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Whether you want sledding in Arizona for winter fun or a family adventure, you are in the right place.
Not many know that it does snow in Arizona, a lot in some parts of Northern and Eastern Arizona transforming into a winter wonderland.
It is a treat to the eyes as the alpine and conifer trees get blanketed by fresh snow.
As someone that enjoys all sorts of winter sports, sledding in Arizona has been fun for me.
If you are like me looking for fun in the snow at Arizona sledding places, I have covered the details in this post.
If you are into skiing, check out this guide to Arizona skiing resorts.
WHERE TO GO SNOW SLEDDING IN ARIZONA
SUNRISE PARK RESORT
Sunrise Park Resort is located in the White Mountains of eastern Arizona, about four hours from Phoenix.
Besides being a top destination for skiing, it is also one of the best places for sledding in Arizona.
Sunrise is a few miles east of Show Low and Pinetop Lakeside, perfect for a day trip or a weekend getaway from both places.
This alpine ski resort, in Greer, AZ, near the New Mexico border, includes 69 skiing areas spanning three mountains – Sunrise Peak, Cyclone Circle, and Apache Peak.
Up high in Arizona’s White Mountains, Sunrise Park is a full-service winter resort, with a base elevation of 9,200 feet, and the top of the lift-serviced area is 11,000 feet.
Sunrise is the best place in Arizona for long, groomed runs and is ideal for beginners and experts.
If you want something different, go on an exciting sleigh ride through the woods.
Sleigh rides cost $25 per person for a 25-minute ride or $40 for a 40-minute ride.
Please note that fees are subject to change without notice. Check their official website for the latest prices.
You can have a comfortable stay at this vast resort, with weekday rates approximately ranging from $70 to $200 per night, with higher range room prices also including VIP Lift tickets.
Opening months – Sunrise Ski Area is open seven days a week during the ski season.
HOW TO REACH?
Sunrise Park Ski Resort is located about 4 hours drive from Phoenix.
The closest town is Greer, the beautiful mountain town.
WALKER LAKE SLEDDING AREA
Walker Lake Sledding Area (also known as Kendrick Watchable Wildlife Area), is a 2000-acre land owned and kept by the US Forest Service.
It is one of the vast spaces for enjoying sledding in Arizona for free.
Unlike other places, Walker Lake Sledding Area is an offbeat getaway thanks to its secluded location amidst stunning, rugged landscapes.
You must do a short hike(for a mile) to get to the hills from the parking lot.
Alternatively, if the snow conditions are right and you are up for an adventure, you can even snowshoe or cross-country ski to arrive at the hills!
If you are not up to it, you can enjoy playing in the snow, making snowmen and snow angels in the parking area.
There are restrooms, but note that sled rentals are not available, so carry your sleds with you.
Walker Lake Sledding Area is about 45 minutes north of Flagstaff off Highway 180.
HANNAGAN MEADOW RECREATION AREA
One of the best places for enjoying skiing, tubing and sledding in Arizona is Hannagan Meadow Recreation Area.
In one of the most remote areas of the White Mountains, Hannagan Meadow Recreation Area has many snow-covered hills nestling among pine trees.
There are over eight miles of groomed trails available, which is suitable for skiing for all levels.
The main sledding and tubing hill is located right behind the main building.
Bring your sleds to enjoy unlimited sledding here for free. Or you can rent the tubes and sleds through the lodge’s General Store.
At the Hannagan Campground, you can find restrooms, picnic tables, and drinking water.
If you want to stay overnight instead of camping, check out Hannagan Meadow Lodge featuring cabins and excellent accommodations.
Hannagan Meadow Recreation Area is 22 miles south of Alpine, Arizona. Check the road conditions before you start your trip as road closures are expected.
OAK HILL SNOW PLAY AREA
Williams, one of the best winter destinations in Arizona, loved by families, couples and solo travelers is home to a few sledding places.
Oak Hill Snow Area, off of historic Route 66 is one such region best for sledding in Arizona with kids for free.
There are two sledding hills here, with the shorter run popular with little kids and beginners.
