Arizona is not exactly the place you think of when you are planning a ski trip. After all, the chances of snow are slim to none. Reaching lows of 44°F being cold is very rarely on the cards for the state of Arizona.
Yet, it is home to some of the best sky resorts in the country. They may not be natural snow-covered mountains but they are definitely worth the trip.
Below are 5 of the best skiing resorts in Arizona so you can shred up the slopes in style. These resorts are the perfect place for thrill seekers who also need a little time to kick their feet up and relax.
Let’s get into it!
1. Arizona Snowbowl
Snowbowl is located in Flagstaff and is one of the most popular ski resorts in Arizona. It is extremely easy to find and rests nicely on top of a dormant stratovolcano lovingly known as Humphrey’s Peak.
Over the 777 acres of skiable land at Snowbowl, there are 55 runs, the longest of which is two miles long. And while you can travel on any of the six aerial chairlifts or the two conveyors, the brand-new Arizona Gondola will get you there the quickest.
Round Up Rail Garden and Sunset Terrain Park are the places to show off your freestyle skills whereas beginners can learn the slopes at Hart Prairie State Park or Humphrey’s Progression Park.
Then when you simply cannot ski anymore, take yourself to your very own cabin at the bottom of the mountain. Reset and prepare to do it all over again tomorrow!
2. Sunrise Ski Park
Sunrise Ski Park comprises three mountains, Sunrise Peak, Cyclone Peak, and Apache Peak. Sunrise Ski Park, located on the Colorado Plateau at the summit of the White Mountains, offers superb alpine skiing conditions all winter long.
There are 65 total runs, so experienced skiers and thrill-seekers may tear down Tempest or Thunder while beginners can cruise down Clear Cut or Aspen Trail. Over the three mountains, there are nine lifts that can take you where you need to go.
Whether you’re building up your confidence to attack the terrain park or taking it easy in the cross-country skiing sections, there is something here for every skier or snowboarder.
Through the early months of the year, Sunrise Ski offers night skiing to ensure you get the most out of your time at the resort.
Now, the resort is a little more isolated than others in the state, meaning you have to select your accommodation carefully and quickly. There is lodging at the resort but it goes fast!
3. Mt. Lemmon Ski Valley
Mt. Lemmon Ski Valley is nestled in the Santa Catalina Mountains and is the perfect ski destination whether it is summer or winter. At an incredible 9.157 feet snowfall is never an issue.
There are 21 runs that vary from novice to expert on the 200 acres of skiable terrain. Additionally, you can get around the mountain using two lifts and a handy tow. So, there is less time waiting and more time spent tearing up the slopes.
Now, the only downside to Mt. Lemmon Ski Valley is that there is no lodging on site. However, there are plenty within a short distance. Many cabins are situated just an hour’s drive away from the valley, meaning you can relax before hitting the slopes in the morning.
Don’t forget to check out Mt. Lemmon Ski Valley dining options. With loads of delicious, filling meals you will have enough fuel to hit the slopes just one last time before you head home for the night.
4. Elk Ridge Ski Area
Taking the family on their very first ski trip? Elk Ridge Ski Area is targeted towards families and is located just minutes away from Williams, Arizona. It is smaller than the other ski resorts in Arizona but it is perfect for learning and making memories (If you’re looking for a break away from the slopes, check out our guide to the best resorts in Arizona).
This resort expands over 37 skiable acres that are filled with 12 ski trails for all levels. There is a 650-foot vertical drop between the summit and base elevations, which are 7,500 and 8,150 feet.
Elk Ridge Ski Area has had a wonderful remodel with a brand new snack bar, kitchen, and dining hall. Meaning that you can fuel up before, during, and after a day of having fun and learning new skills on the slopes.
You are going to have to find different lodging but there are plenty of options in Williams that are all only minutes away. So even the most exhausted kiddos have somewhere to rest their head for the night.
5. Arizona Nordic Village
Arizona Nordic Village provides outdoor enthusiasts with a distinctive and thrilling winter experience despite not being a conventional ski resort.
The Nordic Village is nestled in the Coconino National Forest just outside of Flagstaff, Arizona. There you will find over 40 miles of cross-country ski trails and snowshoeing trails for you to ride all day long.
The resort offers classes and activities for all ability levels and the terrain at Arizona Nordic Village ranges from easy to difficult.
Then, when you are completely exhausted you can sleep in a cozy cabin or a yurt. Either of these accommodations offers a unique experience and marvelous views of the forest surrounding you for the evening.
During the summer the village offers biking, horseback riding, and hiking. All without the need for a trail pass!
As you can see, Arizona is extremely versatile and is more than accommodating for those who prefer colder activities. Whether you are a professional snowboarder or are only learning how to stand in skis there are slopes for you.
Above are 5 of the best ski resorts in Arizona that will have you making memories and tearing up the slopes all winter, and summer, long. Be sure to book your lodging quickly before the winter season to experience everything these resorts have to offer.
You never know what will happen when you are gliding down the mountains of Arizona!
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