Arizona Snowbowl: Pro Tips for Planning Your Trip

skiing and snowboarding at AZ Snowbowl

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, environmentalists, and indigenous people of Northern Arizona. The San Francisco Peaks are sacred to Natives 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...

Getting to Arizona Snowbowl

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.

Alpine Express shuttle from PhoenixDo you really want to drive yourself and your friends or family back after a long day on the mountain? Go with ALEX and enjoy upgraded seating, plenty of legroom and the comfort that only comes when you leave the driving to someone else.
Alpine Express Schedule & Rates
  • Pick up from Happy Valley Town Center, Scottsdale Ski Pro, East Valley
  • Friday - some Mondays (check schedule for available days
  • Tickets: Typically $37 per person
  • .

    Directions to Arizona Snowbowl

    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.

    » Get directions from your current location

    GPS Coordinates
    Latitude: 35° 19.51'N
    Longitude: 111° 42.339 W

    Directions to Arizona Snowbowl from I-17

    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.


    Parking, Hitchhiking or Shuttling Up from Flagstaff

    If Flagstaff just experienced a snow storm, then you can safely bet that not only will the resort be packed, but that Snowbowl Road will be sketchy and even prohibited to vehicles without chains, AWD or 4WD. There will be a traffic coordinator at the base of the mountain directing people into a lower parking lot or letting capable vehicles through. If you must park at the lower lot, there is a Snowbowl shuttle that will bring you up to the resort. They come about every 20-30 minutes, depending on the conditions and traffic. Hitchhiking is also a common way to get up to the resort. If you see a vehicle that has room for you and your gear on its way up, you wouldn't be the first powder-hungry skiier/snowboarder to ask for a ride up. But please remember to be kind, respectful and grateful if you get a ride up. It's good karma, which is key in keeping hitchhiking up to the mountain alive and well in Flagstaff.

    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. around 8am to guarantee getting a parking spot on holiday weekends or other peak days.

    Free Shuttle to Snowbowl from Downtown Flagstaff

    Mountain Express busMountain Express provides FREE shuttle service between Downtown Flagstaff and the Hart Prairie Lodge at Arizona Snowbowl.

    Mountain Express Stops & Schedule
    Daily: The 2022-2023 Mountain Express season will kick off on December 26, 2022. Service will run daily through Jan. 1, then on Saturdays and Sundays for the remainder of January and February. Stay tuned for more details.

    Hotels Near Snowbowl

    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.

  • Hotels Nearest to Snowbowl
  • Vacation Rental Homes
  • Budget accommodations
  • Hotels with Hot Tubs

  • Ski and Snowboard Rental

    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.


    Breakfast & Coffee on the Way to Snowbowl

    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 Flagstaff Station Market Cafe on Ft. Valley Road. Kickstand Kafe has incredible breakfast sandwiches, burritos, and pastries. They even have a drive-through window! Flagstaff Station Market has a variety of freshly baked goods and a large selection of breakfast and lunch items made to order with fresh ingredients to satisfy most dietary preferences.


    Snowbowl Discounts on Lift Tickets, Lessons, Gear Rental and More

    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 as far in advance as possible. There’s a good chance it could be up to 70% less than buying it the day of. Lift tickets go up in price when the demand increases. A ticket bought a month in advance could cost you $65 versus $200 when buying the day before heading up to the resort. 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 is 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/



    LODGING FOR YOUR SKI/SNOWBOARDING VACATION

    Arizona Vacation Home Rentals

    3 different homes in Flagstaff to choose from! Enjoy friendly wildlife, breathtaking scenery and a rustic setting from the comforts of your own vacation home in a quality mountain town. Each home is specially selected for its uniqueness, views, comfort and enhancement of your vacation expe
    3 different homes in Flagstaff to choose from! Enjoy friendly wildlife, breathtaking scenery and a rustic setting from the comforts of your own vacation home in a quality mountain town. Each home is specially selected for its uniqueness, views, comfort and enhancement of your vacation experience. You'll find each one comfortably furnished - especially the beds, for your ultimate rejuvenation.

