was carved from Yavapai County — one Arizona's original four counties — on February 24, 1879, by the 10th Territorial Legislative Assembly. Leaders of St. Johns and Globe had petitioned for their towns to be the county seat, but the honor went temporarily to Snowflake, with the provision that an election would determine the permanent county seat. In November 1879, on the strength of votes from the mining town of Clifton (now in Greenlee County), St. Johns was designated the county seat.
The forested White Mountains and green pastures in the south of the county contrast sharply with the high, dry, colorful plateau region of the north. Excellent fishing, hunting and skiing make the White Mountains a year-round recreation area. Numerous archaeological sites are open to the public.
Also in Apache County are the spectacular Petrified Forest National Park and the Painted Desert, Window Rock, the Navajo tribal capital, and Casa Malpais Archaeological site. The Apache Indian Reservation, located in the White Mountains around the settlement of Fort Apache, includes 25 excellent fishing lakes and the Sunrise park Ski Resort for outdoor recreation, as well as a highly successful lumber mill and a casino.
Petrified Forest National Park is a surprising land of scenic wonders and fascinating science. The park is located in northeast Arizona and features one of the world's largest and most colorful concentrations of petrified wood. Also included in the park's 93,533 acres are the multi-hued badlands of the Chinle Formation known as the Painted Desert, historic structures, archeological sites and displays of 225 million-year-old fossils.