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Thursday, November 23, 2017

Are you longing for snow? Here’s where to go in Arizona

Arizona Snowbowl plans to open Tuesday, Nov. 21, after having delayed the opening of its 80th ski season twice due to warm weather.

Resort staff fired up snow machines in late September, allowing Snowbowl to claim the honor of being the season’s first U.S. ski area to make snow.

While the area typically receives about 260 inches of natural snow each year, man-made snow offers consistency on the trails and guarantees a season from November to early April.

New at Snowbowl this year: The Hart Prairie beginner area has a new, fixed-grip quad chairlift to replace the former double-person lift, and Slopeside Dining, a new restaurant, offers 300 indoor seats and an outdoor patio with a fire pit.

Located at 9,5000-feet elevation on the San Francisco Peaks north of Flagstaff, Snowbowl has 40 trails, eight lifts, two terrain parks and two mountain lodges. Professional instruction is available for skiers and boarders of all levels. SKIWee and MiniRider Packages include two- or four-hour lessons, lift tickets and rental equipment. Lift tickets: $59-$89; $49-$75 for ages 13-17; $37-$55 for ages 8-12; free for ages 7 and younger.

Skiing, sledding and snowshoeing in Arizona

Arizona Nordic Village
16848 U.S. 180, Flagstaff
928-220-0550 • arizonanordicvillage.com
Enjoy more than 30 miles of ski and snowshoe trails suited for all skill levels at this Coconino County snow-play destination. Bring your own equipment or rent it from the village for a nominal fee. Lessons are available and dogs are welcome. You can even rent a cabin or yurt for your stay. This area does not have a sledding area, but Crowley Pit Snow Play area is a mile away. Day passes are $5-$20.

Arizona Snowbowl
San Francisco Peaks, north of Flagstaff
928-779-1951 • arizonasnowbowl.com
Located just north of Flagstaff at 9,500 feet above sea level, Arizona Snowbowl offers 40 trails across 777 acres for skiers and snowboarders of all skill levels. Seven ski lifts — including a new high-speed lift — will have you flying down the trails faster than ever. Lodging, lessons and equipment rentals are available.

Elk Ridge Ski and Outdoor Recreation
2467 S. Perkinsville Road, Williams
928-814-5038 • elkridgeski.com
Explore 11 trails across 37 skiable acres, two surface lifts and a more than 8,000-foot summit that makes Elk Ridge an ideal Arizona snow-play destination. Bring your own skis and snowboards or rent them at the lodge. The center also offers lessons and equipment packages. Elk Ridge offers all-day tubing; no personal discs or sleds are permitted.

Mount Lemmon Ski Valley
10300 Ski Run Road, Mount Lemmon
520-576-1321 • skithelemmon.com
The 22 ski trails scattered across 200 snow-covered acres can accommodate all skill levels. Three ski lifts will quickly bring you to the top of Mount Lemmon’s 9,000-foot summit for more downhill fun. This site rents skis and snowboards; it also offers lessons.

Oak Hill Snow Play Area
10 miles east  of Williams on Route 66
928-635-1418 (Williams Visitor Center)
Two snow-tubing areas (600 and 400 feet) are featured at this snow playground in Coconino County. The area also features a 900-foot ski run that’s perfect for beginners, but there is no ski lift or tow. The area is equipped with a warming shelter with firepit and picnic tables at the bottom of the hill. Please note: Only rubberized tubes are permitted. Metal, wood and hard-plastic sleds are prohibited. Snow play is free.

Snowy Sleigh Rides at Windmill Ranch
12325 I-17 North, Exit 328 (Frontage Road), Flagstaff
928-451-6743 • potagoldadventures.com
Take a step back in time for an old-fashioned, holiday sleigh ride through Coconino National Forest. Windmill Ranch offers private, horse-drawn carriage rides for groups up to 12. The hourlong trip takes takes you on a winter adventure to a special campground where guides build a fire and serve hot cocoa.

Sunrise Park Resort
White Mountains, 12 miles west of Greer
855-735-7669 • sunriseskipark.com
Three snow-covered mountains, each at least 10,700 feet above sea level, offer 65 runs for skiers and snowboarders. Sunrise Park Resort also contains an expansive terrain park featuring wood and metal rails, boxes and jumps. Ten chair lifts serve up to 16,000 skiers and snowboarders per hour. After a day of hitting the slopes, soak in the indoor hot tubs of the Sunrise Hotel and Summit Restaurant. Call for prices.

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RAK Staff

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