So you’re planning on driving to Flagstaff to send it at Arizona Snowbowl. No doubt it’s going to be a great time! Arizona Snowbowl is one of two (arguably three) ski resorts in Arizona. The ski resort is located on the San Francisco Peaks with an elevation of 11,500 ft. at the top of the highest chair lift. The lifts do no go all the way up the mountain, but there is an avid backcountry ski culture in Flagstaff that enjoys skinning up to higher elevations and exploring the rest of the range with proper backcountry knowledge, experience and gear. The average snowfall in the past has been 260 inches with some years being much better than others. But Arizona Snowbowl has been given permission to make snow in hopes of providing a more consistent and enjoyable snow season.
Snowmaking is a controversial topic for Flagstaff locals, especially Native Americans. The San Francisco Peaks are sacred to Native Americans and manmade snow is created with reclaimed water. Over the years, there have been protests, petitions and legal efforts made to stop the making of snow. But as of now, snowmaking is actively being done to ensure a better, more consistent snowpack at the resort all winter long.FIRST THINGS FIRST...
Want a shuttle to pick you up in the Phoenix area and take you directly to Arizona Snowbowl this winter? Check out Alpine Express. They have three pick-up locations, North Valley, Scottsdale, and East Valley. This luxury bus will take you and all your snow gear directly to Arizona Snowbowl. You don't have to mess with chains, 4WD or the stress of winter driving conditions! Sit back with your friends and family and relax! This is becoming one of the most popular ways to get to Snowbowl from Phoenix.
Snowbowl is located 7 miles northwest of Flagstaff on Highway 180. Turn right on Snowbowl Road and continue another 7 miles. The Ski Lift Lodge & Cabins are located on Highway 180, at the base of Snowbowl Road.
Continue on 1-17 North through Flagstaff to Milton Road and take it for 3 miles. Milton will go under the railroad tracks and the road will bear to the right. Take a left at Humphreys Street, which is the first stop light. At the third stop light (Hwy 180), turn left. Continue 7 miles to Snowbowl Road and then turn right. The resort is 7 miles up Snowbowl Road.
YOU WILL BE TURNED AWAY IF YOU ARE ONLY COMING TO SLED OR PLAY IN THE SNOW. SLEDDING AND SNOW PLAY IS NOT PERMITTED AT ANY TIME AT SNOWBOWL.
** Also, be aware that if you are coming on a 3-day weekend or day right after a powder dumping, Snowbowl could reach maximum capacity and start turning people away. So plan on being at the base of the mountain turning onto Snowbowl Rd. by 8am to guarantee getting a lift ticket on holiday weekends or other peak days.
Mountain Express provides FREE shuttle service between Downtown Flagstaff and the Hart Prairie Lodge at Arizona Snowbowl.
NAU students can ride Route 10 for free to connect to the Mountain Express and riders can board at other Mountain Line stops (fare must be paid to board other routes) and connect to the Downtown Connection Center.
Do you need a place to stay? Making a day trip is possible, but incredibly exhausting if you’re traveling from the metro Phoenix area. Not to mention traffic and a high likelihood of a traffic backup on the I-17. There are several clean and convenient motels that start at $35/night if you need a place to just rest for the night. If you’re making a weekend of it with friends or family, consider a hotel, vacation home or cabin with a hot tub or a fireplace. No ski vacation is complete without the winter accouterment! We’ve made a few lists of accommodations that you may find helpful.
Unless you’re buying a ski/snowboard package that includes a lesson and gear at Snowbowl, we recommend renting your gear in town before heading up to the resort. There are several snow gear rental shops in the town that have a variety of higher quality gear at cheaper daily rates. Plus, the people who work at the ski shops tend to have a little more gear knowledge than those up at the mountain. The ski and snowboard rental shops in town also have a wide selection of demo gear if you’re feeling adventurous and want to try something different.
Regardless of where you’re starting your morning, you’re likely going to want something to eat before you start shredding the gnar pow. Guess what? There are more places in Flagstaff to eat and get coffee than Macy’s or Starbucks! We love Macy’s but there are a few other local breakfast spots on the way to Snowbowl that will get you fed, happy and on your way quite quickly so that you don’t waste a minute of your lift ticket. Our recommendation for great food and coffee on the way up to Snowbowl is Kickstand Kafe and Late for the Train on Ft. Valley Road. Kickstand Kafe has incredible breakfast sandwiches, burritos and pastries. They even have a drive through window! Late for the Train has a variety of ready-made burritos to satisfy the most common dietary preferences. Just heat it up while you’re waiting for coffee and it’s off to the slopes!
Keep an eye out for Snowbowl's kind of amazing discounts and packages. If you don’t already have a pass, try to purchase your lift ticket online at least 48 hours in advance. There’s a good chance it could be up to 70% less than buying a ticket from the window. Especially in the spring. Snowbowl has this ridiculously good deal in March where lift tickets start at $29, and it includes a FREE $15 gift card and $15 rentals and lessons. The $15 can be used for food and alcoholic drinks. So basically, your lift ticket costs $9. If you’ve gotten this far on this page, then you should also know that kids age 10 and under get a FREE season pass. No adult pass purchase necessary or anything like that. Kids can just show up, sign up and get a season pass with guardian consent.
Go to Snowbowl's website to check out current discounted online rates: https://www.snowbowl.ski/