At the eastern end of Arizona’s popular White Mountains, midway between the state’s northern and southern borders, lie Alpine, nestled in a high mountain valley just 6 miles from the New Mexico state line. Located on U.S. Highways 180 and 191, it can be reached from Phoenix, Tucson, or Albuquerque, NM in about 4 hours. As your journey here takes you further from the fast pace of the city, you can decide for yourself whether or not this quaint little village is a leftover from another time.
Is the neighborly hospitality of its citizens a throwback to an earlier culture or is it possible that the tranquility of the pristine forests and pastures surrounding Alpine is contagious? As you spend time considering this mystery, carefully monitor your own tempo-can you feel this relaxed, friendly spirit infecting you?
Brilliant green meadows resplendent with colorful wildflowers abound in the hundreds of thousands of acres of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest around Alpine. Deer and elk graze among the aspen, oak and fir groves in these unsullied expanses and occasionally even roam through this village. Bighorn sheep, bears and mountain lions take a more determined, practiced eye to locate. Little formal attention is paid to the geese winging in formation to Alpine’s pastures or nesting in the still mountain lakes nearby, but activity at the eagles’ nests is more closely monitored. You may ask:” Are you sure we’re in Arizona”.
At an elevation of 8,050 feet Alpine enjoys cool weather, rarely reaching 90 degrees. Our sunny, warm summer days are cool by the standard of visitors from nearby desert communities. Clouds passing low over neighboring mountaintops make Alpine’s weather susceptible to rapid changes, with summer storms occasionally producing hail. Unlike Arizona’s deserts, four distinct seasons emerge to delight both tourists and inhabitants with varied scenes and activities.
Winter amusements are downhill skiing, snowmobiling, and general fun in the snow. Typical summer diversions consist of golfing one of the highest 18 hole courses in the country, bicycling roads or trails, or horseback riding. Winter or summer, discover why the historic Coronado Trail ranks in the nations’s top 10 scenic highways.
While hiking, backpacking and camping are usually considered summer activities, nearby Escudilla is considered as excellent mountain for snow camping and using snowshoes-same recreation, different gear! Over 30 well marked trails traverse primitive areas, leading to waterfalls, rock formations and remote vistas. Photographers, enthralled with the eruption of wildflowers each spring, return in the fall to capture the spectacular brilliance of leaves on the aspen and oak becoming gold and red before dropping to the forest floor. Be sure to bring your camera!
Fishing and hunting are very popular in this area. Within 20 miles are 6 mountain lakes (Luna, Big, Crescent, Sierra Blanca, Hulsey, and the Nelson Reservoir) and over 100 miles of running streams (Black, San Fransicso and Blue Rivers) to occupy the most avid fisherman. The Big Lake is paved now and allows for smooth sailing all the way to the Indian Reservation. Summer and winter competitions test their ability and resourcefullness. Alpine is also adjacent to two of Arizona’s most productive hunting units.
Step back in time and discover beautiful Alpine: the best kept secret in Arizona.