|Lee Valley Reservoir|
This is a scenic, high-elevation lake at the foot of Mount Baldy with outstanding views. Surrounding the reservoir are open meadows and spruce-fir forests. Near the dam, excess water flows through a natural spillway, creating a wetland marsh. Extensive stands of aspen provide magnificent fall c...
Allen Severson Wildlife Area (Pintail Lake)
|Description: The City of Show Low, in cooperation with the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests and Arizona Game and Fish Department, became the first Arizona community and one of the first in the nation to create artificial wetlands for the disposal of wastewater effluent. The scarcity of marshland ecosystems in the arid Southwest made projects like Pintail Lake, a 370-acre marsh, vital to Arizona bird populations. Pintail Lake’s objectives were to increase waterfowl production by creating lakes with nesting islands and to provide wastewater disposal for the City of Show Low. This site offers interpretive information at the observation platform and blind, as well as a self-guided trail with several interpretive signs.
Wildlife to Watch: Many birds are attracted to the marsh surrounded by pinyon-juniper habitat. Look for waterfowl such as cinnamon teal, ruddy duck, ring-necked duck, gadwall, bufflehead, American wigeon, and pintail. Other wetland birds include black-crowned night-heron, white-faced ibis, American avocet, black-necked stilt, long-billed dowitcher (look during spring and fall migration for groups of these species), sora, Virginia rail, yellow-headed and red-winged blackbird, and great blue heron. Keep an eye on the snags and in the air for various birds of prey, which could include bald eagle (in winter), osprey, red-tailed hawk, northern harrier, and prairie falcon.
Pinyon-juniper grasslands surround the wetland, offering observations of Townsend's solitaire, gray vireo, juniper titmouse, and mountain chickadee. In addition to birds, look for elk, mule deer, and pronghorn, as well as eastern collared and southwestern fence lizards, terrestrial gartersnake, and tarantula.
Special Tips: ¼ mile level, paved trail from parking area to enclosed viewing blind; a short 30-yard concrete trail leads from paved trail near enclosed blind to open observation deck; both trails are universally accessible.
Ownership: U.S.D.A. Forest Service
Size: 370 acres
Closest Town: Show Low
Best Seasons for Wildlife Viewing: