Greer and Alpine
short drive to the south, you'll find the mountainside communities of
Greer and Alpine. At elevations in excess of 8,000 feet, many residents
of the urban communities of Phoenix and Tucson find the destination of
the White Mountains as an escape from the summer heat, to marvel in the
explosion of colors each fall, or to enjoy the winter recreational
opportunities of skiing and snowmobiling in the winter. Primarily
tourist destinations, these two community's popularity as a corporate
retreat is growing, and with the shopping, dining, and siteseeing
opportunities, you're sure to find activities for the entire family.
Petrified Forest National Park and the Painted Desert
than an hours' drive north of St. Johns is the internationally famous
Petrified Forest National Park, the largest park where visitors can
walk among giant fallen petrified wood. The Painted Desert, adjacent
to the Petrified Forest, comes alive with a brilliant palette of
desert colors for a sunrise or sunset that you won't want to miss!
50,000 years ago, with an explosive force greater than 20 million
tons of TNT, a meteorite estimated to be about 150 feet across,
slammed into the earth just a half-day's drive from Southern Apache
County. Accessible via Interstate 40, the crater is 550 feet deep, 2.4
miles in circumference, and is open to the public. The Museum of
Astrogeology, interpretive displays, guided rim trail hike, gift shop,
and snack bar are found in the Visitor's Center.
Navajo Nation and Hopi Villages
half-day's drive from St. Johns, visitors can tour the scenery of the
Navajo Nation, famous for the "signature" southwestern
scenery of Canyon de Chelle and Monument Valley. Monument Valley was a
favorite location for western movie producers such as John Ford, who
filmed many of his classics against the breathtaking backdrop of
Monument Valley. Because of it's unique formations, Monument Valley is
still used today in both film and television commercials, and is a
favorite stopping point for European visitors wishing to experience
the native southwest.
region, you'll also find the Hopi Villages, where artisans and
craftsman display jewelry and the world famous Kachina dolls. On
occasion, visitors may be allowed as spectators to certain religious
Lyman Lake State Park
just minutes from out of town, between St. Johns and Springerville,
this 1,180-acre park encompasses the shoreline of the man-made
reservoir. As one of the largest lakes in northeastern Arizona, there
are no size restrictions on boats, thus allowing for speed boats and
water skiing. The park features improved campgrounds and hookups, and
its group ramadas are popular locations for local residents. Paved
boat ramps, restrooms, showers, and a small herd of buffalo that
reside in the park make the park a unique destination for residents
and visitors. Special interpretive programs, tournaments, and
fireworks are available throughout the summer months.
Sunrise Ski Resort
over three mountains, separate snowboarding area, cross country ski
trails, and a special children's area make this resort one of the most
popular in the southwest. Owned and operated by the White Mountain
Apache Tribe, the high speed quad chairlifts, with a capacity in
excess of 16,000 skiers per hour, are also open during the spring
months for scenic viewing.
Big Lake Recreation Area/Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests
integral part of the communities is the Apache-Sitgreaves National
Forests, home to one of the largest stands of Ponderosa Pine in the
world. The 2-million acre forest is home to more than 410 species of
wildlife. Each year, the 35 lakes, 680 miles of streams, 36
campgrounds, and over 950 miles of trails are visited over 5 million
times. The Big Lake Recreation Area is home to one of the largest
newly developed recreation facilities, featuring improved campgrounds,
hookups, and shower facilities. During the winter months, the Apache-Sitgreaves
National Forest is also home to one of the largest winter recreation
areas in the southwest, where cross-country skiing trails, snowmobile
rentals, and sledding areas are open to the public.
Casa Malpais Ruins
The Casa Malpais Pueblo is of the Mogollon Culture. It is located within the town limits of Springerville , Arizona at an elevation of 7000 feet. The site is dated from 1240 AD, to 1350 AD. The site includes a 60 room pueblo , ceremonial structures, a great Kiva and a Solar Calendar. The pueblo sits above and overlooks the Little Colorado River and has a magnificent view of the White Mountains.The area will delight the geologists, naturalists, archaeologists or historians in all who visit.The site is by guided tour only, 9am, 11am, and 2pm, weather permitting year round.
The Museum is located at 418 East Main, Springerville, open 8am to 4pm.
Snowflake Historic Home tours
During the summer months, newly restored Pioneer homes in nearby
Snowflake, a half-hours' drive from St. Johns, are open for public
tours. Many of the homes have been restored to their original
condition, and are complete with artifacts and period furniture
depicting the lifestyle of the original Mormon settlers.