It honestly feels like every day is Earth Day at Pine Canyon. And we’re not exaggerating.
Hiking trails offer us unmatched views of the San Francisco Peaks. Bike rides give us opportunities to breathe fresh, crisp mountain air that just can’t be inhaled elsewhere. And we’re surrounded by the largest stand of Ponderosa Pine trees in the world.
Pine Canyon is lucky to be tucked right up against the Coconino National Forest, which is one of the most diverse forests in the country. Established by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1908, the Coconino National Forest encompasses all or parts of 10 federal wilderness areas, and its landscape ranges from alpine tundra to red rocks to pines and southwestern desert.
In other words, it gives you a taste of just about everything – short of the tropics.
It spans 1.856 million acres and borders four of the state’s five other national forests. And, it’s home to a little lunar trivia.
Cinder Lake Crater Fields, not far from Pine Canyon, is where Apollo astronauts trained for their mission to the moon, using the fields to test mobility systems and other equipment. So the forest is home to a little place on Earth that feels like the moon, which is pretty wild.
The Coconino National Forest includes ancient volcanic peaks and it’s crawling with an untold number of trails, to be explored by boot, ski or bike. And the refreshing Oak Creek that runs through it is a popular spot to cool off in the summer.
We also know we’re not alone at Pine Canyon. Elk, coyotes, bald eagles, mountain lions, black bears, and pronghorns make their homes in the Coconino National Forest, which makes for exciting moments outdoors if you’re lucky enough to see any of these critters in action.
While it’s true that the calendar only recognizes one Earth Day, we really feel that the landscape, wildlife and environment around us at Pine Canyon offers us Earth days by creating a sensory retreat unlike anywhere else.