoy movies at White Mountain Entertainment Willage 8 (100 W. White Mountain Blvd., 928/367-7469 and at 1501 W. White Mountain Blvd., 928/367-7469). The White Mountain Native American Art Festival on the third full weekend of July attracts Native Americans from all over the Southwest for dances, music, art, crafts, demonstrations, and food. The second full weekend of August brings the White Mountain Bluegrass Music Festival. The Fall Artisan's Festival and Run to the Pines Car Show bring enthusiasts to the high country for the last big celebrations of the summer season, held on the last full weekend of September.
You can go horseback riding in summer with Porter Mountain Stables (3092 Jacks Rd., Lakeside, 928/368-9599) and Pinetop Lakes Equestrian Center (Bucksprings Rd. near the Pinetop Country Club, 928/369-1000). Play golf on the 18-hole executive course at Pinetop Lakes Golf & Country Club (one-quarter mile east on Bucksprings Road from White Mountain Blvd., 928/369-4531, open April-Oct.).
In this, the largest resort area in the White Mountains, you have a choice of many motels, cottages, cabins, and bed and breakfasts, all nestled in cool pine forests. Rates tend to run higher on summer weekends, when reservations are a good idea. The Pinetop-Lakeside Chamber of Commerce maintains a longer list of places to stay and can help you find what you're looking for.
Under $50 (Lakeside): Bear's Paw Motel (4229 Valley Lane, 928/368-5231, $37 d weekdays, $47 d Fri.-Sat.) has kitchenettes for $8 extra. Forest House Motel (2990 W. White Mountain Blvd., 928/368-6628 or 888/440-2220, $39 d weekdays, $48 d Fri.-Sat.) has a variety of rooms, some with kitchenettes.
Under $50 (Pinetop): Pinetop Lodge (593 E. White Mountain Blvd., 928/367-3510, $35-65 d weekdays, $45-75 d Fri.-Sat.) offers a choice of rooms, some kitchenettes and fireplaces. Blue Ridge Motel and Cabins (2012 E. White Mountain Blvd., 928/367-0758) has rooms at $39 d weekdays and $45 d Fri.-Sat., small cabins with kitchenettes at $50 d, and large cabins with fireplaces and kitchenettes at $72 d.
$50-150 (Lakeside): Lake of the Woods Resort (2244 W. White Mountain Blvd, 928/368-5353, $90-105 d) is a great place for families with cabins, all with kitchens and fireplaces, and a private lake, boats, two hot tubs, and a sauna. Lazy Oaks Resort (1075 Larson Rd., 928/368-6203, www.lazyoaks.com, $69-85 d one-bedroom, $101-126 4 persons two bedrooms) has a lakeside setting for its cabins, all with kitchenettes and fireplaces.
$50-150 (Pinetop): Northwoods Resort (165 E. White Mountain Blvd., 928/367-2966 or 800/813-2966, www.northwoodsaz.com, $99 d studio, $119 d one bedroom, $149 two bedroom) offers cabins, all with kitchens and fireplaces and some with jetted tubs. Whispering Pines Resort (237 E. White Mountain Blvd., 928/367-4386 or 800/840-3867, www.whisperingpinesaz.com, $83-130 d) features one-, two-, and three-bedroom cabins with kitchenettes and fireplaces; some have spa tubs. Best Western Inn of Pinetop (404 E. White Mountain Blvd., 928/367-6667 or 800/937-8376, approximately $69 d weekdays, $119 d Fri.-Sat.) has a hot tub. Buck Springs Resort (6036 Buck Springs Rd., 928/369-3554 or 800/339-1909, www.buckspringsresort.com, $85 d one bedroom, $185 6 persons three bedrooms) features cottages with kitchens and fireplaces. Holiday Inn Express Pinetop Arizona (431 E. White Mountain Blvd., 928/379-6088, www.hiepinetop.com/) serves up an indoor pool, whirlpool, sauna, local gym access, and free Express Start Breakfast Bar. Mountain Haven Inn (1120 E. White Mountain Blvd., 928/367-2101 or 888/854-9815, $54-119 d rooms, $135-200 cabins) has all nonsmoking units, some with fireplaces and kitchenettes. Nine Pines Motel (2089 E. White Mountain Blvd., 928/367-2999 or 888/597-4637, $48-75 d weekdays, $60-85 d Fri.-Sat.) features rustic pine-log furniture and has some fireplaces.
