Road Trip Bliss

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(3TV/CBS 5) -

It’s a week before the start of school for my kids, and we’re all about to go out of our minds thanks to the heat…and being stuck indoors. Our latest weekend road trip came just in time.

Greer, Arizona holds a special place in my heart. We’ve been going to this tiny town in the mountains of Eastern Arizona since I was a little girl. I have so many memories of outdoor adventures with my cousins, brothers, aunts, uncles and parents from summer after summer spent in Greer. It’s probably where my love of hiking and fishing came from. 

When I got married and my husband and I moved back to Arizona, I was anxious to show him my favorite place in this state. And when our first child was born, we decided to name him after this heavenly little spot. Now, it's even more fun to visit the town with our own little Greer!

MOBILE/APP USERS:  Click here to see the image of Greer over the years enjoying the town of Greer

At an elevation of 8,500 feet, Greer is one of the wettest and coolest spots in Arizona during monsoon. August is my favorite time to visit. The daily rumble of thunder through the White Mountains is intoxicating.

That being said, we’ve had a quite a few afternoon hikes and fishing trips cut short by Mother Nature. Greer gets an average of almost five inches of rain just in the month of August. That’s more than the Valley typically sees for the whole season! The average high in the month of August is 72 degrees, with morning lows in the 40s. 

This year, a drenching storm left our favorite hiking trail too muddy for the day we had planned to head out. But from past summers, my favorite hike is at the base of Mount Baldy.  It’s an easy hike for kids, runs along the creek and is some of the most gorgeous country you’ve ever seen. Just don’t get too far from your car if storms are rolling in!

MOBILE/APP USERS:  Click here to see the image of the Mt. Baldy Trail

We usually fish at Reservation Lake or Big Lake and have had success in past years catching plenty of rainbow trout. This year, we stayed a bit closer to town and hit up River Reservoir. There are plenty of tiny perch in the lake, and they're fun for kids to catch. They were biting on worms. But we also got pretty lucky with some orange power-bait reeling in a few trout! You can pick up fishing licenses at the Lazy Trout store in Greer. Be sure to say hello to my Uncle Randy at the counter! 

MOBILE/APP USERS:  Click here to see the image of April's boys fishing

MOBILE/APP USERS:  Click here to see the image of April's rainbow trout

This year, we decided to try a new day trip in the White Mountains. About 45 minutes southeast of Greer is the town of Alpine. It was unbelievably lush and green. We also found an amazing little restaurant in town called Foxfire. We’ll definitely go back the next time we’re in that part of the state.

MOBILE/APP USERS:  Click here to see the pic of Foxfire restaurant

If you go to Alpine or Greer, you’ll notice some of the hillsides blackened from the Wallow Fire a few years ago. In 2011, the fire charred just over 538,000 acres in Eastern Arizona and parts of New Mexico.  It surpassed the Rodeo-Chediski Fire as the largest fire in Arizona history. Six years later, there is a bright green growth of grasses and aspen trees among the charred trees.

MOBILE/APP USERS:  Click here to see the image of regrowth after the Wallow Fire

Tourism took a hit for a while after the fire but fortunately has bounced back. 

There’s even a new spot in town called Cabin Butler, which rents kayaks to use on the local lakes. They also rent many of the cabins in town.  It made me so happy to see the few restaurants and shops in town buzzing this past weekend. 

Greer is such a gem of a mountain town in a state known for its desert scenery. If you’ve never been, winter brings this area a ton of snow for sledding, skiing at Sunrise Park Resort and nearby cross-country ski areas.

But summer is no doubt my favorite. It’s about 4 and a half hours from the Valley but typically about 30 degrees cooler. If you’ve never been, it’s worth the drive. I’d love to hear about YOUR favorite spots in the White Mountains, too!

MOBILE/APP USERS:  Click here to see the image from Greer

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