Blake Walsh

25 Best Things to Do in Pinetop-Lakeside, AZ

  • Published 2023/03/22

Are you fond of small towns filled with history, culture, art, and friendly people?

Do you love quaint cities where you can wander the streets on foot and discover hidden gems?

If you answered with a resounding yes, then Pinetop-Lakeside is the perfect destination for you.

This small town situated in Navajo County in Arizona, United States is a town with a small population, beautiful scenery, tons of pretty lakes, and a charming, simple lifestyle.

It is a lovely place to visit, especially because of the peace and calm it provides those who live hectic lives in bustling cities.

Pinetop-Lakeside provides tourists with plenty of opportunities to surround themselves with breathtaking nature, whether it’s by the lake, in the middle of a lush forest, atop a mountain, or along a scenic hiking trail.

At the same time, the town allows you to relax and unwind in the midst of exciting nightlife, restaurants that serve mouth-watering cuisine, and vibrant festivals that offer unforgettable experiences.

Are you interested in making this charming town your next travel destination?

Here’s a list of the best things to do in Pinetop-Lakeside, Arizona:

Go Fishing or Boating in the Beautiful Rainbow Lake

It’s safe to say that Pinetop-Lakeside consists of 80% lakes and 20% art.

You will surely be boating and swimming in a lot of lakes while you’re here.

One of them is Rainbow Lake, which is as fascinating as its name suggests it is.

This man-made reservoir is great for going fishing, as you can find a great variety of fish here.

The quiet and cool lake also comes with a lakeside resort where you can spend the night, watch the beautiful view, and hear the serene sound of the waves.

There are loads of ducks and other birds in this lake, which make it livelier and even more beautiful.

You can take pictures of the wildlife and nature near this pretty lake.

Bask in the Beauty of Nature at Woodland Lake Park

Woodland lake park

D Farris /

This lovely park alongside Woodland Lake is full of greenery and colorful flowers.

There are a number of small yet beautiful trails all around the park.

Each trail is perfect for going on a leisurely stroll, riding your bike, walking your pet, hanging around with your friends or family, and much more.

The views at Woodland Lake Park are truly mesmerizing.

The lake, situated in the middle of the park, is beautiful, clean, and well-maintained.

Here, you can go fishing, boating, or just sit with your legs in the water while enjoying the beauty of this place.

This park offers an excellent opportunity to reconnect with nature, admire its beauty, meditate, and achieve some much-needed peace of mind.

There are lots of fish and birds in the lake for you to check out.

During the winter season, this place is full of snow, and you can play around, build snowmen, and have all sorts of winter-related fun.

Woodland Lake Park is truly a must-visit spot in Pinetop-Lakeside if you want to have fun and enjoy the beauty of nature.

Watch the Awe-Inspiring Sunset at Show Low Lake

Show low lake

ChrisAtEleven /

The beautiful Show Low Lake is situated 6,500 feet above the land in the White Mountains.

It is one of the most stunning lakes in the city.

The lake’s location makes it the best venue for exciting outdoor activities like camping and fishing.

It is home to many different species of small fish, making it suitable for fishing.

Camping here in the snow and amid chilly winds will surely be the experience of a lifetime.

The lake also has a garden nearby, providing visitors with a fresh and sunny experience.

This location is a big-time tourist attraction, which can be attributed to its beauty and serenity.

The sunsets here are beautiful, pink, and definitely unmissable if you are visiting Pinetop.

The best part about the lake is that you can safely go swimming here.

You can also go boating and enjoy the calmness of the city.

Visit the Lakeside Ranger District

The Lakeside Ranger District is a spacious area with plenty of room for camping.

You can extract information about the local forests in the Rangers and decide on which ones to visit next.

The place provides free maps and information about this area, and it also provides various permits for fishing, camping, boating, and more.

If you need to know anything about Pinetop-Lakeside, the Lakeside Ranger District will always be the place you need to go.

Experience Breathtaking Nature at Lake of the Woods

The town of Pinetop is just the place to live out your Discovery Channel dreams.

Lake of the Woods is another very beautiful lake to visit in Pinetop.

Just like at every other lake, you can go fishing, swimming, boating or sightseeing here.

What makes it different is that it is situated in the middle of the woods, in a forest area where you can cook meals, sleep in your tents, and get a real-life experience of living in the forest.

You can choose to live in one of the cabins over the lake, which are well-maintained and full of amenities.

The fireplace alongside the lake is great, and the beautiful views that it provides are perfect for a weekend getaway.

You definitely need to pay a visit to this lake if you are visiting Pinetop.

Spend a Fun Day with the Kids at White Mountain Family Fun Park

White Mountains

James Orndorf /

Are you looking for a family-friendly attraction in Pinetop?

This is the place to go.

The beautiful White Mountains is one of the most unmissable attractions for those visiting the town.

This vast mountain range boasts a great deal of serenity and adventure.

White Mountain Family Fun Park is the best place to quench your thirst for gaming, fun, and adventure in Pinetop.

This place has a wide range of games like mini-golf, go-kart, laser tag, and so many other arcade games.

It is a great place to visit with family, as well as friends.

