The Arizona Snowbowl is located in the Coconino National Forest on the majestic San Francisco Peaks. High above Flagstaff, the Snowbowl opened in 1938 and is one of the oldest continually run ski areas in the United States. Arizona Snowbowl has the best learning terrain in the entire Southwest, offering more than 50 acres, two chairlifts and one conveyor in the renowned Hart Prairie Beginner Area. Intermediate and advanced snow riders will enjoy many challenging trails with more than 2,300 feet of vertical drop.
New bus service to Arizona Snowbowl has been launched this year; the “Mountain Express” will run on peak days, creating a new transportation option to reach Flagstaff’s ski and snowboard area. The Mountain Express will connect Downtown Connection Center on Phoenix Ave., between Milton Rd. and Beaver St. with the Hart Prairie Lodge at Arizona Snowbowl, via the Fort Valley Parking Area at Highway 180 and Snowbowl Rd. Service dates include:
· December 26, 27, 28, 29, 30
· January 2, 9, 16, 17, 23, 30
· February 6, 13, 14, 20, 27
A full service schedule and additional information can be found at www.mountainline.az.gov/mountainexpress. Riders must purchase a day pass, or present another valid Mountain Line pass, to board the Mountain Express. A regular day pass is only $2.50 and riders can board any Mountain Line bus stops to connect to the Mountain Express at the Downtown Connection Center.
Wing Mountain (closed for the season), Crowley Pit, Peak View Overlook and Walker Lake Watchable Wildlife parking areas provide forest access for various winter activities. Snow play (sledding, tubing, building snowmen, etc.) is not permitted within the Arizona Snowbowl ski area or along Snowbowl Road. Parking is also not permitted along Hwy 180 except in designated areas. Please remember that all these sites have limited garbage service. Littering is against the law and Forest Service Rangers take it very seriously.
Visitors are welcome to play in the snow, snowshoe and cross-country ski. It is a great place to build a snowman and there is a small downhill sledding area. Fort Tuthill offers plenty of parking, picnic ramadas and picnic tables. The park is open from dawn to dusk.
Enjoy ice skating at Jay L. Lively Activity Center. For a small fee, lessons, public skating, figure skating and hockey are offered. Rental skates are also available. Just up the hill Buffalo Park offers a vast network of trails, including access to the Flagstaff Urban Trails System (FUTS), National Forest trails and the Arizona Trail.
Nestled in a snow-pocket of the San Francisco Peaks at an average elevation of 8,300 feet, the Flagstaff Nordic Center (FNC) is the premier cross-country ski location in Arizona. Located in the foothills of Arizona’s tallest mountain range, you can ski and play in the quaking aspens and pine trees of the Coconino National Forest all the while enjoying the magnificent scenery Northern Arizona has to offer.
The Mormon Lake Lodge Winter Activity Center offers cross-country skiing and guided snowmobile rides. The center is open daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. when snow conditions are favorable. The latest departure time for snowmobiling is 3:30 p.m. and cross-country skiing is 3 p.m., with a return by 5 p.m.
Elk Ridge Ski Area is a family-oriented ski, snowboard and tubing recreation area located in the Kaibab National Forest on Bill Williams Mountain. Elk Ridge Ski Area offers two surface lifts, 12 scenic alpine trails and the only certified tubing hill in the area.