    Arizona Mountain Inn & Cabins

    Our Tudor-style inn and 17 cabins are tucked away on 13 acres of secluded Ponderosa Pines. The grounds are bordered by the Coconino National Forest on three sides with breath-taking views of the San Francisco Peaks.

    2.5 Acres in the Pines w/ Game Room, Hot Tub, & Space for your family. Just 15 min from Downtown!

    Our home is nestled in 2.5 acres of Pondarosa Pines with breathtaking views of Doney Park East ridges & immediate access to hiking/mtn biking. The house is updated with a Gourmet kitchen & all the amenities you might need.

    This is the perfect base for all your adventures includi

    Our home is nestled in 2.5 acres of Pondarosa Pines with breathtaking views of Doney Park East ridges & immediate access to hiking/mtn biking. The house is updated with a Gourmet kitchen & all the amenities you might need.

    This is the perfect base for all your adventures including the Grand Canyon, skiing Snowbowl, hiking, exploring Sedona, visiting Flagstaff/NAU or exploring the attractions. Its 5 bedrooms, 3 baths comfortably accommodate 12 making this house perfect for large groups/families.


    Rustic A-Frame - 4 Bdrms, Loft, Game Room, & Firepit. Just 10 minutes to NAU & Downtown!

    This house is newly listed for rental and is nestled in the Kachina Pines with breathtaking views of the surrounding forest & immediate access to trails. The house is newly updated including the kitchen & all amenities you might need, including alexa music throughout.

    This is th

    This house is newly listed for rental and is nestled in the Kachina Pines with breathtaking views of the surrounding forest & immediate access to trails. The house is newly updated including the kitchen & all amenities you might need, including alexa music throughout.

    This is the perfect base for all your adventures including the Grand Canyon, skiing Snowbowl, hiking, exploring Sedona, visiting Flagstaff/NAU. Its 4 bedrooms, 2 baths comfortably accommodates 12.


    Cabins & Yurts At AZ Nordic Village

    Stay in a yurt or cabin at the AZ Nordic Village, a premier outdoor recreation destination just north of Flagstaff. Perfectly situated in the cool pine and aspen forests at 8,000 ft of elevation between Flagstaff and Grand Canyon National Park, the Village offers rustic cabin and yurt rent
    Stay in a yurt or cabin at the AZ Nordic Village, a premier outdoor recreation destination just north of Flagstaff. Perfectly situated in the cool pine and aspen forests at 8,000 ft of elevation between Flagstaff and Grand Canyon National Park, the Village offers rustic cabin and yurt rentals year-round, and summer campsites that are RV-friendly. Frontcountry yurts and cabins are available for those seeking easy access, and five backcountry yurts offer solitude and natural settings with more comforts than a typical backpacking adventure. Many miles of hiking and biking trails leave right from the Village, and there are numerous other activities nearby, including the Lava River Cave, Red Mountain, Arizona Snowbowl, the Arizona National Scenic Trail, and many other hiking and biking trails.

    In the winter season, the Arizona Nordic Village hosts a groomed trail system for cross country skiing, snowshoeing, and fatbiking. Over 20 miles of trails offer opportunities for everybody to have a winter adventure!

    Modern Flagstaff Home with BBQ, Walk Downtown!

    Modern Flagstaff Home with BBQ, Walk Downtown! in Flagstaff provides accommodations with free WiFi, 2 mi from Northern Arizona University, 5.6 mi from The North Pole Experience and 3.1 mi from Flagstaff Plaza Shopping Center. This holiday home is 2.5 mi from Walkup Skydome and 3.1 mi fr

    Modern Flagstaff Home with BBQ, Walk Downtown! in Flagstaff provides accommodations with free WiFi, 2 mi from Northern Arizona University, 5.6 mi from The North Pole Experience and 3.1 mi from Flagstaff Plaza Shopping Center. This holiday home is 2.5 mi from Walkup Skydome and 3.1 mi from Flagstaff Medical Center.

    The holiday home features 3 bedrooms, a flat-screen TV with cable channels, an equipped kitchen with a dishwasher and a microwave, a washing machine, and 3 bathrooms with a shower.

    A children's playground is available on site and skiing can be enjoyed within close proximity of the holiday home.


