Art 37 surface acres and an elevation of 8,100 feet, Cyclone Lake is one of the most scenic destinations on the White Mountain Apache Indian Reservation. Add the fact that it's restricted to group use only, and Cyclone is one of the most unusual fishing getaways in the entire Southwest. With nearly a mile of shoreline, it also offers some incredible fishing.
For a couple hundred dollars, plus a daily-use-fee per person ( the price fluctuates, so contact tribal officials for details ), companies, groups and organizations can rent this lake for a day. As of this printing, it was still limited to reserved group use only and generally open from late May to early September.
There are no developed facilities or RV hookups. All you'll find here is pristine Arizona wilderness, a cool getaway and incredible fishing.
Species available at Cyclone Lake include rainbow, cutthroat, brook and brown trout. Occasionally the rare Arizona native, Apache trout, shows up in a creel.
Boats can be launched, though the ramp is virtually non-existent and will not support much more than a rowboat. Electric trolling motors are the limit.
Cyclone Lake is situated in the same incredible scenery as Hawley Lake. To find the lake, take Sate Rout 260 east out of Pinetop-Lakeside. Turn south on State Route 473 toward Hawley Lake. Then turn left at the sign (after you've entered the cabin area on the north side of Hawley),, and follow the dirt road for about five miles. There's also a much-less traveled route off the main road into Hawley. It's usually a lot rougher.
During the rainy season the main trail can be relatively rough, so take your time and stop to enjoy the alpine streams crossing the road. Keep an eye out for wild turkeys in the area as well; they're a sight one shouldn't miss.
For more information or for reservations, write the White Mountain Apache Game and Fish Department at P.O. Box 220, Whiteriver, AZ 85941 or call (928) 388-4385. You can also visit http://www.wmatoutdoors.org/
Remember, you cannot even visit this lake without group reservations. So observe the regulations, and if you're interested in reserving the lake, make sure you inquire as to availability at leas a year in advance. -G.J Sagi, from the travel handbookFishing Arizona