Pinetop-Lakeside’s snow-covered trails and hills make Arizona’s White Mountains a place of unlimited winter fun!

Groomed Trails and Fluffy, White Hills

A young girl drags her sled up a makeshift sledding hill—for kids in the White Mountains, a sled or an inner tube and any steep slope will do.
Photographer: Cyndie Shaffstall

Crossing through the snow...

Enjoying the snow of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest is as easy as park and go—no permits or passes are required. Once the forest area accumulates sufficient snow, local area primitive roads and trails become a virtual highway for skiers.

Start at US 191 where you will find a number of plowed turnouts, which are used during snow season for parking. From these you will have access to a network of ski trails leading directly into the forest.

Ski for a day or pack in a tent and provisions for trailside camping. If you’re up for the challenge, head to the backcountry and ascend the slopes of Escudilla, the third highest mountain in Arizona, or go for the solitude of the Bear Wallow Wilderness. No matter which path you choose, you will be kept company by the looming pines and wildlife that make their home within.

Stay safe in the snow—tell someone where you’re headed and keep your eye on the sky.

Any slope will do—tubing and sledding in the White Mountains

If you were ever a kid—or still are one—you know the sheer joy of sliding down a hill at break-neck speeds on your sled or inner tube, squealing or screaming depending upon the ride. The White Mountains is covered with mini hills perfectly suited for a day with the little ones in the snow and something smooth under their butt. Follow just about any trail in any direction and you’re likely to stumble upon (or tumble down) a fresh-packed mound of white, fluffy flakes in need of sled marks.

Find a pristine hill and become a trendsetter. A few runs down the hill and you’re likely to get company—passersby will join in on the fun. Pack a basket for a picnic lunch and snap the leash on Fido. Tubing and sledding are family activities and every one of every age can participate. It’s guaranteed to be a laughter-filled day requiring a hot cocoa warm-up and a rest in front of a toasty fire at a local eatery.