Snow-capped peaks and pine trees as far as the eye can see might not be the first things that come to mind when picturing an Arizona landscape. However, when you travel north to Arizona’s premier mountain town, Flagstaff, you will find scenic forest views and activities to entertain the whole family. At an elevation of 7,000 feet, Flagstaff is a four-season hub of activity where an eclectic mix of small town charm and endless outdoor adventure beckons.
During the winter season skiing, sledding and snow play are often the best daytime activities. To get your thrills shredding powder head to the Arizona Snowbowl for alpine skiing and snowboarding. For snowshoeing, snow bike riding and cross country skiing adventures you will want to get a trail pass at the Flagstaff Nordic Center. For the adventurous, yurt and cabin rentals are also available at the Nordic Center along the trail system. If you don’t have your own equipment, each location has onsite rentals or there are several shops in downtown Flagstaff to rent or purchase gear.
If you simply want to play in the snow or build a snowman, Flagstaff offers many designated snow play areas including Wing Mountain, Crowley Pit, and Fort Tuthill County Park. Another classic winter option is to head to Flagstaff’s Hitchin’ Post Stables and pile in a horse-drawn sleigh for rides through the snowy woods and a visit to ‘Cowboy Camp’ for hot chocolate or a steak dinner cookout.
As you can imagine, with snow on the ground and lights stringing the trees, Flagstaff has a festive holiday atmosphere. Search for treasures crafted by local artists in the Historic Downtown and Southside areas while browsing the eclectic mix of unique stores and art galleries. If shopping isn’t your hobby but dining or sipping local ales are, you will ﬁnd plenty of craft breweries and restaurants lining the streets.
Flagstaff is also home to the North Pole Experience, a one-of-a-kind, interactive Christmas adventure that brings Santa’s workshop to life. Guests travel to Santa’s workshop on a special Christmas trolley that allows access to Santa’s magical headquarters through the portal in Flagstaff. Once families arrive at the workshop, children tour Santa’s Toy Hall of Fame, meet Alibaster Snowﬂake, and are invited to work side-by-side with the elves building toys and enjoy family time with Santa.
You are sure to have a blast and learn something new when exploring one of the Flagstaff Area National Monuments with a knowledgeable park ranger, viewing Native American artifacts at the Museum of Northern Arizona or spending the evening stargazing through a century-old telescope at Lowell Observatory. Flagstaff is the First International Dark Skies City, and with many clear nights and places to observe the stars, you will have plenty to do each evening.
Call 888.591.2345 or visit www.flagstaffarizona.org