Greer, Arizona

Greer is an unincorporated community and census-designated place in Apache County, Arizona, United States. Located within the White Mountains of Arizona and surrounded by the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest, Greer is the highest town in the state at an elevation of approximately 8,400 feet (2,560 m). As of the 2020 census it had a population of 58.[2] Greer was founded circa 1879 by Mormon settlers from Utah.[3] The Greer post office has the ZIP code of 85927.[4]

Greer, Arizona
Aspens in Greer
Aspens in Greer
Greer is located in Arizona
Greer
Greer
Coordinates: 34°00′36″N 109°27′31″W / 34.01000°N 109.45861°W / 34.01000; -109.45861Coordinates: 34°00′36″N 109°27′31″W / 34.01000°N 109.45861°W / 34.01000; -109.45861
CountryUnited States
StateArizona
CountyApache
Area
 • Total0.53 sq mi (1.37 km2)
 • Land0.53 sq mi (1.37 km2)
 • Water0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
Elevation
8,356 ft (2,547 m)
Population
 (2020)
 • Total58
 • Density109.85/sq mi (42.42/km2)
Time zoneUTC-7 (MST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-6 (MDT)
FIPS code04-29850
GNIS feature ID29593

HistoryEdit

Originally know as Lee Valley, Greer was founded by Latter-day Saint Willard Lee and his family in 1879. When the Lee Valley post office was built they requested a shorter name, so Greer (after Americas Vespucius Greer, a town planner who had recently moved to the area) was settled on and the small community continued to gradually develop.[5][6] In 1897, a single-room schoolhouse was built. A church, library, and restaurants were later built including Molly Butler Lodge and Restaurant, which is the oldest guest lodge and restaurant in Arizona. Today there are multiple resorts, rental cabins, a general store, and 2 fire stations.

Just west of Greer is the remnants of the Apache Railway. The railway spanned from Holbrook near Interstate 40 and traveled south traveling through Snowflake, Pinetop-Lakeside and McNary before reaching the logging camp at Maverick, Arizona, south of Greer. Logging operations started in 1918 and in 1964 the White Mountain Scenic Railroad operated on the line. The scenic railroad ceased operations in 1976 and in 1982 the line from Maverick to McNary was removed.

Surrounding the town, the scars of the Wallow Fire can be seen. The massive wildfire started in the White Mountains near Alpine, Arizona on May 29, 2011 due to the mismanagement of a campfire. The communities of Alpine, Blue River, Greer, Nutrioso, Sunrise, Springerville, and Eagar, Arizona, as well as Luna, New Mexico were evacuated. On June 8, 2011, the Wallow Fire reached the town of Greer and destroyed multiple buildings but most of the structures in town remain intact. The fire continued to grow till July 8 at 6 p.m., when it declared 100% contained. The fire destroyed 72 building and injured 16 wildland firefighters. It burned 522,642 acres (2,115 km2) in Arizona and 15,407 acres (62 km2) in New Mexico, becoming the largest wildfire in Arizona history surpassing the Rodeo-Chediski Fire which burned 468,638 acres along the Mogollon Rim in 2002.

GeographyEdit

 
The Little Colorado River during summer

Greer sits at 8,356 feet in elevation and is located in the White Mountains of Arizona near the New Mexico border. It is surrounded by the Apache Sitgreaves National Forest and The little Colorado River flows through the center of town. Its position in the valley of the Little Colorado River near various lakes means that temperatures are significantly milder than surrounding areas. While Greer is a four hour drive from Phoenix and a four-and-a-half hour drive from Tucson, it remains one of the most popular summer vacation destinations in Arizona as it is consistently 20-30 °F cooler than the deserts. Greer is about 20 minutes or 16 miles (26 km) south of Springerville and Eagar, accessed by paved road via Highways 260 and 373. From Show Low and Pinetop-Lakeside, it is 40 miles (64 km) or approximately a 45 minute drive east using Highways 260 and 373. Greer is home to Sunrise Ski Resort, the largest ski park in the state. The resort has 7 lifts that span over 3 mountains, Apache peak (11,100 ft), Cyclone Peak (10,700 ft), and Sunrise peak (10,700 ft).

