Big Loop 1 -
Mormon Lake Village
Several Forest Roads and many dead ends finally deliver us to Mormon Lake.
Lake is a shallow, intermittent lake located in northern Arizona. With an average
depth of only 10 ft (3.0 m), the surface area of the lake is extremely volatile
and fluctuates seasonally. When full, the lake has a surface area of about 12
square miles (31 million square meters), making it the largest natural lake in
Arizona. In particularly dry times, the lake has been known to dry up, leaving
behind a remnant marsh.
A small settlement,
Mormon Lake Village, was developed during wet years, and many homes have docks
that are very far from the shoreline. Mormon Lake Lodge, the main centerpiece
of the little town, now relies on a fishing pond located adjacent to the Lodge.
The surrounding area, which lies within Coconino National Forest, is part of the
largest continuous stand of ponderosa pine in North America, often hosting
campers and hikers. The lake itself is occasionally stocked with fish species
such as bullhead catfish and northern pike, but due to its intermittent nature
it may contain few or no fish following dry seasons.
The name of
the lake commemorates Mormon settlers who arrived here in the 1870s and founded
several dairy farms in the area, none of which exist any longer.