White River Arizona

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Lakes in Arizona

This page is an introduction to the White River in northeastern AZ. You can jump to one of it's forks pages for more details including flows, directions tributaries and more maps of the White River.

Forks of The White River

White River Map

  • White River AZ Map "Public"
  • White River AZ Map with Fishing Locations "Members"

Fishing At White River Arizona

Like many of Arizona's fishable rivers, the White River has a number of separate branches, each with different access points. The various areas also display slightly different characteristics as well, making this one of the White Mountains' most diverse and popular fishing areas.


The so-called "North Fork" of the White River has a total length of 50 miles and varies in elevation from 5,000 feet to 6,800 feet. Trout species available include Apache (though not a huge population), rainbow, brook, brown and cutthroat. by the time you reach Diamond Creek, expect a few catfish in your creel.


One of the easiest accesses to the White River is to take State route 260 east from Pinetop-Lakeside and turn south on State Route 473. Here the river is relatively large, though not anything like the size it attains well downstream. As you make the turn toward Hawley Lake, you will cross the White River after a few hundred yards. There is plenty of parking there, the route is paved and the water is shallow enough to ford in many spots.


Another popular access is to take Upper Log Road. Again, take State Route 260 east from Pinetop-Lakeside, then just after McNary, turn south toward the logging ponds and west on Upper Log Road. the White River is just south of the road. You can also access it directly from State Route 73 from the town of White River. Both routes are dirt. There are nearly two dozen campsites scattered along the river in this stretch. Robers Ranch Road will also take you to the White River, though this access is also dirt.


The North Fork of the White River continues all the way into the city of Whiteriver and is exceptionally close to the road. You can probe the waterway for its finny residents through most of this area, though you must have a current White Mountain Apache fishing permit (so be sure to purchase on before going.)


Lower Log Road will also take you into the North Fork of the White River. It is found on the east side of State Route 73, about 4 miles south of Hon Dah. There is no sign, so you need to turn toward Williams Creek National Hatchery, then after a mile of dirt beyond that point, follow the signs. Campsites are available downstream from the crossing and the road is covered with cinders, making it accessible for nearly every vehicle.


The North Fork of the White "officially" ends at Fort Apache, where it joins the East Fork, Then the White works its way south and west to meet the Black. Where the Black and White rivers join, the Salt River begins. There is a naturally spawning population of trout in the White River, and from May to September the Apache Game and Fish Department stocks regularly from nearby Alchesay Hatchery.


The East Fork of the White River varies in elevation from 5,000 to 6,500 feet. To reach this section of the waterway, drive State Route 73 into Fort Apache. Turn east into the city until the road turns into Indian Route 8. The road crosses the river, and parallels it until you reach a closed area (many of the areas upstream are closed to non-Apaches to provide an enhanced environment for the Apache trout to spawn). It is paved as it follows the river.


Most of the river is stocked with native Apache trout. Occasionally you will also catch a brown or two. You never really know how big the fish are going to be here. In the early spring of 1992, the waterway surrendered a 10-pound rainbow and a 7-pound brown trout. The previous year, a 13.5-pound brown was also caught out of the White River. Downstream from where the North and East forks of the White River meet, expect to catch more catfish and smallmouth bass. The closer you get to the Salt, the higher the percentage of these species you should expect. -G.J. Sagi, from the essential travel handbook Fishing Arizona


The White River is on reservation land. You will need a White Mountain Fort Apache Fishing License to Fish the White River. You can read more about the licenses on this site on the White Mountain Reservation Regulations Page. Many areas of the White River can be closed to tribal members only and or closed for protected species.There is a map of restricted or special use areas of the White Mountains on the Regulations page. The fine is pretty steep for fishing on the White Mountains without a fishing Permit/Pass/license and they are definitely out and about checking. You can Find a list of the White Mountains fishing license/permit vendors on the regulations page..

Fish species of the White River AZ. The north fork and east fork hold trout. As you make your way south on the White River's main flow "north fork" you will start to drop in elevation more and more till you reach the Black River. This lower elevation will yield smallmouth bass and channel cats.

Map of White River Arizona

Last Updated on Sunday, 21 November 2010 18:22


# HookedAZ 2010-08-27 09:19
The maps of the white River are coming soon. Keep in mind this site is still under construction. Thanks
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