|Allen Severson Wildlife Area (Pintail Lake)|
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...
|Description: At approximately 8600 feet elevation, this small community rarely exceeds temperatures of 75 F in the hottest months. The beautiful summer scenery makes hiking and wildlife viewing a pleasant experience. The Little Colorado River flows through Greer, and there are three reservoirs in the area known for trout fishing. Squirrel Spring Recreation Area is 2.5 miles from the junction with State Hwy. 260. The riparian areas at Squirrel Spring Recreation Area and the Little Colorado River are good examples of willow habitat, while the Butler Canyon Trail offers ponderosa pine forest habitat.|
Wildlife to Watch: Mammals in the area include black bear, elk, mule and white-tailed deer, pronghorn, coyote, Abert’s and red squirrel, beaver, and muskrat. Terrestrial gartersnakes are common in the dense vegetation along the river. This area provides some of the best summer birding opportunities in the White Mountains area, with several uncommon and locally nesting birds such as the dusky and willow flycatchers, Clark’s nutcracker, gray catbird, green-tailed towhee, Lincoln’s sparrow, and golden-crowned kinglet. Summer warblers can include the yellow-rumped, Grace’s, red-faced, MacGillivray’s, and Virginia’s. Osprey, double-crested cormorants, and great blue herons nest along River Reservoir. A wide range of birds of prey and waterfowl can also be seen including Canada goose, common merganser, mallard, and cinnamon teal. Look for the American dipper and spotted sandpiper foraging in the rocky areas in the Little Colorado River.
Special Tips: The Forest Service conducts interpretive lectures and walks during the summer. Activity schedules are posted at Hoyer campground and at the Springerville Ranger Station.
There is private property interspersed with the public land in the Greer area; please respect it and do not trespass.
Other Activities: Hiking trails traverse various habitat types, including river and lake riparian, ponderosa pine, spruce, fir, and aspen. From the Squirrel Spring Recreation Area, walk the old road following the creek, birding alongside the short Fir Loop Trail, which is 0.9 miles in length.
Drive south an additional 1.7 miles on State Hwy. 373 to County Road 1126, and then turn left. Go another half-mile to the pullout on the left, which is on the southwest side of River Reservoir. Walk downhill to the water and look for waterfowl on the lake or look for songbirds along the willow-lined Little Colorado River.
You can drive 0.7 miles further on County Road 1126 to a larger parking area alongside River Reservoir that contains restrooms and picnic areas.
Return to Hwy. 373 and turn left to the community of Greer. Go 0.2 miles to County Road 1121, turn left and drive 100 yards to the parking area for the Butler Canyon trailhead. The Butler Canyon Trail is self-guided. It is a one-mile, easy loop trail.
Continue south 1.5 miles on Hwy. 373 to where the road crosses a cattle guard and turns to gravel. There are several parking areas along this stretch before it ends. The East Fork Trail, accessed from the first parking lot south of the cattle guard, has a difficult rating, is several miles in length and climbs from 8,200 feet to 9,300 feet before leveling out. The East Fork Trail climbs through spruce, fir, and aspen forests before leveling out into subalpine grassland, which passes by several cienegas or marshy areas.
Ownership: U.S.D.A. Forest Service, Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests
Size: 2120 acres
Closest Town: Greer
Best Seasons for Wildlife Viewing: