Whiteriver, Arizona

Whiteriver, Arizona is a small town located in the White Mountains of Arizona. The population of Whiteriver is around 1,700 people, most of whom are members of the White Mountain Apache Tribe. The town is nestled in the high desert region at an elevation of 5,400 feet. The climate is mild with warm summers and cold winters. It has a history that dates back to the late 19th century when it was a trading post for trappers and miners who were drawn to the area due to its abundance of natural resources. Check ehangzhou.org for best time to travel to Arizona.

Politically, Whiteriver is part of Apache County and falls within the jurisdiction of the White Mountain Apache Tribe. The tribe governs the land through its tribal council which oversees many aspects of life in Whiteriver including health care, education and economic development.

The economy in Whiteriver is primarily driven by tourism as well as timber harvesting and cattle ranching. There are several schools in Whiteriver catering to both tribal members and non-tribal members alike. These include public schools such as Whiteriver Elementary School, Rough Rock Community School and Alchesay High School as well as private schools such as St Joseph’s Indian Mission School and St Michael’s Indian School.

Whiteriver has several landmarks that draw visitors from all over Arizona each year such as Sunrise Park Resort which offers skiing, snowboarding, horseback riding and other outdoor activities; Fort Apache Historic Park which contains historical buildings dating back to 1871; Hon Dah Casino which offers gaming options; Kinishba Ruins National Monument which preserves an ancient pueblo village; White Mountain Wilderness Area which features scenic hiking trails; Sunrise Lake which provides fishing opportunities; and Lyman Lake State Park which offers camping sites along with boating opportunities on its lake.

Population: 5,220
Males: 2,497 (47.8%), Females: 2,723 (52.2%)

Navajo County

Zip code: 85941

Median resident age: 20.9 years
Median household income: $17,415
Median house value: $35,400

Races in Whiteriver:

  • American Indian (96.6%)
  • White Non-Hispanic (2.9%)
  • Hispanic (1.9%)
  • Two or more races (1.5%)

Ancestries: Swiss (1.1%).

Elevation: 5247 feet

Land area: 17.8 square miles

Whiteriver, Arizona


Whiteriver, Arizona is a small town located in the White Mountains of Arizona. It is situated near the headwaters of the White River and has a population of approximately 3,000 people. The majority of the population is Native American, with about 60% of residents belonging to the White Mountain Apache Tribe. The rest of the population is made up primarily of non-Native Americans, including Hispanic, African-American, and Asian-American individuals. The town offers a variety of outdoor recreation opportunities such as fishing, hiking, camping and hunting. There are also several cultural activities and events that take place throughout the year such as powwows and rodeos.

The economy in Whiteriver is primarily based on tourism and agriculture. Fishing is one of the main sources of income for locals as well as tourists who come to fish in the nearby rivers and lakes. Agriculture plays an important role as well with local farms producing hay and other crops for sale in nearby towns or shipped out to other parts of Arizona or even beyond. There are also several businesses in town that provide services to both locals and visitors alike such as restaurants, lodges, gift shops, art galleries, museums and more. In addition to these economic activities there are numerous organizations dedicated to providing education programs for both Native Americans and non-Native Americans alike on topics like health care access and environmental issues facing Indigenous communities today.

For population 25 years and over in Whiteriver

  • High school or higher: 53.1%
  • Bachelor’s degree or higher: 5.7%
  • Graduate or professional degree: 2.3%
  • Unemployed: 21.1%
  • Mean travel time to work: 15.5 minutes

For population 15 years and over in Whiteriver CDP

  • Never married: 41.1%
  • Now married: 42.7%
  • Separated: 1.8%
  • Widowed: 2.6%
  • Divorced: 11.8%

0.5% Foreign born


Hospitals/medical centers near Whiteriver:

  • NAVAPACHE HOSPITAL (about 31 miles; SHOW LOW, AZ)
  • PHS INDIAN HOSPITAL (about 34 miles; SAN CARLOS, AZ)


Airports certified for carrier operations nearest to Whiteriver:

  • WILLIAMS GATEWAY (about 122 miles; PHOENIX, AZ; Abbreviation: IWA)
  • PINAL AIRPARK (about 131 miles; MARANA, AZ; Abbreviation: MZJ)
  • DAVIS-MONTHAN AFB (about 132 miles; TUCSON, AZ; Abbreviation: DMA)

Other public-use airports nearest to Whiteriver:

  • WHITERIVER (about 3 miles; WHITERIVER, AZ; Abbreviation: E24)
  • SHOW LOW MUNI (about 29 miles; SHOW LOW, AZ; Abbreviation: SOW)
  • CIBECUE (about 34 miles; CIBECUE, AZ; Abbreviation: Z95)

Colleges and Universities

Colleges/universities with over 2000 students nearest to Whiteriver:

  • EASTERN ARIZONA COLLEGE (about 72 miles; THATCHER, AZ; Full-time enrollment: 3,085)
  • NORTHLAND PIONEER COLLEGE (about 77 miles; HOLBROOK, AZ; Full-time enrollment: 2,177)
  • CENTRAL ARIZONA COLLEGE (about 123 miles; COOLIDGE, AZ; Full-time enrollment: 2,333)
  • UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA (about 129 miles; TUCSON, AZ; Full-time enrollment: 29,915)
  • PIMA COMMUNITY COLLEGE (about 130 miles; TUCSON, AZ; Full-time enrollment: 14,177)
  • SCOTTSDALE COMMUNITY COLLEGE (about 131 miles; SCOTTSDALE, AZ; Full-time enrollment: 5,345)
  • CHANDLER/GILBERT COMMUNITY COLLEGE (about 134 miles; CHANDLER, AZ; Full-time enrollment: 2,990)


Public high school in Whiteriver:

  • ALCHESAY HIGH SCHOOL (Students: 659; Location: 200 FALCON WAY; Grades: 09 – 12)

Private high school in Whiteriver:

  • EAST FORK MISSION SCHOOL LUTHE (Students: 183; Location: P O BOX 489; Grades: KG – 12)

Public primary/middle schools in Whiteriver:

  • SEVEN MILE SCHOOL (Students: 540; Location: 2005 FT. APACHE; Grades: KG – 06)
  • WHITERIVER ELEMENTARY (Students: 522; Location: 200 CEMETERY ROAD; Grades: PK – 06)
  • CRADLEBOARD SCHOOL (Students: 374; Location: POWERLINE ROAD; Grades: KG – 07)
  • CANYON DAY JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL (Students: 372; Location: 4621 S. 9TH STREET; Grades: 07 – 08)


Library in Whiteriver:

  • WHITERIVER PUBLIC LIBRARY (Operating income: $121,822; Location: P. O. BOX 370; 29,019 books; 66 audio materials; 1,212 video materials; 80 serial subscriptions)