Fort Apache Indian Reservation, home of the White Mountain Apache Tribe, is in east central Arizona. It is 75 miles long, 45 miles wide and encompasses more
than 1.6 million acres in portions of Navajo, Apache and Gila counties.
The reservation has a wide range of topography and climate.
The southwestern desert foothills, at an elevation of 2,700 feet in
the Salt River Canyon, contrast sharply with the mountainous,
forested northeastern portions of the reservation where elevations
exceed 11,000 feet in the Mt. Baldy area.
Whiteriver, the largest population center of the Reservation and
the seat of tribal government, is located 35 miles south of Show Low,
95 miles northeast of Globe, and 190 miles northeast of Phoenix.
(From Phoenix, the reservation is reached by U.S. 60.) At an elevation
of 5,300 feet, Whiteriver enjoys a moderate four-season climate.
Using the plentiful natural resources and the scenic beauty of
its land, the White Mountain Apache Tribe has gained a national
reputation for the network of enterprises it has created. Leading the
way is Fort Apache Timber Company, which employs 450 people to
harvest ponderosa pine, spruce and fir within 800,000 acres of tribal
Forestland. The tribe opened a finger-jointing/edge-gluing plant, to
more effectively use the sawmill's low-grade lumber, as well as add
jobs. The sawmill also operates a retail center in Hon Dah, which
sells lumber and hardware.
The tribe boasts one of the best ski resorts in the Southwest.
Sunrise Park Resort caters to skiers of all skill levels with excellent
trails covering three mountains. With six chair lifts, two T-bars, two
beginner tows and four lodges, the resort can handle over 7,000
The Hon-Dah Casino offers a delightful setting located just
around the corner from Sunrise Park Resort. Skiers find the casino a
good spot to unwind after a day on the slopes. In addition, all of
Navajo County is a designated Enterprise Zone.
Tribal lands contain some of Arizona's most beautiful country,
with 25 excellent fishing lakes, 420 miles of trout streams, and more
than 7,000 campsites. Hawley Lake remains one of the most popular
havens for anglers. The mighty Salt River, whose waters originate
almost exclusively on the reservation, offers white water and breath-taking
scenery for kayakers and canoers. Permits are required.
Guided white-water rafting tours, ranging from one to four days,
are offered between February and June.
The world-famous Fort Apache is being developed into a historic
park. The tribal Culture Center, a recreation of an Apache
Village, and a walking tour of the Fort are the main attractions. Also
on the reservation are the ancient Kinishba Ruins, Geronimo's Cave
and the Alchesay Fish Hatchery. The White Mountain Apache Tribal
Fair and Rodeo is held the first weekend in September.