ClimateEdit

 
Access to Greer in the winter

Greer has a Humid continental climate (Köppen Csa) with warm summers coupled with chilly nights and cold, snowy winters. Due to its high elevation at more the 8,000 feet (2,438 m) summer temperatures range from the mid 60s to high 70s but the area will occasionally reach temperatures around 80 °F (27 °C) or higher. During the summer months, monsoon storms develop daily in the late morning and early afternoon hours, bringing heavy rain, strong wind, thunder, lightning, and even hail. These thunderstorms help lower temperatures of the surrounding areas. In July, the average high temperature is 76.0 °F (24.4 °C) with an average low temperature of 46.8 °F (8.2 °C) and in January, the average high temperature is 42.6 °F (5.9 °C) with an average low temperature of 13.5 °F (−10.0 °C).

Winters are harsh with nighttime lows in the single digits and daytime temps in the 40s. Snowstorms and flurries are common during the winter months. Greer gets 97.5 inches (248 cm) of snowfall annually and accumulating snow can reach up to 6 feet. Ice forms on the surrounding lakes in late November and doesn't thaw till early March. The White Mountains is one of the coldest and wettest places in the state. The official all-time record low in Arizona history was recorded at −40 °F/°C near Hawley lake on January 7, 1971. White Mountains also holds the record for most precipitation in a calendar year at 58.92 inches (1496.6 mm)

On Monday, November 5, 2001, the Northern Lights were visible from Greer and other areas around the Mogollon Rim and White Mountains including Payson, Heber-Overgaard, Show Low, Eagar, Alpine, and McNary. At 8:00-10:30 pm, the people of east central Arizona were treated to the natural light display due to extremely strong Solar flares that allowed the Aurora Borealis to be seen this far south. The lights appeared a deep red and pink hue.

Climate data for Greer, Arizona[a] (1991–2020 normals, extremes 1916–2011)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 66
(19)
65
(18)
75
(24)
75
(24)
89
(32)
89
(32)
90
(32)
87
(31)
86
(30)
78
(26)
74
(23)
63
(17)
90
(32)
Mean maximum °F (°C) 55.2
(12.9)
54.9
(12.7)
62.0
(16.7)
69.9
(21.1)
76.7
(24.8)
83.0
(28.3)
84.9
(29.4)
80.6
(27.0)
75.6
(24.2)
70.8
(21.6)
61.4
(16.3)
55.6
(13.1)
85.6
(29.8)
Average high °F (°C) 42.6
(5.9)
44.7
(7.1)
50.2
(10.1)
57.4
(14.1)
66.0
(18.9)
75.9
(24.4)
76.0
(24.4)
73.4
(23.0)
69.9
(21.1)
61.0
(16.1)
51.5
(10.8)
42.9
(6.1)
59.3
(15.2)
Average low °F (°C) 13.5
(−10.3)
15.7
(−9.1)
21.5
(−5.8)
25.5
(−3.6)
33.0
(0.6)
41.0
(5.0)
46.8
(8.2)
45.9
(7.7)
40.8
(4.9)
30.2
(−1.0)
21.2
(−6.0)
13.8
(−10.1)
29.1
(−1.6)
Mean minimum °F (°C) −2.6
(−19.2)
1.1
(−17.2)
7.0
(−13.9)
14.6
(−9.7)
22.0
(−5.6)
31.6
(−0.2)
41.7
(5.4)
41.8
(5.4)
31.8
(−0.1)
16.1
(−8.8)
6.3
(−14.3)
−4.6
(−20.3)
−8.0
(−22.2)
Record low °F (°C) −24
(−31)
−21
(−29)
−15
(−26)
−4
(−20)
8
(−13)
24
(−4)
33
(1)
30
(−1)
20
(−7)
6
(−14)
−13
(−25)
−20
(−29)
−24
(−31)
Average precipitation inches (mm) 1.42
(36)
1.18
(30)
1.18
(30)
0.98
(25)
1.42
(36)
1.34
(34)
7.36
(187)
6.81
(173)
3.58
(91)
0.83
(21)
0.94
(24)
1.51
(38)
28.55
(725)
Average snowfall inches (cm) 21.5
(55)
21.4
(54)
16.3
(41)
5.1
(13)
1.3
(3.3)
0.2
(0.51)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0.4
(1.0)
2.5
(6.4)
9.1
(23)
19.7
(50)
97.5
(248)
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in) 6.0 6.1 4.5 3.3 3.9 3.5 14.5 17.1 8.1 5.1 3.9 5.1 81.1
Source 1: NOAA[7]
Source 2: The Western Regional Climate Center (snowfall)[8]

