Nestled in a quiet neighborhood overlooking Becker Lake Wildlife Area and encircled by charming gardens, Blazing Colt Inn is an ideal getaway for bird-watchers, hunters, fishermen, hikers and others seeking a peaceful retreat in the White Mountains of Arizona.
Half a mile away, Becker Lake Wildlife Area's Lakeview Trail is a one mile loop following the western edge of Becker Lake to an observation platform overlooking the southern marshy end of the lake. Here waterfowl and shorebirds can easily be seen and occasionally a herd of deer or antelope. The River Walk Trail meanders along the Little Colorado River for a half-mile. Mule deer can often be spotted grazing nearby.
For birdwatchers, Blazing Colt Inn is located within the Upper Little Colorado River Watershed IBA which encompases approximately 27 miles of the Little Colorado River from its headwaters on Mount Baldy flowing northeast to the Wenima Wildlife Area. The 7,079-acre Mount Baldy Wilderness Area lies within the Springerville Ranger District of the Apache National Forest. With elevations varying from 9,000 to 11,400 feet, it includes habitat for Mexican Spotted Owl and Northern Goshawk. The 355-acre Wenima Wildlife Area is a river riparian habitat that stretches over two miles along the Little Colorado River. Two hiking trails provide easy access to both streamside and upland areas. Numerous waterfowl, birds, and raptors can be seen, including Golden Eagle, American Kestrel, Belted Kingfisher, Blue Grosbeak, Indigo Bunting, and a variety of migrating warblers and songbirds. Both Mountain and Western Bluebirds are found in the junipers in winter. Wintering Bald Eagles are present in substantial numbers on all the area lakes. (http://aziba.org/?page_id=648)
The Casa Malpais Archaeological Park, located near downtown Springerville, is the premiere archaeological site in the White Mountains of Arizona. This unique site is known as a 'fissure pueblo' because ancient peoples built within fissures in the extensive basalt lava flow. It also features an astronomical calendar, great kiva, ancient stairways, and rock art from the Mogollon culture. Declared a National Historic Landmark in 1964, guided tours to the site are available from March through November. The 3/4-mile hike rises 150 feet in elevation along steep, rocky terrain. The Casa Malpais Museum, located in the Springerville Heritage Center is open year-round. (http://www.casamalpais.org/)
In addition to the Casa Malpais Museum, the Springerville Heritage Center includes a Visitor Center and art gallery displaying the works of many talented local artists. It also houses the Renée Cushman Museum, consisting of a donated art collection which “includes a Rembrandt engraving, pen-and-inks by Tiepolo, and an impressive collection of European antiques, some dating back to the 15th century” (Fodor’s). Exhibits of area history and pioneer families offer visitors a glimpse into the area's past.
The White Mountains of Arizona are an angler's paradise and several state fishing records have been set in the area's pristine freshwater lakes and streams. Trout are the most prevalent species, with rainbow, brown and brook trout the most abundant. The White Mountain Apache trout is found on the West Fork of the Black River, one of the few areas in Arizona and the only place in the world where these trout exist. Talented (and lucky) anglers may also find themselves hooking some large- and small-mouth bass, catfish or even sunfish. From novice to experienced, all anglers in the White Mountains enjoy dramatic pine and fir forests, dotted with dramatic aspens. The scenery is the perfect backdrop for any fishing, whether you are reeling them in or not. The landscape may be the reason that, throughout the year, fishing never stops. Late spring, summer and fall angling is popular across the region. Winter ice fishing is also available depending on weather conditions. (http://www.azwhitemountains.net/fishing-arizona-white-mountains.cfm)
Arizona offers some of the best hunting in the nation and Blazing Colt Inn lies within AZ Game & Fish Department's (AZGFD) Hunting Unit 1, which boasts world-class elk along with antelope, mule deer, white-tailed deer, bighorn sheep, black bear, mountain lion, javelina and turkey. Quail, rabbit and waterfowl are also found in this area. Big game hunting is permitted by the AZGFD through a lottery system. (http://www.azgfd.gov/eservices/draw.shtml)
Sunrise Park Resort is one of two ski resorts in northern Arizona and is located approximately 30 miles southwest of Blazing Colt Inn. During the summer, the resort offers scenic lift rides, hiking, biking and horsebackriding. (http://sunriseskiparkaz.com/)
Restaurants, shops and antique stores throughout the White Mountain region - Springerville, Eagar, Greer, Alpine, Show Low, Pinetop and Lakeside - also offer ways to spend a leisurely day.