Highways to White Mountain lakes to reopen for summer

PHOENIX – Traveling to the White Mountains, a popular summer destination for Phoenix residents and fishing enthusiasts, will get a little easier as two highways that were partially closed during the winter season will reopen on Wednesday, April 1, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation.

The following highways in Apache County will reopen on April 1:

  • State Route 261 between Eagar and Big Lake
  • State Route 273 between Sunrise Park and Big Lake

State Route 473 between State Route 260 and Hawley Lake, which is also generally closed during the winter, will remain closed until the White Mountain Apache Tribe completes repairs on the Hawley Lake Dam. 

There is currently no estimated time when SR 473 or Hawley Lake will be reopened.

ADOT encourages Arizonans to enjoy the mountains this summer and return home safely by observing the following tips:

  • Make sure you and your passengers are buckled in
  • Check your vehicle’s condition before you travel; proper tire pressure is important
  • Be patient (don’t speed and don’t follow other vehicles too closely)
  • Get an adequate amount of sleep before your trip
  • Bring extra water and food
  • Build some extra travel time into your schedule
  • Never drink and drive

Before you leave, check for information about highway restrictions across Arizona at ADOT’s Traveler Information website, az511.gov, or dial 5-1-1