The White Mountains of northeastern Arizona, with their forests of ponderosa and pinyon pines, rolling mountain meadows, and abundance of creeks and lakes, offer visitors a wide variety of outdoor activities. At an elevation of approximately 6,300 feet, Show Low serves as the center of the White Mountain vacation area by virtue of both location and size. Smaller towns in the area include Pinetop, Lakeside, Snowflake, Springerville and Greer.
The White Mountain recreation areas draw visitors from the Phoenix and Tucson areas, especially during the summer months. Under 200 miles away from these major cities, the White Mountains offer respite from the desert heat along with unsurpassed natural beauty. With the winter snows, tourists flock to the area to enjoy the snow activities including skiing at Sunrise Ski Resort.
For those tourists who prefer to stay close to the town of Show Low to enjoy the outdoor activities of the area, Fool Hollow Lake makes a great choice. Located within two miles of the city limits of Show Low, Fool Hollow Lake provides easy access and lures both locals and vacationers throughout the year. With an average depth of 23 feet and 150 acres of water surface, the Arizona Game and Fish Department constructed Fool Hollow Lake in 1957. The lake’s unique name honors a farmer declared a fool by the locals for attempting to farm this particular rocky area in the 1880s.
Fool Hollow Lake offers an abundant number and variety of fish for all levels of fishermen. Stocked with rainbow trout during the spring and summer months, even kids and novice fishermen can find success at Fool Hollow. Fishing on the bottom of the lake with nightcrawlers and chicken liver usually proves quite successful, especially with channel catfish, northern pike, walleye and bass. Other species found in this local lake include green sunfish, carp, black crappie, largemouth and smallmouth bass. If you want a small lake where a high rate of successful fishing is almost guaranteed, then Fool Hollow Lake makes a perfect destination.
Both tent camping and RV sites with electric and water hookups provide year-round camping at Fool Hollow. Picnic tables dot the areas around the lake along with several picnic ramadas suitable for single-family or large group gatherings. Other amenities available include restrooms, showers, drinking water, playgrounds, boat ramps, fishing piers, fish-cleaning facilities, and dump station. A hiking trail wanders along two sides of the lake, with swimming allowed from either the shore or boat.
Animals that inhabit the Fool Hollow Lake Recreation Area include fox, bobcat, mountain lion, elk, black bear, beaver, squirrel, raccoon, porcupine, skunk, jackrabbit and cottontail rabbit as well as osprey and bald eagle. Located in the middle of the world’s largest ponderosa pine forest, other trees such as fir, white pine, oak and aspen populate the forest here as well.
For those who wish to venture outside of the Fool Hollow Recreation Area, other nearby White Mountain lakes include Show Low Lake, Hawley Lake, Big Lake, Crescent Lake, Woodland Lake and Rainbow Lake. A visit to the towns of Lakeside and Pinetop offers a nice selection of restaurants and golf courses. If a visit to a casino entices you, the Hon-Dah Casino, operated by the White Mountain Apache Tribe, offers everything from gaming to live entertainment.
Further details and current information regarding pricing, availability of facilities, weather, and any fire restrictions are available at Fool Hollow Lake Recreation Area’s official home page at http://www.azstateparks.com/Parks/FOHO/index.html. You may also call (928) 537-3680 for further information or to make reservations.