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Your guide to Hawley Lake
Welcome to Hawley Lake
The summer camp vibes are strong at Hawley Lake. A jewel of the White Mountains, this 300-acre alpine wonder is ringed by majestic peaks and stands of spruce, pine, and aspen. Canoeing, kayaking, and sailing are popular pastimes on the lake — gas motors aren’t allowed, so once here you’ll be listening to the sounds of nature rather than powerboats. Anglers love this spot for its abundant trout, including brook, brown, and rare tiger trout. You can rent boats and pick up necessities at a rustic general store, and take your meals at the picnic benches dotting the lakeside. Opportunities for wildlife spotting abound, as hundreds of species call this range home, including Mexican wolves, elk, hummingbirds, and bald eagles. Serious relaxation is the main activity at tranquil Hawley Lake, but civilization isn’t far away. The mountain towns of Greer, Pinetop-Lakeside, and Show Low are all within driving distance and offer bistros, breweries, antique shops, and historical sightseeing.
The best time to stay in a vacation rental in Hawley Lake
At an elevation of more than 8,000 feet, Hawley Lake is significantly colder than other parts of Arizona, making it a perfect summer destination. Visitors flock here to beat the heat, and the lake is lively with fishing enthusiasts, recreational boaters, and those who simply want to relax on the shady shoreline. Spring has its charms, too, as wildflowers bloom, but the season can also bring rain and cooler temperatures. In fall and winter, when temperatures dip, lake traffic grinds to a halt — sometimes quite literally, as roads are often closed due to snowfall. However, if the roads are open, and you have access to a four-wheel drive, you can try your hand at ice fishing on the frozen lake.
Top things to do in Hawley Lake
About an hour’s drive from Hawley Lake, the little town of Greer packs a lot into its diminutive borders. You can enjoy scenic hikes along the Little Colorado River, which flows through the town, or pay a visit to the Butterfly Lodge Museum, a circa 1913 log cabin built of local ponderosa pine and Douglas fir. In June the town celebrates Greer Days, with events like a toy duck race.
Show Low Statue
Legend has it the town of Show Low got its name when two feuding ranchers sat down to a game of cards, agreeing that the one to pull the lowest card would get to remain in town, and the other had to leave. The winner pulled a deuce of clubs, and Show Low got its name. The game is immortalized with a bronze statue just off Deuce of Clubs Street. Ponder the power of a simple deck of cards, and then wander the town’s charming streets where you’ll find food, drink, and souvenir options.
Renee Cushman Museum
The Renee Cushman Museum, located an hour away in Springerville, features works collected by a wealthy rancher who lived in the town during the 1930s, and includes famous Renaissance paintings and antiques.