Road tripping to Flagstaff is always a great way to escape the desert climate — if only to see a Ponderosa Pine tree or two.
Though there are many things to do while you're there, here are some of our top picks when it comes to outdoor play around Flag.
We hope you're wearing some nice all-terrain shoes!
Snowbowl, located about a half hour drive from Flagstaff on top of the San Francisco Peaks, is one of the longest skiing and snowboarding destinations in Arizona — but it's also a great area to check out year round too.
Buy a ticket for the chairlift and take in the forest sights up to 11,500 feet in elevation. It's open through most of the year.
And don't even get us started on what this place looks like in the fall — with its changing aspen leaves and amber landscapes. Seems like the perfect time to get hitched there if you ask us.
But the wintertime is when Snowbowl truly reigns supreme, with its skiing and snowboarding courses. Find passes and ticket information for the year here.
Avoid the car congestion to the slopes by taking the Mountain Express. It's a free shuttle that runs between downtown Flagstaff and Hart Prairie Lodge in Snowbowl. Get the full schedule for dates and times here.
If you're more of a thrill-seeker, try the Flagstaff Extreme Adventure Course, located inside Fort Tuthill County Park, where you can scale large pine trees up to 60-feet off the ground and zoom on zip-lines.
The Adult Adventure Course features several obstacles like rope swings, suspended nets and shaky bridges that are sure to put your agility to the test. It's all divided in to five circuits that start closer to the base of the trees and works its way to the top of the pines.
There's also an adventure course for kids ages 7-11, that offers all the fun on a smaller scale.
Keep the excitement speeding along with their Adventure Zip-line Course — with more than 30 zip-lines for you to experience.
The park is open year round — rain, shine or snow. Prices start at $52 for adults and $27 for kids. Book in advance to ensure a spot, hours and times vary throughout the year.
Find more information here.
Snow play all day
With an average of 100 inches snowfall a year, Flagstaff is a pure winter wonderland that people from all over Arizona come to visit.
There are a number of places around town you can go to hop around in some snow and be safe while doing it. Remember, pulling off to the side of the road — especially on Highway 180 — to build a snowman is illegal.
Some great spots include Buffalo Park, Thorpe Park, Foxglenn Park, Oak Hill, Mormon Lake Lodge, Happy Jack Lodge, and Fort Tuthill County Park. You can also call the Flagstaff Winter Snowplay Hotline at 1-844-256-SNOW around the time of your trip for up-to-date info.
Flagstaff Snow Park located in Fort Tuthill, is the newest addition to the flurry fun and features a snow-tubing hill. Prices start at $8 for kids, $10 for adults and includes a snow tube so you don't have to bring a sled from home.
Take a hike
We've already mentioned some great hiking spots to look out for near Snowbowl, but there are so many other trails that exist in the lumberjack town, it's difficult to list them all — let alone pick a favorite.
If you're feeling like taking it easy, but still want to get some steps in, try the Red Mountain Trail located in the Coconino National Forest, where you can check out a 1,000-foot volcanic cinder cone. There's also Fatmans Loop Trail, located near Highway 89 and Empire Avenue, a slightly-moderate trail with a number of scenic views and a diverse array of plant life.
Advance hikers might want to experience Abineau-Bear Jaw Trails, where you can hike around the north slope of the San Francisco Peaks and look at the Grand Canyon from 70 miles away.
And let's not forget about FUTS. The Flagstaff Urban Trail System is a network of non-motorized shared pathways and trails that runs throughout the city.
Check out the large list of Flagstaff trails here.
Arizona Nordic Village
Live like the mountain dweller you've always dreamed of being at the Arizona Nordic village.
Located near U.S. Highway 180 and about a 25-minute drive from Flagstaff, this recreational space has all of the winter joy you could ask for. There are spacious cross country skiing trails, snowshoeing and plenty of room for snowplay.
The best thing however — in our opinion — is the Village's lodging options where you can stay in a yurt, starting at $65. Just imagine, after a good day of exploring the winter forest you can warm up by a camp fire and go to sleep in a cozy yurt — we can already feel the adventure.