We just spent a wonderful few days playing in the snow at Arizona’s winter wonderland. There was already a couple feet of fluffy snow on the ground when we got there and another four to six inches fell while we were there. This made for fantastic cross country skiing, sledding down an awesome hill and just playing around in it with the grandkids and dogs. Add in magnificent winter scenery with snow covered pines and firs and aspen trees and meadows and scads of elk and crisp clean air. Better yet, we were far from noisy crowds of people and traffic and tv, so this was really a great winter retreat.
Sounds good. You bet but that’s not all. We stayed in a rustic comfortable cabin and enjoyed great food at an historic lodge where the staff was genuinely friendly and helpful and did everything to make our stay very enjoyable.
Where was this? Hannagan Meadow Lodge of course. This is in the far eastern part of Arizona and deep in the White Mountains and at over 9000 ft. elevation and is in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest. It is on the historic Coronado Trail Scenic Road and 22 miles south of Alpine on U.S. 191. You can get there from the Phoenix area by three different routes. The long route takes you through Globe and then through the Salt River Canyon. The longer route goes through Payson and then cuts east along the Mogollon Rim. The longest route takes you through Clifton and Morenci and climbs about 5000 ft. in sixty miles. Make sure this road has been plowed before attempting it in winter. Besides the steep climb it has 525 sharp curves and many steep drop offs.
Sorry but there isn’t a short way there but the journey is half the charm. And it keeps out the riffraff who clutter up all the more popular and easier to get to destinations. It is hard to believe this place is even in Arizona.
Check out this website for further info: http://www.hannaganmeadows.com/map.php and read the reviews here: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g29031-d113055-Reviews-Hannagan_Meadow_Lodge-Alpine_Arizona.html
If you absolutely need to stay in touch you can probably get on your computer in the lodge lobby and get cell phone reception sometimes out in front of the lodge.
They rent cross country skies, snowshoes, sleds and snowmobiles are available or bring your own. We just skied on one trail that starts behind the horse corral but this area has plenty of other potential ski trails. You just might have to make your own first tracks though but thats kinda fun to do anyway.
Will was here 12/29/2012 through 1/3/2013. What a great place to start the new year! Actually this area is great to visit anytime of the year. I was here last summer too and wrote this article about one of the nearby hiking trails. http://www.examiner.com/article/foote-creek-trail