Flagstaff offers some serious snow-play potential at its elevation of 7000 feet above sea level and is home to an idyllic winter wonderland backdrop, making the area all the more captivating.
Flagstaff city parks provide some of the best places to witness snow in Flagstaff. Buffalo or Foxglenn Park both feature small sledding hills as well as plenty of open space to play in.
1. Flagstaff Snow Park
Fort Tuthill County Park’s Flagstaff Snow Park provides an unforgettable winter experience that’s enjoyable for the whole family. Home to multiple tubing hills and an activity hill designed specifically for younger visitors, as well as spaces dedicated to passive snow play such as building snowmen or simply relaxing with hot chocolate, there’s also food trucks and picnic tables. Tickets must be purchased online with a short booking window to ensure there’s enough snow when opening time comes around.
Notably, the park utilizes potable water for snowmaking which has caused controversy; however, recently the Coconino County Board of Supervisors approved this use of potable water at the park.
Park is also a favorite spot for winter snowplay as it provides close proximity for sledding or tubing, perfect for families without young kids who don’t wish to drive up to Arizona ski resorts’ higher elevations. Plus, rentable sleds are even available.
2. Oak Hill
Oak Hill is an off the beaten path spot where you’ll discover plenty of snowy bliss. Though relatively quiet all year due to its out of the way location, winter turns Oak Hill into an unparalleled sledding and play paradise! There are also several smaller hills where you can practice your skills or simply enjoy a peaceful winter stroll.
Following a fresh snowfall, this hike takes on even greater beauty: aspens and pines come alive with breathtaking Currier and Ives-esque scenes of aspens and pines against an idyllic Currier and Ives backdrop. Plus, with no foot traffic on this trail it offers the ideal place to truly disconnect and experience Flagstaff’s winter wonderland in peace!
Flagstaff Airport and offers various winter activities like skiing, snowboarding and snow tubing in this area of town. San Francisco Peaks are nearby while Arizona Snowbowl is a top ski destination. Fort Tuthill County Park located south of Flagstaff provides passive opportunities to play in the snow as well as skiing and snowboarding opportunities.
3. Fort Tuthill County Park
Fort Tuthill County Park at an elevation of 7,000′ offers the ideal winter playground, free and with rental sleds (although these may also be purchased). Plus, this area tends to be less crowded than Flagstaff Snow Park!
At Flagstaff Snow Park, the snow is “passive”, meaning that it forms naturally without artificial fertilizers being added. Here you can build snowmen, have snowball fights and enjoy the picturesque Currier and Ives winter wonderland scenery that awaits in this magical location.
Fort Tuthill County Park makes for the ideal day trip from Phoenix or overnight stay, opening mid-December with tubing included in its admission price and providing walking trails, fire pit seating areas, restrooms and restrooms – as well as leashed pets allowed! Just minutes away are Arizona Snowbowl ski area and Kaibab National Forest making this winter destination ideal for families, couples or friends seeking an unforgettable mountain escape!
4. Benham Snow Play Area
Flagstaff’s undiscovered gem, this off the beaten path hiking area is one of its hidden jewels. With its quiet trails framed by pine and aspens covered in snow reminiscent of Currier & Ives winter landscape paintings, this park forms part of Flagstaff’s urban trail system and makes an excellent spot for cross country skiing or just simply strolling leisurely through nature – and particularly enjoyable after an unexpected snowfall!
Though you can enjoy the scenery without breaking the bank, bringing or renting your own sled from this park is highly recommended to make sure you experience everything the park has to offer. There are multiple groomed sledding hills suitable for various experience levels as well as a designated kiddie hill for children to ride downhill on.
Bring your own sled to any one of the many city parks throughout your region for free sledding opportunities. However, for optimal safety and fun when playing in the snow it’s advisable to call 1-844-256-SNOW first for up-to-date snow conditions; that way you and your family are guaranteed an enjoyable snow experience!
5. Forest Roads
Flagstaff stands at an elevation of over 7,000 feet and is considered one of the snowiest cities in America. This northern Arizona town is known for its deep blanket of snow that helps preserve iconic ponderosa pine forests while fuelling an ever-expanding ski industry that contributes billions of dollars and hundreds of jobs to local economies each year.
For those who would prefer not to ski, take an epic winter hike or snowshoe adventure through Kaibab National Forest’s Aspen Nature Loop for an equally mesmerizing mountain experience and scenic snowy landscapes.
Hiking in winter can be an excellent way to experience the beauty of an area, yet many visitors also want to have some fun in the snow. Sledding, making snowmen, and having a snowball fight are some of the many activities visitors can engage in while exploring its wonders. A favorite sledding spot in Kendrick Park Watchable Wildlife Area features small hills ideal for sledding; be sure to leave before dark!