Of fables and fall lines.
Off the Beaten Path Western Ski Areas
6 posts from 5 users
Updated 7 months ago
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7 months ago

I skied today at a fairly large ski area that most of my fellow DCSkiers have probably never heard of, much less skied there: Arizona Ski Bowl next to Flagstaff. AZ.  Unfortunately I apparently brought our Eastern warm weather and we ate lunch outside in mid-fifties sunshine.  The mountain has about 900 acres, tops out at 12,356 feet, with lift served vertical of 2400 feet, topping out at 11,500 feet.  There are 8 lifts including a six pack high speed quad.  Too many people do not wear helmets, most from down south in Phoenix.  There are 55 trails, many wide and groomed, for all types of skiers/boarders. It has considerable snow guns to augment a natural average snowfall of 256 inches per year.  It generally is quite cold at the mountain and in Flagstaff.  The peak is about 2 hours north of Phoenix, and in summer Flagstaff’s 7000+ feet of elevation is about 30 degrees cooler than Phoenix.  Flagstaff is just a little more than a hour from the Grand Canyon and less than an hour for beautiful Sedona, AZ.

i am visiting my daughter’s family in Flagstaff, especially to watch my granddaughter play varsity soccer for her high school.  High school soccer season is in the dead of winter in Arizona, it is too hot to play in the spring, especially down Phoenix way.  Here in Flagstaff the fields are artificial turf and have to be plowed to clear the frequent snow!

one thing to watch for is altitude acclamation, Flagstaff is nearly one-half mile higher than Denver!

MorganB aka The Colonel

JimK - DCSki Columnist
7 months ago

Me thinks two good snow years in a row at that mountain.

7 months ago
I skied there last weekend for the first time and loved it! Pretty nuts to be able to see the north rim of the Grand Canyon while skiing! They did have an electrical fire that took out their lift to the very top which they had to do rope rescues for the folks stuck on it, so that was a bit crazy. But if you’re out in the Vegas area in the winter, I’d recommend the 4 hour drive. Flagstaff had a great vibe to it.
7 months ago

SteveinDC wrote:

But if you’re out in the Vegas area in the winter, I’d recommend the 4 hour drive. 


heck, if you are in Vegass, no need to drive too far. you can also go to a ski resort right outside town called Lee Canyon! (i think it used to be called las vegas ski and snowboard resort)     Lift served vert is 860’ but you can skin or hike up higher to the top and get another 2000’ on top of that!   


7 months ago
Yeah, Lee Canyon is also another nice option. They had great snow last year and their tree skiing is actually fantastic!
7 months ago

Though it might not be “off the beaten path” given it’s proximity to SLC, I’d like to throw Powder Mountain into the mix. It’s about 1.5 hours from SLC (about 30 miles past Snowbasin).  

Besides pass holders they limit the number of tickets they sell and they do not utilize any snowmaking (thus early season and late season can be a bit sketchy).  The terrain is spread out over several peaks and for the most part is relatively tame (nothing like Snowbird).  There are some nice steep trees to skier’s left of the Paradise lift.  I believe all the lifts have at least one groomed run off of them so it’s a great place to ski with those who want that while you explore the trees and meadows filled with ungroomed snow.   

If you plan ot drive there be aware that it is an upside down resort (like Snowshoe and Blue Knob).  Expect that you will be required to have AWD or chains on most powder days in order make it safely to the lodges.   

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