Alpine is a mountain community located at the eastern end of the White Mountains. At an elevation of 8,050 feet, it is surrounded by the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest and is near the headwaters of the San Francisco River, just six miles from the New Mexico state line. The community's high meadows are surrounded by majestic peaks, including Escudilla Mountain (10,877 ft.), which is covered with tall pines and aspen. The area, also known as Bush Valley, was settled in 1876 by Anderson Bush, owner of a log house known as Fort Bush. In 1880, Mormon settlers built a log house fort about a mile southeast of Alpine. At the junction of U.S. Highways 191 and 180, the unincorporated community is 28 miles south of Springer Ville on state Highway 191 and 110 miles south of Interstate 40.
Tourism provides the base for Alpine's economy. Winter sports, hunting, fishing, and summer visitors bring upwards of 50,000 people to the Apache-Sitgreaves Forest in Apache County. More than 40 percent of Apache County employment is tourist-related. Because vacationers and retirees are attracted to Alpine's cool summers and year-round activities, much of the local employment is service and retail-related. However, Alpine's largest single employer is the U.S. Forest Service. Ranching and logging also provide employment, and construction has been increasing as more retirees have moved to Alpine to enjoy the mountain air, scenery, and absence of traffic.
The Apache-Sitgreaves Forest contains wilderness and primitive areas. Within a 30-mile radius, there are more than 200 miles of trout streams and 11 lakes. In addition to the excellent fishing, camping, hiking, and horseback riding opportunities, big game abounds. Deer, elk, mountain lion, and bear, as well as turkey, javelin, and smaller game, are attractions for hunters, trappers, and photographers. Licensed guides are available. Developed campsites at Luna Lake and the Alpine Divide are attractive and well-spaced. Additional campgrounds are found on the Black River (elevation 8,000 feet) and Blue River (elevation 6,000 ft.). Luna Lake is also a wildlife refuge where bald and golden eagles, as well as swans and geese, are often seen. An Audubon refuge is at the Luce Ranch on the Blue River. Rock-hunters can enjoy finding Luna agate, fire agate, and quartz crystals. A herbarium that helps people identify the hundreds of wildflowers that bloom during the spring and summer is available at the Forest Service Ranger Station in Alpine. Local annual events include dog-sled races in January, a rodeo, a parade and dance in June, and weekly van tours and campground programs during the summer.