White Mountains Online

Big Springs Environmental Study Area


Arizona's White Mountains

Elevation: 6,950 feet
Difficulty: Easy
Use: Moderate

Season: All seasons, except extreme cold, icy, wet weather.

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Big Springs Environmental Study AreaAttractions and Considerations: Big Springs is a major source of crystal clear spring water flowing into Rainbow Lake. The existence of fresh water shrimp in the waters immediately surrounding the spring is an indication of the purity of the water. There is evidence the spring area was used for Indian ceremonial purposes as many Indian artifacts have been recovered from the mud and slime surrounding the spring. The stream and the somewhat marshy area immediately below the spring is an excellent nature study and birdwatching area, especially for marsh and waterfowl birds. This area is under special use permit to the Blue Ridge School District.

Access: Drive south through the Lakeside business district on State Highway 260. Turn right at traffic light on Woodland Road and continue about .6 miles. Parking is available on your left. Cross the foot bridge. The trail to the right follows along the creek to the spring and then back to the bridge above the meadow.

For more information, please feel free to contact the USDA Forest Service, Lakeside Ranger District at 928.368.5111 or you may write us at 2022 W. White Mtn. Blvd., Pinetop-Lakeside, Arizona 85935

White Mountains Online wishes to express our appreciation to the USDA Forest Service, Lakeside District for providing this information!