Flora and FaunaEdit

There is a diverse abundance of flora and fauna around Greer. Trees like Narrowleaf Cottonwood, Maple, Boxelder, and Oak, can be found in the riparian habitats in the area Juniper, Pine, Aspen, Fir, and Spruce dot the surrounding landscape. Wildflowers and mushrooms can also be seen in many of the meadows in the White Mountains.

The White Mountains is one of the most biologically diverse areas in the state. It is home to the Mexican Grey wolf and if you are lucky enough, you might catch a glimpse. As of 2021 there were only 186 wild wolves living in eastern Arizona and western New Mexico. The area is also home to the elusive Apache trout. The state fish of Arizona, the Apache trout is one of two native trout species to the state, the other being the Gila trout. Historically found in nearly every body of water in the White Mountains, the Apache trout was pushed to near extinction. Today, Arizona Game and Fish and the White Mountain Apache Tribe have be working together to conserve and manage both the Apache trout and the Mexican Grey Wolf.

Before westward expansion and the intrusion of settlers, the White Mountains were home to Grizzly bears but in 1936 the last Grizzly bear in Arizona was killed on Escudilla Mountain just east of Big lake.

Aquatic SpeciesEdit

(Fish) Rainbow trout, Brown trout, Brook trout, Tiger trout, Cutthroat trout, Apache trout, Sonora sucker, Desert sucker, Little Colorado River sucker, Little Colorado spinedace, Roundtail chub, Speckled dace, Loach minnow

(Crustaceans and Mollusks) Northern crawfish, California floater mussel, Three forks springsnail

BirdsEdit

(Landfowl) Merriam's turkey, Dusky grouse, Gambles quail, Scaled quail, Montezuma quail, Mourning dove, White-winged dove, Band-tailed pigeon

(Waterfowl) Great blue heron, Black-crowned night heron, Snowy egret, white-faced ibis, Killdeer plover, Canadian goose, Mallard, Redhead, Bufflehead, Cinnamon teal, Green-winged teal, Gadwall, Northern pintail, American wigeon, Northern shoveler, Lesser scaup, Common goldeneye, pied-billed grebe, eared grebe

(Raptors) Bald eagle, Golden eagle, Osprey, Red-tailed hawk, Northern goshawk, Coppers hawk, Sharp-shinned hawk, Common black hawk, Swainson's hawk, Rough-legged hawk, Zone-tailed hawk, Northern harrier, Peregrine falcon, Prairie falcon, Merlin, American kestrel, Great horned owl, Long-eared owl, Short-eared owl, Barn owl, Western screech owl, Mexican spotted owl, Northern pygmy owl, Flammulated owl, Northern saw-whet owl, Burrowing owl, Turkey vulture, Common raven, American crow

MammalsEdit

(Hoofed) Elk, Mule deer, White-tailed deer, Javelina, Bighorn Sheep, Pronghorn, Bison, Wild Horses, and Cattle

(Predatory) Black bear, Mountain lion, Bobcat, Mexican grey wolf, Coyote, Grey fox, Striped skunk, Western spotted skunk, Ringtail cat,Raccoon, Coatimundi, River otter, American badger, Black-footed ferret, Long-tailed weasel

