The opportunity to see wildlife is one of the exciting aspects of spending time in the White Mountains. You might see elk, mule deer, bobcats, coyote, fox, javelina, racoon and pronghorn, to name a few mammals. There are also many species of birds, particularly in the spring migration period. Bald eagles, hawks, falcons, ducks, geese, wild turkey, quail, cranes, heron and more may be spotted in the area. Lakes attract nesting, migratory, and wintering species of waterfowl as well as bald eagles.
Remember to exercise caution when observing mammals or birds. If you're in your car and want to pull over to observe, do so carefully. Be sure to never feed, pet or try to catch wildlife. No matter how tame or friendly an animal seems, it’s never safe.
A few places we recommend close to Torreon include:
You’ll find two small artificial marshes including Pintail Lake and South Marsh in this wildlife area. Pintail Lake consists of three ponds with 14 nesting islands, while South Marsh is a resting and feeding area. Common mammals in the area include elk, mule deer and pronghorn. Birds that are often seen or heard in the spring and summer include Virginia rail, Sora, yellow-winged blackbirds and American coots. Peregrine falcons often are observed in the spring pursuing ducks.
Location: Allen Severson is located on Pintail Lake Road in Show Low, about 8 miles north of Torreon via AZ-77 S.
White Mountain Grasslands Wildlife Area
This area’s 2,850 acres meets the objectives of Arizona's Heritage Fund Program for Threatened, Endangered and Sensitive species and their habitats, as well as provides benefits for other wildlife species and recreational opportunities for the public. It’s an important nesting habitat for mountain plover and you may see pronghorn antelope, mule deer and wintering elk. You’ll also find meadow jumping mice and narrow-headed garter snakes.
Location: From Eagar, drive west on State Highway 260 about five miles to the junction of the road to the Springerville transfer station at milepost 391.4. About 45 miles from Torreon. Specific directions here.
Rainbow Lake is a good birding area. A variety of waterfowl are visible here year-round, especially with fall and spring migrations. November to February, Rainbow Lake is possibly the best site in the area to view several wintering bald eagles at the same time.
Location: About 10 miles south of Show Low via AZ-260W. Wildlife viewing occurs at the paved parking lot at the northwest corner of the lake.
White Mountain Wildlife & Nature Center
The White Mountain Nature Center has Nature Discovery Programs and other fun events where you can learn more about the local wildlife. They sponsor hikes, workshops, and presentations. You can visit their website or call them at (928) 358-3069.
Location: About 12 miles south of Torreon via AZ-260.
Wildlife viewing opportunities at Fool Hollow Lake include elk, mule deer, black bear, mountain lion, fox, bobcat, beaver, squirrel, porcupine, jackrabbit and others. The best times to view elk at Fool Hollow are just after the calves are born in May or June, and also during the annual rut in September and October. The area has year-round camping, fishing, picnicking, boating and wildlife viewing opportunities. Entrance fee is $7-$10.
Location: 1500 N. Fool Hollow Lake, Show Low, about 5 miles from Torreon.
Wildlife can be found here and there are some amazing vista views out into the Linden Valley area. Bring plenty of water especially in the summer. The area has a 14.6-mile loop trail. There is some tree canopy that provides shade, but a good portion is exposed, and a hat and sunscreen will help. Herds of wild horses have been seen here, in addition to the birds and mammals common to the area.
Location: About 4 miles north of Torreon, via AZ-260 and Joe Tank Rd.
The general area of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest provides some of the best wildlife viewing in the state. It’s home to more than 400 species and a variety of habitats.
Location: Pinetop-Lakeside Recreation Department, 958 S Woodland Road, Lakeside, about 13 miles south of Torreon via AZ-260.
A little farther out is the Becker Lake Wildlife Area near Springerville. The Becker Lake is surrounded by the 622-acre Becker Lake Wildlife Area. Noteworthy documented or probable bird species include the bald eagle, Southwestern willow flycatcher, bobolink, mountain plover, peregrine falcon, and ferruginous hawk. Wintering bald eagles can often be seen within the Upper Little Colorado River Watershed State Important Bird Area. Mammals seen include mule deer, pronghorn, Gunnison’s prairie dog, beaver, badger and raccoon.
Location: 272 W. Main St., via US-60 W, about 50 miles from Torreon.
There are so many great wildlife viewing opportunities in the White Mountains, you’ll want to get started immediately!
Located just three hours from Phoenix in Show Low, Ariz., Torreon is a luxury golfing community nestled in the White Mountains. It offers convenience, world-class recreation and amenities for the entire family. Offering everything from a sprawling outdoor pool, expansive fitness center to award-winning food at Torreon Grille as well as a family and game center, fishing pond and endless trails throughout the community, every member or guest is sure to enjoy time at Torreon. Learn more at https://www.torreon.com/ Contact Linda Cedarblade, designated broker for Torreon Realty at (928) 532-3030 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on gorgeous, high country lots nestled in the White Mountains.