Tenters and RVers can stay in the ponderosa pine forests at Lakeside Campground (across from the Lakeside Ranger Station, 928/368-5111 Lakeside Ranger Station, $10 May-Oct.); there's usually room. Scott Reservoir has a small campground three miles northeast of Lakeside on Forest Road 45 via Porter Mountain Road; the turnoff from AZ 260 is one block south of the Lakeside Ranger Station. No drinking water or charge; it often fills in summer. Show Low Lake has a good campground four miles north of Lakeside; see the description under Show Low sights above. Los Burros Campground east of town lies in meadow and ponderosa pine country at an elevation of 8,000 feet; the nearby Los Burros Ranger Station and barn date from 1910; there's a campground host but no water or fee; head east 19 miles on US 60 from Show Low, then turn south 11 miles on Mt. Vernon Road/Forest Road 224, or go northeast 7.5 miles on Mt. Vernon Road/Forest Road 224 from AZ 260 at McNary. Another possibility is to head for the woods—you can camp free almost anywhere in the Sitgreaves National Forest. People at the Lakeside Ranger Station can suggest areas.
RV parks include Rainbow Forest RV Park (3720 Rainbow Lake Dr., 928/368-5286, $22 RV w/hookups) and the adult Ponderosa RV Resort (1666 Ponderosa Lane, 928/368-6989, open April 15-Oct. 15, $21 RV w/hookups).
Restaurants are surprisingly good for such a small community. Charlie Clark's Steakhouse (1701 E. White Mountain Blvd., 928/367-4900, daily for dinner) features steaks, of course, along with a great selection of seafood and some pasta dishes. A great spot for American food, especially breakfast, is Darbi's Cafe (237 White Mountain Blvd., 928/367-6556, daily for breakfast and lunch, Wed.-Sat. for dinner) with a homey wood-paneled decor.
For Mexican dining, you can head over to Los Amigos (3951 W. White Mountain Blvd., 928/368-2432) or El Rancho (1523 E. White Mountain Blvd., 928/367-4557). The Lotus Garden (984 E. White Mountain Blvd., 928/367-2568, daily for lunch with a buffet option and dinner) serves Szechuan, Hunan, and other Chinese cuisines. For tasty Thai cuisine, it's Mountain Thai (2741 W. White Mountain Blvd., 928/368-4166) and Thai Promise Cafe (579 E. White Mountain Blvd., 928/367-2300).
Pinetop-Lakeside Chamber of Commerce (102-C W. White Mountain Blvd., P.O. Box 4220, Pinetop, AZ 85935, 928/367-4290 or 800/573-4031, www.pinetoplakesidechamber.com) provides the latest information on sights and services, including the national forest lands and the town of Greer. The office is centrally located next to Safeway on the main highway. It's open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Sat.-Sun. in summer, then 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Mon.-Fri. the rest of the year.
Staff at the Lakeside Ranger Station (2022 W. White Mountain Blvd., Lakeside, AZ 85929, 928/368-5111, www.fs.fed.us/r3/asnf, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Mon.-Fri.) will share information on camping, hiking, driving, and fishing in Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests. The office is across the highway from Lakeside Campground.
Arizona Game and Fish (2878 E. White Mountain Blvd., Pinetop, AZ 85935, 928/367-4281, www.azgfd.gov/, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Fri.) provides wildlife information and sells fishing and hunting licenses and boating registrations.
Larson Memorial Library (1595 W. Johnson Lane in Lakeside, 928/368-6688, closed Sun.) is near the corner of White Mountain Boulevard and Woodland Road.
Post offices are at 712 E. White Mountain Blvd., 928/367-4756, on the Pinetop part of town and at 1815 W. Jackson Lane, one block off White Mountain Blvd., 928/368-6686, on the Lakeside side. Several shops along the highway sell and rent skiing and snowboarding equipment in season.
Getting There and Around
White Mountain Passenger Lines (866/255-4819, www.wmlines.com) has bus connections with Heber, Payson, Mesa, and Phoenix. White Mountain Connection (http://showlowaz.gov/271/White-Mountain-Connection) goes Mon.-Fri. to Show Low, Snowflake, and Taylor. Four Seasons Bus Connection (http://showlowaz.gov/270/Four-Seasons-Connection) serves Show Low and Pinetop-Lakeside daily except Sunday.
Back to Pinetop-Lakeside Sights
On to White Mountain Apache Reservation