You kids are going to love this place, for the gaming experience it provides is unbeatable.

This place also serves a wide variety of local food to take care of your cravings while you’re having fun and playing all the games.

This amusement park is truly a must-visit if you are traveling to Pinetop with your family.

Go Hiking at the Mogollon Rim Trail

Mogollon Rim

Brady Smith; Coconino National Forest, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Mogollon Rim Trail is a well-defined, clean, well-maintained, and beautiful trail for hiking.

The whole path is full of beautiful and outstanding views.

It is a very easy trail and caters to the needs of hikers of all age groups and levels of expertise.

Just like with any other trail, you can go brisk walking, hiking, cycling, bike-riding, or basically do anything you wish to do here.

This is a great place for wildlife photographers and even for common people who want to take aesthetic pictures of nature or themselves with pretty backgrounds.

There are interpretive signs to explain the landscape and history of the area all along the trail, providing visitors with a very informative experience.

Do not miss out on this spot if you love hiking or just want to enjoy the subtle beauty of nature.

Enjoy the Peace and Quiet at Woodland Reservoir

Woodland reservoir

CWanamaker, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

This reservoir, which is situated in the heart of Pinetop, is beautiful, well-maintained, and clean.

Woodland Reservoir is the ideal spot for fishing, swimming, boating or just hanging around.

It is called the town’s “Crown Jewel” thanks to its magnificence.

The lake is a very beautiful place to set up camp, take pictures, and casually sit around.

Woodland Reservoir is definitely a must-visit if you want to visit less crowded lakes and attain more peace and solitude by enjoying the scenic beauty of nature.

Spend Time amid Nature at Scott Reservoir

Scott Reservoir is yet another reservoir in Pinetop.

It is perfectly suitable for enjoying the mainstream activities like fishing, swimming, boating, hiking, camping, and more.

This spot is known for its extremely beautiful views, especially the sunset filled with hues of pink and purple, which is a mesmerizing view to witness.

You can go to this reservoir to meditate while enjoying the pretty and alluring views.

At Scott Reservoir, you can catch a lot of trout fish and even catfish.

It is a very peaceful reservoir, and you should not miss it for the world.

Escape from the City and Hike the Tranquil Country Club Trail

This hiking trail is a very clean, well-defined, and beautiful trail in Pinetop.

You can enjoy the greenery and beauty of nature as you explore the Country Club Trail.

Hikers will also have the chance to climb Pat Mullen Mountain after reaching the end of this trail.

The trail is not too steep and is perfect for hikers of all ages and levels of expertise.

It goes up to 100 feet, and the views from the top are truly breathtaking and make the whole walk up worth it.

You can also take your dogs for a walk on the Country Club trail.

The hike is moderate, and the whole experience is very magical and tranquil.

You must visit this trail if you need to catch a break from busy city life.

This attraction will truly give you the peace you are craving for.

Spend a Night Gambling at the Hon-Dah Resort Casino

Are you curious about Pinetop’s nightlife scene?

The Hon-Dah Resort Casino is a fantastic place to gamble, dance, and drink your woes away at night.

You can stay at the casino hotel, which offers guests a luxurious stay that comes with a free buffet meal serving the most delicious seafood in town.

This classic gambling casino also holds a lot of live shows and events, and you would be lucky to visit Pinetop during one of these occasions.

The live music, the gaming machines, the food—everything about this place is vibrant and fun.

Do pay this place a visit if you love partying and gambling!

Go for a Scenic Hike along the Panorama Trail

The Panorama Trail is yet another classic and amazing trail in Pinetop.

It is a beautiful, long, and well-designed trail for a hike.

The views here are really breathtaking, and the blue sky that is filled with yellow and orange during the time of the sunset makes the journey worth it.

The trail has beautiful views all along, and you can also get a chance to see the local plant and animal wildlife of the town.

It’s a great place for hiking, riding your bikes, walking your pet, or simply enjoying the scenery.

The Panorama Trail is definitely a must-visit if you are around and want to take a break from the stress.

It is truly a beautiful and calm place to take some time off from daily life.

Climb to the Top of Pat Mullen Mountain

There’s no point in visiting a hill station if you don’t take the chance to see the lofty hills and experience the beauty and chilled wind at the mountain peaks.

You can climb up to Pat Mullen Mountain after finishing the Country Club Trail.

This mountain is everybody’s favorite in Pinetop-Lakeside.

The snow up there is really beautiful and widespread.

You can play around, make snowmen, have snowball fights, and simply have a great time with your peers or family.

Hike the Big Springs Trail

The Big Springs Trail in Pinetop-Lakeside offers locals an easy walking trail that winds around the scenic water features of Walnut Creek.

The trails you’ll come across here are extraordinary places to unwind and enjoy nature.

More often than not, they are rocky but well-maintained and have a lovely view of the water.

The majority of the trails are flat, perfect for those who want to stroll through the grounds and see how magnificent nature’s creations are.

The mountains boil up into snapshots from time long past, preserved in their glory.

The water’s edge is wonderful for birdwatchers who want to observe and listen to the diverse selection of birds that frequent this area and beyond.

