Porter Mountain – Navajo County – Arizona

Porter Mountain offers a commanding view of the Show Low, Pinetop and Lakeside area of the White Mountains in Arizona. From here you can see Scott’s Reservoir, Rainbow Lake and more. It’s also a radio site, home to broadcast radio, TV, cell phone, public service and amateur radio transmitters. As an affectionado of nature, photography and radio, places like this appeal to me.


Getting there is easy: From Highway 260 in Lakeside, locate Porter Mountain Road and head North to Porter Mountain Road. Head East to Forest Service Road 223. As of September 2015, this road can be navigated in a passenger car with reasonable prudence. Park at the second switchback and walk the last 1/4 mile to the top. When I visited, construction of a new tower was in progress so no unauthorized motor vehicles are allowed. Travel by foot, bike or horse is specifically allowed according to the sign posted at the gate. Several workers were in the area when we visited and nobody hassled us. Just respect the site and you shouldn’t have any problems. It’s a great place to get a feel for the layout of the surrounding area and watch a sunset while soaking in a little extra RF. Don’t forget your tinfoil hats! 🙂

Photos by Kenn Ranous – September 2015. Taken with an Olympus e500 DSLR and processed in Darktable under Linux Mint. On this trip I used a circular polarizer. The advantage is getting rich, deep blue sky as opposed to the white out that often occurs. The disadvantage is a bit a vignetting on wide angle shots and sometimes a surreal gradient across the sky at certain lighting angles. It also reduces the overall light entering the camera, so sometimes it’s best to remove the CP filter near sunset.


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