In 1978, the Town of Pinetop/Lakeside initiated construction of a marsh complex to treat wastewater effluent. Cooperators included the U.S.D.A. Forest Service, Pinetop/Lakeside Sanitary District, and Arizona Game and Fish Department, who agreed to maintain the area for waterfowl habitat. This s...
Wenima Wildlife Area
|Description: Wenima Wildlife Area features a corridor of willow riparian habitat along the Little Colorado River, one of the few such sites in the state that are open to the public. In addition, wetland and floodplains, upland pinyon-juniper, grassland, and canyon cliff habitats attract a wide range of species and some unusual bird species, such as the gray catbird, a very local nesting species in Arizona.|
Small areas of petroglyphs from prehistoric cultures that occupied the area from 1275 to 1400 AD can be found along the trails.
Wildlife to Watch: The riparian corridor stretches for two miles along the Little Colorado River. Mammals may include mule deer, eastern cottontail and black-tailed jackrabbit, coyote, and rock squirrel. There are opportunities to see American kestrel, yellow-breasted chat, black phoebe, mountain and western bluebird, mallard, American wigeon, great blue heron, and a good variety of migrating warblers and other songbirds. The walnut trees and willow thickets are particularly attractive to migrants. It is also possible to see yellow-billed cuckoo, Lewis’s woodpecker, belted kingfisher, blue grosbeak, and black-crowned night-heron. Black phoebe and spotted sandpiper can often be found along the drainage. Reptiles and amphibians include prairie rattlesnake, terrestrial gartersnake, eastern collared lizard, greater short-horned lizard, and Arizona toad.
Special Tips: Year round access, with best birding and photography in spring, summer, and fall.
Other Activities: Two level, easy-walking dirt trails parallel the Little ColoradoRiver.
Powerhouse Trail runs south along the east bank of the river for ¾ mile one way.
Beavertail Trail runs north along the west bank of the river for 1.5 miles one way. Both trails are self-guided, with interpretive signage.
Ownership: Arizona Game & Fish Department
Size: 357 acres
Closest Town: Springerville
Best Seasons for Wildlife Viewing: