Eagar's southern border is the 2,112,985-acre Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest which contains four rivers, 24 lakes and reservoirs, 680 miles of trout streams, as well as primitive areas for pack trips and hiking, and hunting for big and small game. There are prehistoric cliff dwellings, scenic meadows, ghost towns, mining communities and scenic mountain drives. Sunrise Ski & Recreation Park, owned by the White Mountain Apache Tribe, is 20 miles southwest of Eagar. It offers skiing and sledding, sightseeing and activities for year-round recreation. Alpine and Greer, each approximately 20 miles from Eagar, have three supervised cross-country ski trails of varying difficulty. U.S. Highway 180-191 has been officially designated “Coronado Trail.” The historic and scenic qualities of this route will enhance any motorist's enjoyment of the area. The Little Colorado River originates in Greer 14 miles west and flows through Eagar on its way north and west to the Grand Canyon. Along the river are deer, elk, antelope, small game and birds.
Eagar, located on the northeast slopes of the White Mountains, is set against a national forest of ponderosa pines. Its history dates to the late 1800s when John Thomas Eagar, his brothers Joel and William, and the Robertson family homesteaded in Round Valley. In 1888, the town, 221 miles northeast of Phoenix at an elevation of 7,000 feet, was established under the name Union to unify the small settlements in the area. The name was changed to Eagar in 1892, the Post Office was established in 1888, and the town incorporated in 1948. Eagar is on U.S. 180, the direct link betweenI-40 and I-10, at its junction with U.S. 60.
For many years, agriculture and trading were the focus of the area. The construction of two power plants, the start of a sawmill and other timber-related industries, and the growing tourism/recreation trade has broadened the southern Apache County economic base. Ranching is the primary agricultural activity in Apache County with more than 73,000 head of cattle grazing on private ranches and State/Federal lands. Hay production along the Little Colorado River system produces 19,500 tons on 5,500 acres. The Salt River Project's Coronado Generating Station employs290; Century's Springer Ville Generating Station employs 200 people; and the Stone Container sawmill in Eagar employs 117 people. In addition, the United States Forest Service employs 106 permanent and 47 temporary workers. Eagar is in the center of the White Mountain Recreation Area. Tourist activity from winter sports, hunting, fishing and summer visitors brings approximately 100,000 people to the national forest, making the trade and services sector vital to the economy. All of Apache County is a designated Enterprise Zone.