White Mountains Online

Big Lake / Three Forks

Arizona's White Mountains
Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest

White Mountains Online wishes to express our appreciation to the USDA Forest Service, Alpine Ranger District for providing this information!

For more information, please feel free to contact the USDA Forest Service, Alpine Ranger District at 520.339.4384 or you may write us at
P.O. Box 469 Alpine, Arizona 85920


Drive 1.5 miles northwest of Alpine on U.S. 191 (formerly U.S. 666) and turn west 17 miles on FR 249 through Williams Valley to FR 559. Turn right (north) for several access points to Big Lake and the Big Lake Marina. Return to Alpine via the same route. Total distance round trip from Alpine is 40 miles. Driving time is about 2 hours.

Big lake Features:
  • Big Meadows, Big Lake
  • Watchable wildlife
  • Gas and some supplies at Big Lake
  • Lodging and restaurants in Alpine


Roads along this route are graveled and suitable for passenger cars in all but the worst weather through spring and summer and fall. The road to Williams Valley (the first 5 miles of this drive( is plowed in winter.

Best Season:

Spring and fall are the best times to take this ride. Summers are great too, if you don't mind the traffic.


You think you've strayed into high prairies of the northern Rockies on this popular drive. It takes you through scenic Williams Valley, past Lake Sierra Blanca and through the upper reaches of the Black River drainage. Watch for open country animals such as antelope along with forest species such as elk and wild turkey. Big Lake makes an even more interesting designation of you fish or boat.

Big Lake Drive Map

Please contact the Alpine Ranger District
for current information of road conditions:
P.O. Box 469
Alpine, AZ 85920
(520) 339-4384
White Mountains Online and The Alpine Ranger District are not responsible for any incidents that may occur on these tours. Please contact the Alpine Ranger District for the current information on current weather and road conditions.

To go back the Alpine Ranger District Scenic Driving page Click Here
To go back the Alpine Ranger District Trails Overview Click Here

Alpine District Trails
Greer & Springerville Trails

Pinetop-Lakeside Trails

Cites and Towns of the Arizona White Mountains