Lakes & Streams




There are thousands of miles of trails in Rim Country and the White Mountains of Arizona. In the White Mountain Trail System, the trails are well marked by T.R.A.C.K.S., a local hiking group that volunteers for the Forest Service. Many of the trails withing the Rim Country provide spectacular views from the Mogollon Rim and several of the beautiful lakes that are great places for camping and other recreation. We will be adding trails throughout the year with maps and other pertinent information for a great experience in our mountain regions. CLICK HERE for a list of trails.

High Country Fall Fishing

By Diane Tilton, Education and Information Manager

As Summer draws to a close and temperatures cool down, trout fishing will be picking up in the White Mountains. Although any day with a line in the water is a good day, of course, it’s always better to get a fish in hand for dinner. Here are some great, easy-to-access fishing spots for Fall trout fishing. READ MORE...


One of my favorite things to do on the mountain is camp. And judging by the number of occupied campsites this summer, I’m not alone. In past issue I wrote an article about Recreation Resource Management’s “Easy Camping” program and in the process I met Nancy Neal. She and her husband are the hosts at Apache Trout Campground at Big Lake. She started telling me some of the funniest stories about camping. She is a hoot to watch with people. “Hello there…what can I help you with?…Here you go…put this on your tow,..not your toe…(as the guy lifts his foot to attach it to his toe), your tow behind your vehicle…. I could tell that they had dealt with her before. “I might not remember names,” says Neal, “but I always remember a face!” While I was waiting in between stories, her husband Richard came in and asked what I was doing. I said I was waiting for his wife to tell me some stories, and he said, “Oh boy, you will be here all day. I could tell that Nancy Neal loves her work, but more important, she loves to make people feel good. She is funny as heck and campers  love to talk to her. As she finishes helping another customer, they say “Have a great day!” and she answers, “I will, now that you’re here!” CAMPGROUND INFO



Counting Critters in the White Mountains

By Dan Groebner


As the monsoon season begins to wind down, elk and antelope herds are often seen from our mountain highways and forest roads.  Some herds can be enormous.  We also see the fruits of wildlife courting behavior, with flocks of turkey poults (chicks) hunting down crickets and other insects in grassy fields like a school of piranha in the Amazon.  You might even get lucky with a visual of a pair of twin fawns with their mother.  And we have all been “serenaded” with the raucous and rowdy calls of young fledgling acorn woodpeckers as they begin to collect acorns to cache in holes, cracks and excavations for use during the long


One of the highlights of visiting Rim Country and the White Mountains is it's abundant wildlife. From elk, bears and mountain lions to a huge variety of birds and ducks, you can almost bet on seeing something if you venture into the woods. A lot of the articles that we publish cover many helpful tips on how and where to see wildlife, what to do and what not to do if you see wildlife and how to bring more wildlife to your backyard.



Lakes & Streams



The Tour

By Brian Zongker


Many of you know that the White Mountains of Arizona host one of the largest mountain bike races in the state, The Tour of the White Mountains. Put on by Epic Rides, this mountain bike race showcases the White Mountain Trail System. This year’s event was its 22nd annual. I bet you didn’t know that it had been going on this long. Well, it has and the community really comes together to put on an amazing event. There were right


The Other Side of Paradise - Part II

When Worms Take Wings

By Rob Bettaso



Indulge me a moment as I attempt to re-create a circa 1930’s radio drama (something like The Shadow or maybe, The Lone Ranger): When we last tuned in (Part I of this article in the September GYMOAZ), our hero, the lowly caterpillar, was in a state of suspended animation in what is known as the pupa stage of development. The fantastic forces of evolution (or Supreme Design, you be the judge) had conspired to envelop our quiescent protagonist in an all-encompassing cocoon.


Yet now, said cocoon is ripping apart at its seams and a strange new creature is about to emerge -- The Butterfly (cue a powerful operatic theme, Puccini’s Madame Butterfly anyone?). She unfurls her still fragile wings and prepares for her maiden flight. In this particular case, The Butterfly is a Monarch -- ruler of a Kingdom that stretches from Canada to Mexico (and an Empire that has, in recent decades, expanded to colonize far-flung portions of the world).


