This weekend is the 20th annual Tour of the White Mountains right here in Pinetop-Lakeside. A hint of fall is in the air with the leaves starting to change color and morning temps dipping into the low 50’s with day temps in the 70’s.
The trails are in great shape with a big help from the local mtbers and the TRACKS organization. Bluegrass musician Charlie Parr from Duluth, MN is booked for the after party festivities. it should be an all around great weekend!
If you’re coming up for the Tour here are a few places I recommend checking out.
Where to Eat
- La Vie – Trendy, Hip & Modern Cafe (across from Charlie Clark’s Steakhouse)
- Thai Promise – Healthy Asian food with no MSG
- Pinetop Coffee Roasters – Best coffee on the mountain, a Saturday morning must! (Hwy 260 & Woodland Lake Rd.)
- Moose Henri’s – Great food & 30 AZ craft beers on tap
- Baked in Pinetop – Fantastic breads, sweet treats, and MUST TRY cinnamon rolls (closed Sun. & Mon.)
- Eddies Country Store – Groceries, meat counter, and quality beer selection
- Jalapenos – Counter service burritos, I dig the sweet pork! In Show Low near Hwy 260/77 intersection. Stop on your way into town (and again on the way out!)
All the local trail maps can printed off and just like the Tour course, are tagged with blue and white diamonds. You should have an area map in your swag bag showing how the trails link together, 200+ miles!
- Panorama Trail (9-mile loop) – Swoopy fast singletrack, a few rocky descents, one steep climb up Twin Knoll, and ripping back down to the parking lot. Take 260 west to Penrod Rd. stoplight, make a right, go about a mile then right on Porter Mtn. Rd. The trail is up the road on your left about 4-miles (trail map). I prefer to ride clockwise and think it’s the most fun ridden this direction.
- Blue Ridge/Springs Trail (9-mile loop) – Blue Ridge is really tough. Think of climbing Prospector at McDowell Mountain, very rocky and physically demanding, but fun (trail map)! If you’re staying in the Country Club and feel up for more of a challenge this would be a good one (two way, but I like riding clockwise). You can start at Springs trail head and connect into Blue Ridge. Springs has a lot of big rocks, roots, and drops.
- Los Burros/Lake Mountain – If you want more of Los Burros, you can park at the Los Burros campground (trail map) and take the short cut and make a left to re-ride the north end aka. “the fun part” of Burros. Looking for some enduro? Head up Lake Mtn. Rd. to the fire tower and then drop in Four Springs for some steep fast fun that spits your right back onto the Tour course so you can finish back at the campground.
Where to Explore
- Rim Trail – On the west side of town just past the go carts off hwy 260, look for a sign for The Rim Trail. This is a short mile or so loop that takes you out to the Mogollon rim with some great views.
- White Mountain Nature Center – The nature center is off Woodland Rd. and has a lot of interesting artifacts and history from the White Mountains.
- Woodland Lake Park – Right in the heart of town, take the dog or kids for a walk around the lake (about 1-mile). There are also Ramada’s with picnic tables and grills for a nice picnic.
I’m looking forward to a fun packed weekend!