    Serene Home Situated in Forest, 4Mi to NAU Campus

    Serene Home Located in Forest, 4Mi to NAU Campus! in Flagstaff provides accommodations with free WiFi, 4.3 mi from Northern Arizona University, 5.6 mi from The North Pole Experience and 4.3 mi from Flagstaff Plaza Shopping Center. The property is 4.3 mi from Lowell Observatory and 5 mi

    Serene Home Located in Forest, 4Mi to NAU Campus! in Flagstaff provides accommodations with free WiFi, 4.3 mi from Northern Arizona University, 5.6 mi from The North Pole Experience and 4.3 mi from Flagstaff Plaza Shopping Center. The property is 4.3 mi from Lowell Observatory and 5 mi from Flagstaff Medical Center.

    This holiday home is equipped with 2 bedrooms, a living room and a fully equipped kitchen.

    A children's playground is available on site and skiing can be enjoyed within close proximity of the holiday home.


    Spacious Family Home Surrounded by Mtn Views!

    Spacious Family Home Surrounded by Mtn Views! is located in Flagstaff, 11 mi from The North Pole Experience and 12 mi from Northern Arizona University, in an area where skiing can be enjoyed. This holiday home features accommodations with a patio and free WiFi.

    The holiday home

    Spacious Family Home Surrounded by Mtn Views! is located in Flagstaff, 11 mi from The North Pole Experience and 12 mi from Northern Arizona University, in an area where skiing can be enjoyed. This holiday home features accommodations with a patio and free WiFi.

    The holiday home has 3 bedrooms, a flat-screen TV, an equipped kitchen with a dishwasher and a microwave, a washing machine, and 2 bathrooms with a bath or shower.


    Flagstaff Cabin with Fireplace and Fire Pit on 5 Acres!

    Set in Flagstaff, 1.6 mi from The North Pole Experience and 3.7 mi from Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff Cabin with Fireplace and Fire Pit on 5 Acres! offers free WiFi and air conditioning. This holiday home is 3.7 mi from Greater Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce and 4.3 mi from Flag

    Set in Flagstaff, 1.6 mi from The North Pole Experience and 3.7 mi from Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff Cabin with Fireplace and Fire Pit on 5 Acres! offers free WiFi and air conditioning. This holiday home is 3.7 mi from Greater Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce and 4.3 mi from Flagstaff Medical Center.

    The holiday home has 4 bedrooms, a flat-screen TV with cable channels, an equipped kitchen with a dishwasher and a microwave, a washing machine, and 3 bathrooms with a bath or shower.

    A children's playground is available on site and skiing can be enjoyed within close proximity of the holiday home.


    Mountain View Lodge - Grand Canyon

    Mountain View Lodge is a detached holiday home located in Flagstaff in the Arizona Region and is 9.3 mi from Flagstaff. It provides free private parking. Free WiFi is offered throughout the property.

    A dishwasher, an oven and a microwave can be found in the kitchen. Towels and b

    Mountain View Lodge is a detached holiday home located in Flagstaff in the Arizona Region and is 9.3 mi from Flagstaff. It provides free private parking. Free WiFi is offered throughout the property.

    A dishwasher, an oven and a microwave can be found in the kitchen. Towels and bed linen are provided in this self-catering accommodations. Other facilities at Mountain View Lodge include a hot tub, barbecue and fire pit.


    Pinnacle Pines

    Set in Flagstaff, 2.2 mi from Northern Arizona University and 4.3 mi from The North Pole Experience, Pinnacle Pines offers free WiFi and air conditioning. It is located 3.7 mi from Flagstaff Plaza Shopping Center and offers an ATM.

    The holiday home features 4 bedrooms, a TV with

    Set in Flagstaff, 2.2 mi from Northern Arizona University and 4.3 mi from The North Pole Experience, Pinnacle Pines offers free WiFi and air conditioning. It is located 3.7 mi from Flagstaff Plaza Shopping Center and offers an ATM.

    The holiday home features 4 bedrooms, a TV with cable channels, an equipped kitchen with a dishwasher and a microwave, a washing machine, and 4 bathrooms with a shower.

    If you would like to discover the area, skiing and cycling are possible in the surroundings.


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    For Your Arizona Snowbowl Trip