Indulgence over, back to more prosaic narration. After all, virtually all species undergo a transformation of sorts. Many will even experience the miracle of metamorphosis, including the pustulant maggot (changing into the only slightly less disgusting housefly) or the goggle-eyed, gaping tadpole -- before our very eyes, sans cocoon, slowly (over weeks) re-configuring into the humble but lovable toad.


For the past several months, while working as a seasonal biologist (a job that has had me slogging through various high elevation creeks and rivers), I had been privileged to witnessed congregations of butterflies swirling among the riparian blossoms. On a recent September weekend, off-duty from my job, I decided to direct my butterfly viewing energies on one particular locale -- Silver Creek, about 15 miles north of Pinetop.


In the course of doing a bit of library research on various butterfly species, I had fortuitously happened upon a website focusing on monarch butterflies in the Southwestern United States. It even turned out that a “citizen-science” group ( dedicated to monarch butterfly research and conservation in the Southwest was planning their annual field trip to tag monarchs near the State Hatchery at Silver Creek.




The Murder of Samuel S. Shull - Part II

By Robert Hutchison

By May 1887, I doubt whether surveys had been done in this part of Yavapai/Coconino County, Arizona Territory (A.T.). Teams using transits, chains, rods and pins did eventually arrive at Shull’s gravesite (location of T16N. R91/2E. Sec. 15). The reactors must remove “the shadow of doubt” to totally solve this mystery.

The same scenario of the wrongfully accused “William Hampton Blevins” is located at T8N.R 14 1/2 E. Sec.21 of Yavapai/Gila County A.T. We have the corpus delicti locations of all seven


Spider Webs and

Your Mind

Enjoying The Little Things…

On The Mountain

by Joan Courtney

Spider webs have a special significance for me.

As they glisten in the sun, the beads of dew sparkling

in the light like asymmetrical diamonds on a necklace,

they carry a message. Their thin structure belies their strength.

Even though they are spun from thin strands of silk, they can

support the weight of the dew and create a trap for nourishment in

their nets. This concept brings to mind a symbol of the weaver, the

spider herself.

She is a reminder that I have the ability to weave my life into a strong, useful,

lovely work of art. I also have the reminder that what I do is temporary.

The spider’s web will last for a specific time, then it is gone. And what I create

in my life will be the same.  It will be as good as I can make it for that time and then it dissipates.

Among Native American traditions, creativity is the hallmark of spider medicine.

The spider’s ...

Sounds of Fall

By Brian Zongker


It’s that time of year again. The temps are a bit cooler; the leaves are starting to turn; the aroma of someone burning in their fireplace is in the air; the beginning of football season and the rut. If you don’t know what the rut is then google it…you google everything else you don’t know about. Ok, I’ll let you off the hook. The rut is basically mating season for elk. That time of year when the bulls gather up their harem and focus on extending their bloodlines. The sex crazed bulls become more aggressive, wallow in mud, cover themselves with urine, charging at each other and locking antlers as they battle over dominant status and mating rights. Reminds me of a typical Saturday night back home.


Any time I get the chance during this time of year, I go out either READ MORE...

A Family's Wish

By Dan Groebner

It was their first visit to the wet, cool, and shaded creek.  A great place to escape the heat of the Phoenix valley to celebrate a family member's birthday and spend time with relatives from across Arizona.  The area offered plunge pools to soak in and flat, smooth bedrock to relax on.  Gently cascading water tumbling down exposed slab rock making up the Mogollon Rim added some natural background music.  Dozens of people were here to soak up the speckled sunlight filtering through the cottonwoods and scattered pines.

Within seconds, 10 members of an extended family were killed in a flash flood that gave no warning and spared no one in its direct path.  A distant thunderstorm, impossible to see from the Water Wheel and Cold Spring recreation area, deposited heavy rain over much of the


"Not all who Wander are lost."

 — J.R.R. Tolkien

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