Arizonas Best Kept Ski Secrets
When people think of Arizona they mostly imagine the desert terrain, the Grand Canyon and the red, hot sun. What they don’t think about is ice, fresh powder and hitting the slopes. The locals know that Arizona isn’t just all desert and sun shine, it’s also actually a great destination for ski enthusiasts. If you’re looking for some winter sports this holiday season, look no further than your Arizona back yard.
Arizona Snowbowl is likely the area’s most popular ski destination. It’s actually one of the longest running ski areas in the entire United States, opening in 1938. Arizona Snowbowl is located on the San Francisco Peaks, which is a quick drive from Flagstaff, only 70 miles from the Grand Canyon and a two-hour trip in the car from Phoenix. For many Arizona residents a visit to Arizona Snowbowl can be done over a quick weekend.
Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, Arizona Snowbowl has a little bit for everyone. No ski equipment? No problem. Arizona Snowbowl offers plenty of options for rentals. Even take in a lesson if you’re a beginner. With its 32 runs you can keep it conservative or show off your expertise on a more challenging slope.
You can also make a weekend out of your visit to Arizona Snowbowl with a stay at one of its two lodges. No need to drive back down the mountain after an tiring day on the ski lifts – stick around and have a hot toddy instead.
Sunrise Ski Resort
Sunrise Ski Resort is another option for those looking for a quick trip to the slopes. Sunrise is located in Northern Arizona near the quaint town of Greer. This spot offers even more variety than Arizona Snowbowl with a whopping 65 runs. And if you’re a snowboarder and don’t want to mingle with the skiers, you’ll have your own designated area. If downhill isn’t your thing, there are plenty of cross-country skiing trails to breathe in the scenery at Sunrise as well.
Mt. Lemmon Ski Valley
If you’re looking for a ski getaway close to Tucson in beautiful Southern Arizona, Mt. Lemmon might be the best pick for you. It boasts 21 trails for all levels of skiers and some tasty restaurants and sweet shops for those looking for a break from the powder. Mt. Lemmon also offers ski instruction for the newbies that haven’t spent much time on the slopes.
You may think that it is difficult to get into the winter and holiday spirit in sunny Arizona but with a short drive to the mountains you’ll be flooded with snowy landscapes and winter sport options. Grab the whole family and sign up for some lessons or just relax and do a bit of snowshoeing. Regardless of your level of athleticism, enjoying a hot cup of cocoa overlooking a white, snow-capped mountain will be just what you need to get into the holiday spirit. You’ll feel like you’ve been dropped into one of your holiday card landscapes!