Heading to Snowbowl for some skiing and snowboarding? Here’s the lowdown on what you need to know before you head up the mountain.
Getting to Snowbowl
Snowbowl is a 30 minute drive from Flagstaff. From downtown, drive 6.5 miles north on 180 until you reach the Snowbowl entrance on the right. You won’t miss the sign! It’s also just under three hours from Phoenix. Heading up on a weekend? Be prepared for a bit of traffic on 180 and the Snowbowl entrance.
If your car isn’t fully equipped for mountain snow or you want to avoid busy parking, checkout the The Mountain Express Route, a free shuttle service available every Saturday and Sunday in January and February. The shuttle leaves the Downtown Connection Center at 7:30 am and stops at Flagstaff High School before heading up the mountain. Buses run every 30 minutes. The last bus leaves Hart Prairie Lodge at 5:30 pm. Bus rides at the end of the day can get full quickly, so make sure to hop in line a little earlier in the day so you don’t have to spend the night on the mountain! 😉
Reservations & Renting Gear
As soon as you know when you’ll be heading to Snowbowl, reserve your day passes here. The sooner you can book ahead of time, the more reasonably priced lift tickets will be. If you’re looking for a season pass, check out the most updated rates here.
Flagstaff has a variety of places to rent skis and snowboards. We’re slightly biased, but suggest you rent from Peace Surplus as we offer the most cost effective rentals in town for skis, poles, helmets, snowboards and boots. To make the most of your day on the mountain, pick up your gear the night beforehand. Our ski shop is open until 6:00 pm on weekdays and 7:00 pm on weekends. For those of you that are a little more leisurely about your visit, Peace Surplus opens at 8:00 am and you can pick up your rentals in the morning. This still gives you plenty of time to grab your gear and drive up to Snowbowl before the first lifts go up at 9:00 am. For all of our rental prices, click here.
What to Bring
To stay warm, a ski jacket, snow pants, hats, gloves, and wool socks are recommended. Don’t skip out on the wool socks, warm feet make or break your snowy experience! Peace Surplus sells Darn Tough and Smartwool socks, the best wintertime option. Lastly, your face can get pretty chilly when you’re heading down the hill or if the lifts get a little windy. The best option to stay warn is called a “Buff,” or a scarf in the shape of a tube that fits over your face and neck to keep you extra warm. Peace Surplus carries all of these warm weather accessories, including buffs in every color you could imagine, so stop by if you need anything!
Riding with a helmet is always a good idea and Peace Surplus offers these to rent or purchase. When the sun is extra bright, as it usually is in Arizona, or if it’s windy or snowy, tinted goggles are also advised.
Food is available at Snowbowl and will be described in detail below, but you’re also allowed to bring snacks! With any outdoor activity, we also advise you to bring water with you. A little day backpack is helpful to carry your water, snacks, car keys, etc. Snowbowl also offers lockers if you’d rather stash belongings there.
Food on the Mountain
Two Lodges are at Snowbowl, Hart Prarie Lodge and Agassiz Lodge. Hart Prairie Lodge serves food from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm and has a full bar from 10:00 am to 5:30 pm. Agassiz Lodge also serves food from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm and has a bar located on the patio. Fremont Restaurant is at the base of Sunset cand Grand Canyon Express Lifts with Ski Up Access. Order online ahead of time for all food options here! We highly recommend the Mac and Cheese bowl, with toppings like pulled pork, jalapenos and secret sauces.
What to Expect
The crowds at Snowbowl vary greatly on the day of the week and if there has been recent snowfall. Regardless of the day of the week, if some new snow piled up on the mountain overnight, expect traffic delays on the way to snowbowl and busy lift lines. Everyone loves fresh, powdery snow! If you’re driving yourself and Flagstaff has had a big snow storm, make sure to check the road conditions here (at the bottom of the page) before heading up!
If Flagstaff hasn’t received any snow and you’re skiing on a weekday, don’t sweat long lines or getting a close parking spot. Weekdays are a great way to avoid the crowds. If you’re heading to Snowbowl on a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, it’ll likely be busy! Don’t let that deter you, head up the mountain before 9am when the lifts begin to park and get your ski pass for the day. Like we mentioned before, buy your ski pass online ahead of time for lower rates.
Once you’re on the mountain, enjoy the views! From the top of the mountain, you can even see the Grand Canyon on a clear day. Take a look at the Snowbowl trail map below and map out a few of your routes depending on your experience skiing and snowboarding. If you’re just starting out, the Heart Prairie or Aspen lifts are great places to start. They’ll let you cruise down some easy green trails as you get used to your surroundings.
Lastly, this is Arizona’s winter playground… so have a blast!!