Hulsey Lake

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  • Annually, when Arizona's mercury climbs above the century mark, residents seek shelter in higher elevations. The White Mountains in central-east Arizona and the San Francisco Peaks near Flagstaff offer an ideal refuge, soaring well above 10,000 feet.

    For the off-road enthusiast who knows were to go, those areas are also home to some of the most secluded experiences to be found in the entire Southwest. Arizona's Hulsey Lake runs all the way from near the New Mexico boarder, to central Arizona, where it finally joins the White River, tuning into the Salt River.

    Much of the Hulsey Lakes remote regions wind through both the White Mountain and San Carlos Apache Indian reservations. One particularly scenic section, ideally located on the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest, could become one of the Southwest's premier angling destinations, depending on efforts currently underway.

    The quickest way to reach either fork of the Hulsey Lake is to take U.S. Route 191 toward Alpine. A few miles north, Forest Service Road 249 heads west into the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest. This dirt road is a little hard to see, so be sure to slow down. The sign, located near mile marker 423, indicates it as the route to Big Lake. Where Forest Service Road 249 turns to the right toward Big Lake, you bear to the left and pick up Forest Service Road 276. In about 12 miles, you'll come to Deer Creek turnoff and the river is visible. Regulations change periodically, so be sure to consult a current set of Arizona fishing regulations prior to leaving. If you continue toward the West Fork, the road will slowly get rougher. -G.J Sagi, from the travel handbook Fishing Arizona
  • GPS:
    Latitude: 33° 55' 56.10"N Longitude: 109° 09' 39.97"W
    Phone Numbers for more information::
    Alpine Ranger District (928) 339-5000
    Restrictions/Season of Use:
    Boating at Hulsey Lake is open from 5 to 10 and shore fishing from 5 to midnight
    Road Conditions:
    Paved to dirt
    Land Ownership:
    Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest
    Ranger Station/District:
    Alpine Ranger District (928) 339-5000
    Entrance Fees/Permits:
    No unless the Apache Sitgreaves National Forest has it posted otherwise
    Max Surface Acres:
    On average 4 acres
    River Lake Impounds:
    Hulsey Creek
    Average Depth:
    10 feet
    Bag Limit:
    As Posted
    Boat/Engine Restrictions:
    Electric Trolling motors
    Launching Area:
    No paved launching areas at Hulsey Lake
  • See opening article for directions/how to get to the Hulsey Lake.

Recent User Reports and Reviews

  1. HookedAZ
    May 24, 2017
    Fishing is good for holdover and stocked rainbow trout. Fish were stocked last week. Fish are being caught on any kind of PowerBait. Great place to get out of the wind this week!
  2. Reports
    Mar 9, 2017
    Ice Covered but has thin, unsafe ice. The road is snow packed but passable.

User Comments

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  1. AGFD bio
    Better check your facts on the 3 last paragraphs. Hulsey Lake is a lake, not a river. Looks like you mixed in some directions and info to the East Fork Black River.

    Hulsey Lake is a small lake on the flanks of Escudilla Mountain and is stocked with rainbow trout. You get to Hulsey Lake by taking Forest Road 56 off of Hwy 191 between Springerville and Alpine. There is a small parking area, then a short walk down to the lake.

    Hulsey Lake was impacted by the Wallow Fire of 2011 and was drained for a number of years due to flooding threats. It was dredged in 2015 to remove a lot of silt and ash that washed in from the fire, then filled during the winter of 2015-16, and was restocked in the spring of 2016. Regular stockings will now occur in the spring and early summer. So yes, it was likely dry in 2012 and 2014, but not now. Check it out!
  2. irnwrkr433
    Is Hulsey lake dry , today is Wednesday, June 5,2014. I was thinking of going this weekend, if i could get a reply soon ,it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you
    1. Gary
      Hulsey Lake as of Sept 21, 2012
      Is not a lake its TOTALLY dry !
      Gary, Oct 25, 2016
    2. HookedAZ
      Thanks for the update Gary. I'll post the notification on the top of this page.
      HookedAZ, Oct 25, 2016