Arizona is home to the jaw-dropping Grand Canyon, crazy desert wildlife, and very hot summers.
#1 The Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest used to be two separate parks!
They combined them in 1974 to create a forest that covers two million acres of east-central of Arizona. This includes the Mongollon Rim and White mountains.
#2 This national forest goes out of its way to prove that not all of Arizona is desert. There’s a ton of water here!
Water flows down from the mountains to fill 34 lakes and reservoirs. On top of that, there are more than 680 miles of rivers and streams… more than any other southwestern national forest.
#3 As you can imagine, this much water in the southwest draws a lot of fishermen.
You can find the headwaters of many rivers, like the Black River, the Little Colorado River, and the San Francisco River.
#4 Sitgreaves National Forest was originally named for Captain Lorenzo Sitgreaves.
He was a topographical engeneer who explored Arizona in the 1850’s.
#5 And Apache National Forest was named after the tribes that settled there.
You’ll find the impressive 11,500 foot Mount Baldy on this back country land.
#6 Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest has its own Heritage Team.
They protect, preserve, and interpret all of the archaeological findings in the forest.
#7 Humans used these forests nearly 12,000 years ago!
Evidence like projectile points found in pueblo sites lead archaeologists to believe there were big game hunters here during the Paleo-Indian period.
#8 There are a ton of different prehistoric sites to explore here.
You’ll find rock shelter and cave sites, pueblos, plazas, and hunting and plant collecting areas. You can even see rock art — both painted pictographs and etched petroglyphs — if you visit the Black Canyon. They’re between 600 and 900 years old!
#9 Some later settlements are preserved, too!
You can see some remnants of the settlements of miners, ranchers, farmers, and loggers. Some of the work of the Civilian Conservation Corps can be seen on the National Register of Historic Places.
#10 The Passport in Time program helps us use the forests to learn about peoples adaptations to change over the past 12,000 years.
This huge national forest is full of not only priceless natural resources, but also one of a kind historical resources that can teach us so much!