For those looking to get out on the water, many trails bring one deeper into nature on a journey through scenic woods and wildflowers alike.

Attend Pinetop’s Vibrant Festivals

Pinetop-Lakeside hosts a full calendar of exciting events for its residents and visitors to enjoy.

In the cooler months, everyone looks forward to the annual Fall Artisan Festival, where local artisans gather from all over the nation in one place.

Like magic, the streets are lined with an array of unique designs of handcrafted jewelry pieces and other works of art like paintings and woodwork.

This event is open from Fridays through Sundays in September.

Another such stimulating event is the annual Christmas tree lighting festival.

While it may not be as commonly known as the city’s other festive celebrations, locals believe that this event truly warms the heart and brings a lot of joyous energy into the community.

During the summertime, you won’t want to miss the fantastic Hot-Air Balloon Festival.

It’s held every year and provides attendees with the chance to marvel at some truly amazing hot-air ballooning feats.

Grab a Bite at The Lion’s Den Bar & Grill

The Lion’s Den Bar & Grill is a classic sports bar that is always a treat to stop into and warm up on a cold winter night.

It was established in 1939 when Walsh Mack began building a small cafe that quickly became popular among the locals as they were traveling through town.

With a menu that boasts delicious burgers, chili, BBQ ribs, and chicken gumbo, this sports bar is arguably one of the most popular places throughout the Arizona region.

They also have off-track betting, which can be fun for those who want to pass some time by enjoying a nice cold drink or talking to friends over the morning paper or lunch.

If you’re looking for something truly relaxing and laid-back, The Lion’s Den Bar & Grill is your home away from home.

Attend a Raptor Show at White Mountain Nature Center

Established in 2004, White Mountain Nature Center is your best bet for a fun-filled adventure into the White Mountains habitat.

This 10-acre center opens its doors for a closer look into wildlife native to the place through exhibits and yearly events.

And one of its most impressive programs is the Raptor Show, which has become a staple for the center.

Watch eagles and owls perform extraordinary flight tricks at this show.

Or, if you prefer a hands-on hiking experience, go on a trek along the self-guided trails surrounding the center.

Learn a thing or two with the interpretive signs and markers along your route, too.

White Mountain Nature Center is on North Woodland Road.

Relax Your Muscles at The Hideaway Spa

Your Pinetop-Lakeside vacation is never complete without a visit to its sophisticated spas and massage centers.

And one of its famous wellness centers is The Hideaway Spa.

Parts salon and massage spa, this facility offers a variety of massage services, ranging from an hour to more.

Get a much-needed facial and feel refreshed after some exfoliating and moisturizing.

And when you finally get around to exploring the Pinetop-Lakeside community, you do so with relaxed muscles and a stress-free mind.

At The Hideaway Spa, your self-needs are a priority.

You can find this center on East White Mountain Boulevard.

Savor a Glass of Wine at Wine Mountains

One of the best ways to fully experience Pinetop-Lakeside is by tasting its offered local beverages.

And at Wine Mountains, you can do this and more!

This wine bar comes with a tasting room and magnificent countryside views all around.

Delve into the world of handpicked wines with a wine-tasting session at this winery.

And if you prefer a meal to go with your wine intake, you can choose from a variety of dishes and snacks on this place’s menu.

Make your parties more memorable with a healthy serving of wine for your loved ones and guests whether at this winery or at another venue.

Wine Mountains is on East White Mountain Boulevard in Pinetop.

Go Camping at Wilderness Ranch

Wilderness Ranch is your all-around outdoor destination.

Serene and brimming with several recreational opportunities, this ranch sits on a wooded land passing over 32 acres.

One of its amenities includes Old West-themed cabins amidst the stunning meadows.

Anticipate an 18-hole disc golf course, picnic areas, and full hookups.

There’s also a ramada onsite, as well as the Coy Theater where you can host your parties.

The natural area is also an ideal wedding and reception venue.

Get going to Grizzly Bear Road to reach Wilderness Ranch.

Spot Wildlife and Vegetation while on a Horseback Ride Guided by Porter Mountain Stables

The family-owned Porter Mountain Stables is one of the hidden jewels of the Pinetop-Lakeside community.

It’s also a recognized equestrian center within the White Mountain area.

Offering scenic rides with magnificent horses, this center can make your sightseeing adventure more unique while sitting atop a saddle.

Sign up for rides along and around Scotts Reservoir.

Then, traverse through open meadows and explore mountain vistas at the Mesa Overlook.

See the native flora and fauna within the area, too!

You can even watch sunsets while on a horseback ride.

Head over to Jacks Road to get to Porter Mountain Stables in Lakeside.

Final Thoughts

Pinetop has always been popularly known as a significant recreational area.

The gorgeous town offers an expansive pocket of stargazing opportunities around its 65 lakes, 200 river streams, and a vast network of trails through the pristine Ponderosa Pine Forest.

Many attractions in the town have stemmed from these elements and, without a doubt, make Pinetop-Lakeside a visually-pleasing destination.

Take full advantage of those natural scenic views by planning a trip here and referencing this list of things to do in Pinetop-Lakeside, Arizona.

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