Navajo County Parks
Navajo County was formed on March 21, 1895, as the act of the Territorial Assembly before it adjourned at midnight. What is now Navajo County was first included in Yavapai County. In 1879, the area was made part of the newly formed Apache County. Holbrook, the county seat, had been founded in 1871.
The county is divided into two distinct parts by the Mogollon Rim. The high country in the northern part of the county is arid and desert-like with mesas and plateaus. The southern part is rugged mountain area, heavily wooded with pinon juniper and ponderosa pine.
Economic diversity also characterizes Navajo county. The Indian reservations in the northern half of the county comprise one segment. Kayenta, founded in 1909 as a trading post, is now the gateway to the Navajo Tribal Park at Monument Valley and a thriving Navajo community. Members of the Hopi Indian Reservation, which is completely surrounded by the Navajo Reservation, depend upon cattle and sheep production and tourism. The Hopi pueblo of Oraibi is one of the oldest continuously inhabited settlements in the United States.
The Interstate 40 corridor communities of Holbrook and Winslow in the county's center are areas of growth tied to the cross-country transportation route. The county's southern half is characterized by dynamic growth related to tourism and an increased demand for housing.
Major communities in the south are Pinetop-Lakeside, Show Low, Snowflake, and Taylor. Both central and southern portions of the county enjoy relatively low unemployment. Fifty-five percent of Navajo County's 9,955 square miles is Indian Reservation. Individual and corporate ownership accounts for 30 percent; the U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Bureau of Land Management together control 9 percent; the State of Arizona owns the remaining 6 percent.
Principal industries are tourism, coal mining, manufacturing, timbering and ranching. All of Navajo County is an Enterprise Zone.
PRINCIPAL ECONOMIC ACTIVITIES
Arizona's only pulp and paper mill is Snowflake and Taylor's largest industry. Located on a 640-acre site 15 miles west of Snowflake and Taylor, Stone Container is one of the most modern and efficient facilities of its type in America. It's daily production of newsprint and kraft linerboard supplies the fast growing Southwest region. The plant's permanent employees are supplemented by another large group who work as wood cutters, truckers, and other plant-affiliated jobs. The present annual payroll and substantial contribution to local taxes has contributed immensely to the economy and growth of the Snowflake/Taylor area.
Precision Pine and Timber, located in the former Evergreen Lumber plant in Snowflake, maintains a sawmill in the Heber area that converts logs into rough boards. Precision Pine and Timber Planer Mill surfaces the rough lumber that is wholesaled to retailers and dealers needing finished and rough lumber for railroad ties and other uses.
Rhodes Lifters, an international manufacturer of a new concept in valve lifters, has built new office and manufacturing quarters. They are currently expanding and diversifying products in the automotive line.
Smith Moulding and Snowflake Lumber & Moulding are two other major employers in the area. Farming and ranching continue to be major activities.
Pinetop-Lakeside is a part of the dynamic economic development of Arizona. It offers many resources such as pollution free air, plentiful clean water, forest products, abundant recreational activities, access to major metropolitan areas, a refreshing four-season climate, and a well-planned rural business atmosphere to serve the needs of the people in its region.
The economy of Pinetop-Lakeside is heavily oriented toward trade and services for tourists and recreation-seekers, as well as residents. A winter sports complex, Sunrise Ski Resort, located 30 miles east of Pinetop-Lakeside on the White Mountain Apache Indian Reservation, attracts skiers from around the southwest and is internationally known for its' well developed slopes and facilities.
Pinetop-Lakeside provides much of the available lodging and local companies have taken advantage of this new market. Manufacturing in Navajo County is based largely on forest products. Raw materials for this industry are provided by the world's largest stand of Ponderosa Pine.
Snowflake/Taylor lies in an area of great contrasts - barren desert to the north and mountain ranges to the south. The Petrified Forest National Park is one of the nation's most unique parks. Within the Petrified Forest is the Painted Desert, Navajo Indian Reservation and attractions such as Monument Valley and Oraibi - the oldest continually occupied village in the U.S.
