SNOW… HERE IN ARIZONA?!? What?
Snow…here in Arizona?!? First of all, when people think of Arizona weather, snow is definitely not something that comes to mind. In fact, sunny, dry, and hot are probably the first few words that pop into your head right now. But did you know that driving just a few hours outside of Phoenix during the right time of year can bring a winter wonderland to your life?
Of course, the higher elevations in the Grand Canyon State experience typical wintery conditions – and that means fun, fluffy snow to frolic in! By the way, January through March is said to have the best snowfall, and the areas that get it make the most out of it. So, with the list of destinations we’ve put together, now you can too!
Snow…Here in Arizona?!? How About a Trip to Flagstaff?
Anyone who already knew it actually does snow here is certainly familiar with Flagstaff. Moreover, there are winter sports for everyone. Whether you enjoy snowboarding or snowshoeing, snowmobiling or sledding, or just throwing around snowballs! If you like the look of snow, but prefer to enjoy it in front of a roaring fireplace, you can do that too! Arizona Snowbowl’s website has a “Things To Do” section. Likewise, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the wealth of information there. As a matter of fact, you can even see beautiful Northern Arizona in a most breathtaking way – a gondola ride!
At an elevation of 7,000 feet, Flagstaff and the nearby area offer winter activities galore, and is also the closest bustling city to Grand Canyon National Park. Correspondingly, It’s a scenic drive that usually takes just under 90 minutes, but make sure you check the road conditions and the live webcam to see if the GC is “socked-in” before you leave the city. Most of all, getting there safe is important, and also being able to see one of the 7 natural wonders of the world when you get there is too.
Snow…here in Arizona? In like manner, travel east of Phoenix for 4 hours and you’ll reach the White Mountains and Sunrise Park Resort. Not to mention, there are 1,200 skiable acres. Besides, the winter sports hotspot sprawls across 3 mountains (Cyclone Circle, Apache Peak, and Sunrise Peak). Amazingly, the amount of land allows for 65 runs, the most of any Arizona ski destination. After all, the tops of the mountains vary in elevation from 9,200 feet to 11,000 feet. Therefore, this means plenty of trail options for both beginners (“If you’re not falling, you’re not learning!”) and experts. Perhaps you’d like to try your hand – well, feet actually – at skibobbing and night skiing. Or, maybe a relaxing sleigh ride is more up your alley.
Continue on to Alpine, about 30 minutes to the east, to visit Hannagan Meadow Lodge. Best of all, to enjoy this location’s trails, you won’t have to buy tickets or pay any fees. Above all, National Geographic Magazine mentions this in the top 5 of US backcountry lodges. Of course, this option might not be as extravagant as some of the others. But, if you’re just looking for some less intense winter fun like snowshoeing or snowmobiling, this can be the ticket.
Similarly, Williams Valley Sports Area, also called Oak Hill Winter Play Area, is a no-fee option. There are really no frills here. For example, no water is for sale and there is a very minimal restroom available. Therefore, we suggest some research of nearby facilities and planning ahead. Then, you can fully enjoy your time playing in this snowy area.
Snow…here in Arizona?!? Try the Catalina Mountains is home to Mt Lemmon. In fact, with an elevation of over 9,000 feet, it is the home of Ski Valley. For one thing, this is the continental United States’ southernmost place to ski, which boasts 21 runs on over 200 acres that you can ski on. In the event that the snow isn’t quite right for skiing, you can take a scenic Sky Ride all the way down the mountain. By all means, Iron Door Restaurant’s chili and homemade pies are so epic they are a feature on Ski Valley’s sign. Truly, getting your own individual-size pie beats a triangular slice any day!
No matter whether you decide to go to Flagstaff, the White Mountains, or Tucson for some fun in the Arizona snow, be sure to do a little research ahead of time. Likewise, check the weather for where you’re going (both current conditions and the forecast). Also, dining and lodging options vary at or near each destination, as do the rules and activities. For instance, no sledding or some amenities / attractions may not be open.
Snow…here in Arizona?!? If you’ve ever heard a legend about record snow in the Phoenix area, it is actually true! A very rare occurrence indeed, but the white stuff has appeared on some of the valley’s mountains.
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