Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests
Springerville Ranger District
Note: Portions of this area were impacted by the 2011 Wallow Fire. While parts of the forest did burn, much is still intact, and wildlife viewing opportunities are not diminished.
The area around Greer has some of the best summer birding in the White Mountains. Osprey, American dipper, Williamson’s and red-naped sapsucker, band-tailed pigeon, willow and dusky flycatcher, and Grace’s, MacGillivray’s, Virginia’s, red-faced and yellow-rumped warbler are each found here.
In the open ponderosa pine forest surrounding the three Greer lakes, mule deer, elk, pronghorn antelope and numerous smaller mammals are commonly seen throughout the day.
Squirrel Spring Recreation Area is 2.2 miles from the junction with State Highway 260. Park and walk the old road following the creek, birding alongside the short creekside trail. Warblers and woodpeckers are found here. The upland area near the parking lot is a good spot to see pygmy nuthatch and plumbeous vireo.
Drive south 4.1 miles on State Highway 373 to County Road 1126, and then turn left. Go another half-mile to the pullout on the left, which is on the south side of River Reservoir. Walk downhill to the water and look for osprey and waterfowl.
Along the willow-lined Little Colorado River, look for dusky flycatcher, sapsuckers, warblers, nuthatch and song sparrows. Bald eagle can be seen at the Greer lakes during winter months.
Return to Highway 373 and turn left to the village of Greer. Continue south 1.7 miles to where the road crosses a cattle guard and turns to gravel. There are several parking areas along this stretch before it ends. Walk the river looking for American dipper and warblers.
The East Fork Trail, accessed from the first parking lot south of the cattle guard, climbs steadily before leveling out. Blue grouse, northern goshawk and three-toed woodpecker can be found along this trail.
There is private property interspersed with the public land in the Greer area; please respect it and do not trespass.
Habitat: Aquatic, river riparian, ponderosa pine forest
Seasons: All year. Primarily spring, summer and fall.
Location: Travel west 10.5 miles from Eagar on Highway 260 to Highway 373. Follow Highway 373 south a few miles to the Greer area.
Access: 24 hours daily. Parking is at designated sites only. Snow along the access road to Greer lakes and Government Spring is not plowed during winter months.
Near: Eagar, Springerville or Greer
What You Might See
- Spruce-fir birds
- Ponderosa pine birds
- Riparian birds
- Wetland birds
- Pronghorn antelope
- Mule deer
- Coues whitedailed deer
- Medium-sized mammals
- Small mammals