Back to the White Mountains

July 6-9, 2022

We've made a number of trips to the White Mountains, but we were always somewhat put off by the crowds — especially when we stayed in campgrounds. Over the last three years, we've become better acquainted with the area, and we've learned to venture farther off the beaten path. We spent a delightful week there in June of this year, when nearly all New Mexico National Forests were closed for Fire Season. So we were only too happy to oblige when our young friends Josh and Carole suggested we rendezvous there in early July.

campsite in the White Mountains

We arranged to meet at one of our new favorite boondockings sites. Lots of room and plenty of shade at a cool 9300'.


We took a sunset walk that evening to the source of the South Fork Little Colorado River, a pretty cienega that collects water from a high, rolling treeless meadow.

Western Terrestrial Garter Snake

On our walk, we came across a very pretty Western Terrestrial Garter Snake.

Owls Claw

The summer wildflowers put on quite a show. This is a type of rubberweed — possibly an owls claw.

MacDougal Verbena

MacDougal Verbena.

Rocky Mountain Penstemon

Rocky Mountain Penstemon.

Wahl Knoll

There's something about these high, huge, open, rolling meadows.

boogying down the hill

Boogying back to camp (photo by Carole B)

marksmen with target

Dennis and Josh testing their marksmanship (photo by Carole B)


The nights were delightfully chilly! A most welcome campfire (photo by Carole B).

Dennis and Marionfloating on Big Lake

The next day we paddled around Big Lake — Dennis and me in the Sevylor, and Josh and Carole on their pack rafts (photo by Carole B).

Dennis, Josh and me floating on Big Lake

It was a lovely day, despite ending up with a blowout and a bit of raftpacking for Josh and Carole (photo by Carole B).

Dennis dancing on rocks

For our final adventure, we chose the East Fork Little Colorado Trail from Greer. It began with a stream crossing and then a very steep climb — 800' in less than a mile. But the ridge was devastated by a recent wildfire, and we turned back after a couple of bleak miles. Here's Dennis executing some fancy mid-stream footwork.

bear arm

Some iced coffee in Greer, and then it was time to wander home.

stylized camp photo

We spent the last night of the trip camped in a very green meadow on the edge of the Gila. We loved the cool weather, the water, those see-forever views, and most of all, the time with our friends.