Big Springs Trail Point 5

Number5Born in Fire

Lava - BasaltThe White Mountains and Mogollon Rim, where the Big Springs area is located, was born of violent change. The Mogollon Rim is the dynamic edge of the Colorado Plateau; a massive region of land uplifted thousands of feet in northern Arizona extending into southeastern Utah, southwestern Colorado and northwestern New Mexico.

The Colorado Plateau is dotted with volcanic areas, including the White Mountains/Mogollon Rim. Big Springs’ rocks are basalt – lava from volcanic activity that hardened into rock.

Volcanic activity over the last 10 million years changed Big Springs more gradually due to the constant forces of erosion (wind, water and frostheaving).

“Though the earth is made, it is yet being made” – John Muir

Trail Themes

The numbered posts correspond to the symbols below and the points of interest you’ll encounter along the trail. Each point is described in this guide. The symbols relate to these key interpretative themes:


Please tread lightly by staying on trails.
“Take only pictures and memories – leave only footprints.”

Trail pages

Trail Point 1

Trail Point 2

Trail Point 3

Trail Point 4

Trail Point 5

Trail Point 6

Trail Point 7

Trail Point 8

Trail Point 9

Trail Point 10

Trail Point 11

Trail Point 12

Trail Point 13

Big Springs is located on Woodland Road, ½ mile south of White Mountain Blvd. (State Route 260), adjacent to the White Mountain Wildlife & Nature Center. Many improvements have been made at Big Springs to facilitate environmental education and public use. Many such improvements were funded by the Arizona Game and Fish Heritage Fund, established by voter initiative in 1990, with funding from the Arizona lottery. The latest improvements and brochure printing were funded by a Secure Rural Schools Act grant from the U. S. Forest Service to the White Mountain Nature Center. Big Springs is managed under a unique partnership. Land ownership is national forest, with a special use permit for an outdoor classroom issued to the Blue Ridge Unified School District. These partners cooperate in its management and enhancement: