Snow lovers who are itching for a new winter hang out in Flagstaff, Arizona have come to the right site especially if they are in search for an amazing sledding adventure. If parents want to offer their kids the best sledding or skiing experience, there are several places that they can all explore. Places which offer cross country skiing, sleigh rights, and even snowman building!
Of course, all visitors to any of these snow filled places must obey the rules of the mountains of Flagstaff. Even though these specific activities seem like a blast, everyone must follow the “leave no trace” policy. Which means that everything that families bring must be brought back home. For example, if some of the equipment a family member has brought along broke or hit a tree, that is taken back home with them and must not be left behind. Another aspect to keep in mind is that even though sledding can be a lot of fun, it can also put anyone in danger. Near the Milton area and highway 180, there have been too many close encounters with children sledding right onto the road. With all these rules and information in mind, here are some amazing parks to bring the family!
Arizona Nordic Village
- The Arizona Nordic Village offers much more than just sledding. They offer cross-country skiing, snowman building and pull-behind sledding, and even night play on Friday’s when conditions allow. Downhill sledding is also available at Crowley Pit, which is just 1 mile past the village. The center is open daily and has 40 kilometers of trails.
- Directions: The center is about 15 miles northwest of downtown Flagstaff and 160 miles from central Phoenix. Go north on Interstate 17, which goes into Milton Road in Flagstaff. Follow Milton Road downtown to U.S. 180 North. The parking lot is located along the highway at mile marker 232.
- Times: 9am – 4pm. Daily 6-9pm Friday nights if conditions allow.
- Skiing rules and prices: Reservations for equipment rentals must be made before 3 p.m. three days before the visit. The Skis and rental packages are $10-20 a day. Trail passes are priced at $10-18 a day.
- Snowshoeing: The center has 9 miles of marked snowshoe trails and even dogs are allowed if kept under strict control.
- Sledding: The sledding area is near U.S. 180 at Crowley Pit which is about 1 mile past the Arizona Nordic Village. The pit’s parking area is not maintained, but portable toilets and garbage cans are available. Hills with Various grades and lengths are also available to visitors.
Sunrise Park Resort
Sunrise Park Resort is known for its downhill ski runs as well as tubing, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.
- Directions: It’s about 220 miles from central Phoenix. Take Arizona 87 north to Payson. Then Arizona 260 east through Show Low and Pinetop-Lakeside to Arizona 273, on the Fort Apache Reservation. Turn right on Arizona 273, Sunrise Park Lodge is about 4 miles south and the Sunrise Ski Area is about 3 miles past the lodge.
- Tubing: Which is exactly sledding except the kids are on a giant inner tube sliding down a hill. A tubing hill is behind Lake Ono, off the main entrance. Tube rentals are $8 a day, or anyone can bring their own inner tube. They’d just have to remember to take it back home with them.
- Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing: More than 13 miles of groomed trails available here. Trail passes cost about $7 for adults and $4 for juniors. The equipment rentals are $10 daily.
- Sleigh rides included: $22 per person for a 30-minute ride, and $30 for a 60-minute ride.
Walker Lake Sledding Area
These sledding hills are located 38 minutes north of Flagstaff off of highway 180.
- Walke Lake Sledding Area which is also known as Kendrick Watchable Wildlife Area is a 2000-acre area of land that is owned and kept by the US Forest Service.
- This specific sledding spot is actually a great place to be the crowds. It’s a bit more secluded from everyone and even less popular. If one were to visit here, he or she could bring the whole family to truly enjoy the experience. They may all even see some winter wildlife lurking around!
- The nearest sledding hill is located a mile away from the parking lot. In order to get to the desired location, a little hike maybe required. It’ll be best to wear snowshoes or even cross-country ski there.
- If one is against the hike to the sledding hills, the parking lot is filled with snow activities such as building snowmen or even a possible snowball fight.
- Of course, facilities are provided to all visitors. There are restrooms, and plenty of parking.
Important Aspects to Understand
- Since Walker Lake Sledding Area is owned by the US Forest Service sleds are not available to rent. Therefore, families are required to bring their one equipment.
- As always, be sure to bring proper winter clothes since there is a bit of a walk to get to the actual sledding areas.
Oak Hill Snow Play Area
- Location: Oak Hill Snow Play Area is in the Kaibab National Forest just west of Flagstaff. It is a 25-30-minute drive and is off 1-40.
- A unique place for sledding adventures. It used to be an alpine ski area that was operated during the 1950s. Now, the land serves as an amazing sledding area.
- It is perfect for sledding because of its two main sledding hills.
- One of the sledding hills is long and steep. This hill is around 900 ft. Long and is great for adults are experienced with sledding.
- The second hill is less steep and even shorter than the first one. Young children are more comfortable with this hill. It is only 400 ft. And length and is safer.
- Oak Hill also offers other activities in a warmer shelter. They even have picnic tables, restrooms and firepits.
Important Aspects to Understand
- This is the one sledding area that does not allow sleds to be used on the hills. These sleds end up cracking and breaking which leaves a trail of litter on the hills. As a result, to fix the issue, one should bring foam or inflatable sleds.
- Everyone should also be away of rocks and tree stumps that stick up out of the snow. It is suggested to go sledding when there is at least a foot of snow on the ground.
- Finally, sledders are not allowed to build jumps or ramps on the hill. This is to make sure every visitor is safe.
Mormon Lake Lodge
- Mormon Lake Lodge is located about 40 minutes southeast of Flagstaff and off of S Lake Mary Rd.
- The cost changes depending on the activity and the area’s population. Day passes are $8 person and $25 for a group of four people or more. Snowmobiling costs $60 to $70 per hour.
- Time: 9am-4pm.
- Activities: Not only are there decent sledding areas, but one can go on a two-hour snowmobile tour!
- This area also filled with numerous winter activities. The option of snowshoeing is also available to visitors.
- The location of this sledding spot is beautiful. It is covered in tower pine and aspen trees.
- When everyone is done sledding for the day, it is suggested that visitors should try the steakhouse. The Steakhouse serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. There is even a country store and saloon available for the public. The saloon even comes with a full bar.
- Luckily, the lodge provides enough parking. No one will miss out on this sledding location.
Benham Snow Play Area
- Located 45 minutes west of Flagstaff right outside of a town called Williams. Make a right off Perkinsville Road. It is just east of Bill Willams Mountain at an elevation of 7,195 feet. It’s yet another good area to enjoy the snow.
- This sledding area is even good for intense snowball fights and other snow activities!
- This spot is also secluded and not crowded. That means people will be able to sled on fresh and newly fallen snow.
- Rules: Bring an owned sled to this one.
- This sledding area is also near Williams right off I-40. It is about a 50-minute drive west of Flagstaff.
- Prices vary depending on many factors. Tubing ranges from $50-210 for individuals and $200 to 600 for families. This certain sledding spot maybe a bit more expensive than the others mentioned.
- Elk Ridge also includes a tubing area.
- It was sold recently to a new owner who plans on expanding the services offered.
- The location offers several hills for various types of experience levels.
- There are two main hills that are great for sliding downhill.
- Elk Ridge is also a family friendly place. This may not be the place for people looking for extreme sledding.
- But there are a few short runs perfectly suited for everyone.
Lone Tree Sledding Area
- Located within the Flagstaff area. It is just south of Northern Arizona University of S Lake Mary Rd.
- This area is not a well-known spot for sledding. That means that this location is less crowded than all the others.
- There is one hill that is quite steep and will increase the speed of the sledders! Parents should be aware of this hill and realize that it may not be safe for kids.
- Luckily, parking is free and easy to find. Unfortunately, there are no restroom facilities but there is a Mobil Gas Station nearby that serves as a great place to whomever wants to take a break.
- Rules require all families to be careful and to bring their own sleds.
Besides all the places listed above, there are a few Forest Roads around the Flagstaff area that can be used for sledding as well.
- For example, Forest Road 749 is a good option.
- There are some great sledding hills on pullouts along the side of the road. There’s also a steep one just a mile south of the Flagstaff Nordic Center on the east side of the road.
- Even Forest Road 151 offers a good pull off that is two miles past the Wing Mountain Snow Play area.
- Finally, within Flagstaff, there are many parks that have hills with amazing sledding opportunities. A few suggestions are Foxglenn Park, Thorpe Park, or Buffalo Park. These snows filled parks are also great for snowman building and even snowball fights for everyone to enjoy.
Hopefully, families can visit all the suggested places above. All visitors should keep in mind the rules, have fun and most importantly, be safe!