To the south and the west of Snowflake/Taylor are high mountains and forests, including the White Mountains, Sitgreaves National Forest, and the Mogollon Rim. Many small lakes, perfect for trout fishing and swimming, are scattered throughout these mountains.
The Sunrise Park Ski Resort is located 65 miles south of Snowflake/Taylor on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation. Pinetop-Lakeside is surrounded by the natural beauty of the White Mountains. Hunting and fishing are popular recreational activities, and picnic and camping facilities are provided throughout the area. The White Mountain Apache Indian reservation alone has more than 300 miles of streams and 26 major lakes. (A special use permit is needed on the reservation.) Rainbow, brown and brook trout are the primary fish caught in the numerous public and private fishing lakes.
Pinetop-Lakeside is noted for its golf courses and Woodland Lake Park with its excellent recreational facilities. Cross-country skiing, sledding, snowmobiling, and ice fishing can be enjoyed during the winter months. Immediately south of Pinetop-Lakeside is the Mogollon Rim. The Mogollon Rim is a steep escarpment ranging from 1,000 to 2,000 feet in height which separates Arizona's northern plateau region from the lower deserts of central and southern Arizona.
Show Low, the commercial and tourism hub of the White Mountains, offers many year round recreational opportunities and points of scenic interest. The Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest with 58 campgrounds, trails, and pristine lakes surround the city. The scenic White Mountain and Mogollon Rim areas are nearby for campers and fishermen. Arizona's only covered bridge is located in Pinedale, 15 miles west of Show Low. Apache, Navajo, Hopi, and Zuni Indian Reservations are also nearby.
Community facilities offered in Navajo County include: Health Centers, Libraries, Bowling Alleys, Golf Courses, Theaters, Museums, Roping Arenas, Rodeo Arenas, Handball/Basketball Courts, Indoor Aquatic Centers, Racquet/Tennis Courts, Softball/Baseball Fields, Picnic Areas, and an Amphitheater.
Pioneer Days, one of the two largest events in Snowflake, is held as near to Founders Day (July 24th) as possible. Pioneer homes are open for tours with the residents adding to the charm of the pioneer spirit by wearing costumes. An art & crafts street fair, barbecues, dances, rodeos and fireworks are among the many community sponsored activities planned for this celebration.
The second largest event is the Annual Sweet Corn Festival, held over the Labor Day Weekend in nearby Taylor. Youths are urged to plant plots of sweet corn and compete for prizes. In addition, there are parades, barbecues, kid's rodeos, dances, and exhibits of arts and crafts plus tours of pioneer homes. A distance run and bike-a-thon are held for charitable purposes. Softball and golf tournaments are two of the featured attractions. Snowflake also hosts an Annual Groundhog Breakfast on the first of February.
An annual Fall Festival is held in the Town of Pinetop-Lakeside during the month of September to celebrate the bountiful harvest. Included is the "Run to the Pines Car Show", and the largest arts & craft show in the area.
Snowflake has local area newspapers, twenty television channels via cable or antenna, and receives radio stations from Holbrook and Show Low. These services are in addition to communication resources from the rest of the state.
Taylor also receives radio stations from Holbrook and Show Low along with television channels from Phoenix and Tucson (via cable/antenna).
Pinetop-Lakeside has bi-weekly and weekly area newspapers, radio stations from Show Low, 24 television channels via cable from Phoenix, and four channels via antenna from Tucson.
Show Low has bi-weekly area newspapers and receives several radio stations from Phoenix, Tucson, and Flagstaff. Television channels received include Phoenix, Tucson, and Flagstaff via cable, translator, and antenna.
There are four public elementary schools, one junior high school, one high school, and one private school (grades 1-12) in the Snowflake/Taylor area. School enrollment is more than 2,700 students.