Hawley Lake – Apache County – Arizona

Located on the White Mountain Apache Indian Reservation in Apache County, Hawley Lake is at an elevation of 8200 feet. It’s a high mountainous region just West of Mt baldy and the Sunrise Ski Resort area. It’s among the greenest and wettest places in Arizona. I liken it to Arizona’s version of the Grand Mesa forest in Colorado.

When we visited in late September 2015, the lake was low as repairs to the dam were in progress. I spoke with a very nice lady that runs the motel at the lake and she said they were getting close to completing the dam. If we get a wet winter and all goes according to plan, the lake just might be back up to normal levels in time for summer of 2016, but don’t hold me to that! There’s no fee to visit, not sure about fishing or camping. There is a small motel, cabins and boats available for rent.

To get there from Pinetop-Lakeside, take Highway 260 East approximately 7-8 miles past Mc Nary. You’ll see a sign for the lake which is Highway 473. It’s a paved winding road all the way in and is lots of fun to drive.


  • Photos by Kenn Ranous. Taken with an Olympus E500 DSLR with the stock 14-45mm lens and a circular polarizer. Post-processed in Darktable running in Linux Mint.
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