(Rodents) Beaver, Muskrat, Porcupine, Arizona gray squirrel, Red squirrel, Rock squirrel, Abert's squirrel, Gunnison's prairie dog, Botta's pocket gopher, Golden-mantled ground squirrel, Thirteen-lined ground squirrel, Cliff chipmunk, Least chipmunk, Grey-collared chipmunk, White-throated woodrat, Mexican woodrat, Deer mouse, Pinyon mouse, House mouse, Western harvest mouse, Western jumping mouse, Northern grasshopper mouse, White-footed mouse, Southern red-backed vole, Montane vole, Mexican vole, Montane shrew, Merriam's shrew

(Leporids) Mountain cottontail rabbit, Eastern cottontail rabbit, Black-tailed jackrabbit

(Bats) Big brown bat, Little brown bat, Canyon bat, Hoary bat, Pallid bat, Spotted bat, Allen's big-eared bat, Silver-haired bat, Townsend's big-eared bat, Western mastiff bat, Mexican free-tailed bat, Big free-tailed bat, Western small-footed bat, Long-legged bat, Yuma myotis, Arizona myotis, Cave myotis, California myotis, Southwestern myotis, Long-eared myotis, Fringed myotis

Reptiles and AmphibiansEdit

(Snakes) Arizona black rattlesnake, Prairie rattlesnake, Black-tailed rattlesnake, Sonoran mountain kingsnake, Chihuahuan nightsnake, Sonoran gophersnake, Terrestrial gartersnake, Narrow-headed gartersnake

(Lizards) Eastern collared lizard, Greater short-horned lizard, Southwestern fence lizard, Plateau fence lizard, Ornate tree lizard, Many-lined skink, Plateau stripped whiptail

(Turtles) Western painted turtle

(Amphibians) Canyon tree frog, Arizona tree frog, Western chorus frog, Chiricahua leopard frog, Northern leopard frog, Arizona toad, Mexican spadefoot, Barred tiger salamander

DemographicsEdit

Greer is home to few resident individuals or families with a year round population of just 58 as of the 2020 census. in the Summer the population jumps to around 1,000 people. Many of the homes in the area are cabins or summer getaways for Phoenix and Tucson locals, due to the cooler temperatures. The ZIP code for Greer is 85927 and the area code is 928.

Historical population
Census Pop.
201041
20205841.5%
U.S. Decennial Census[9]

Greer is 0.53 square miles. The median age is 61.5 years and the median household income is $76,114. There are 236 households in the area and 770 housing units which 30.6% are occupied. The median price of an owner occupied housing unit is $584,700. 90% of the people are married.

Attractions/RecreationEdit

Government and infrastructureEdit

  • The Apache County Library District operates the Greer Memorial Library.[11]
  • The Lazy Trout, General Store, lodging mercantile and fly fishing outfitters
  • Historic Greer schoolhouse[12]
  • Greer fire district station #1

Notable peopleEdit

Nearest cities and towns (under 100 miles)Edit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "2020 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 29, 2021.
  2. ^ "Greer, Arizona Population 2022 (Demographics, Maps, Graphs)". worldpopulationreview.com. Retrieved 2022-07-26.
  3. ^ "Arizona Mogollon Rim - Payson AZ - Greer Arizona - - tucson.com". Archived from the original on 2008-10-20.
  4. ^ Zip Code Lookup
  5. ^ Byrd H. Granger (1960). Arizona Place Names. University of Arizona Press. p. 12. Retrieved 5 December 2011.
  6. ^ The Utah Genealogical and Historical Magazine, Volumes 9-10. 1918. p. 184.
  7. ^ "NOWData - NOAA Online Weather Data". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved February 16, 2022.
  8. ^ "Seasonal Temperature and Precipitation Information". Western Regional Climate Center. Retrieved April 13, 2013.
  9. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2016.
  10. ^ "Post Office™ Location – Greer Archived 2012-08-26 at the Wayback Machine." United States Postal Service. Retrieved on January 30, 2011.
  11. ^ "Greer Memorial Library Archived 2010-08-22 at the Wayback Machine." Apache County Library District. Retrieved on January 30, 2011.
  12. ^ "History". Greer AZ Community Center. Retrieved 2022-10-29.
  1. ^ Station Elevation 8,275ft

External linksEdit