There are restrooms and picnic tables here. Bring snacks and water as there are no shops nearby.
HOW TO REACH?
Oak Hill Snow Play Area is in the Kaibab National Forest, about 10 miles east of Williams on Historic Route 66.
To get to Oak Hill Snow area from Phoenix take I-17 north to Flagstaff and then I-40 West towards Williams.
There is a parking lot that holds about 15 cars.
WILLIAMS VALLEY RECREATION AREA
Located in the White Mountains Williams Valley Recreation Area managed by the Forest Service is one of the best places to enjoy sledding in Arizona.
It is one of the premier year-round recreation areas in the White Mountains, offering hiking, mountain biking, cross-country ski trails, snowshoeing and snow sledding.
There are over 5 miles of snow-packed valley where you can enjoy hiking, mountain biking, snowshoeing, and cross-country ski trails.
In the winter sports area of Toboggan Hill, you can enjoy sledding and tubing.
For the best snow conditions, plan a trip to Williams Valley Recreation Area between December and February.
Picnic tables and toilets are available, carry your own sled, food, and water.
HOW TO REACH?
The nearest town is Alpine, and you can reach Williams Valley Recreation Area within 30 minutes by taking Forest Road 249.
HAPPY JACK LODGE
Happy Jack Lodge & RV, a full-service resort, is one of the best places for sledding in Arizona near Pine and Strawberry in the Mogollon Rim.
Spanning 100 acres, the forested grounds get blanketed by snow creating plenty of sledding hills and areas for playing in the snow.
Bring your own sled, or rent one from the resort, and for a small fee, you can have unlimited fun in this playground with your kids.
Enjoy delicious food including BBQ at their onsite restaurants.
HOW TO REACH?
Happy Jack Lodge is located about an hour southeast of Flagstaff off of Lake Mary Road,
From Phoenix, it takes two and a half hours to reach Happy Jack Lodge via I-17.
One of the city parks in Flagstaff that is a fantastic destination for sledding in Arizona is Buffalo Park.
It is a favourite winter pass time among locals and tourists thanks to spacious grounds and many sledding hills, but despite being famous, it is less crowded due to its remote location.
From snowball fights to snow angels and creating snowmen, you’ll have a blast with your family here for sure.
It’s a wide-open park with hiking trails and plenty of space. The hills are a bit smaller, so great for the younger kids.
Spread across hundreds of acres, Buffalo Park is among the largest areas for sledding and snow play.
There are also many hiking trails where you can have slices of the grounds for yourself, and also bring your pets!
There are permanent restrooms and a picnic ramada.
If you want more than the experience of sledding in Arizona, Thorpe Park near Flagstaff is one of the best places to visit with your kids.
The gently-sloped hills with vast open spaces make the perfect sledding runs for traveling with young children.
It is free to use the park, and besides sledding, kids can have fun in the playground.
There is also a dog park within the Thorpe Park area, so the pups can run around and play in the snow as long as they are kept on a leash.
You can enjoy basketball, sand volleyball and racquetball courts, lighted tennis courts, ball fields, and play a round of tee at northern Arizona’s premier disc golf course.
There is a picnic ramada and restrooms.
MORE PLACES FOR ENJOYING SLEDDING IN ARIZONA
Foxglenn Park is located right in the heart of Flagstaff and is one of the preferred places loved by families when the winter season begins.
There are a few big hills for adults and experts while little children and beginners can have fun sledding in the smaller hills.
Make snowmen and angels, enjoy a snowball fight, and have a fun time in the snow with your family.
Besides sledding, enjoy baseball, hike in the nearby trails, and enjoy a picnic while your kids play on the grounds.
This park is even dog-friendly. Amenities include permanent restrooms and covered picnic tables.
GREEN VALLEY PARK
One of the best areas for sledding in Arizona near Payson is Green Valley Park, a public park, which is a go-to destination during summer and winter both.
In summer this park turns into a fishing and picnic hotspot while in winter, it is one of the most popular sledding destinations in Payson.
You can enjoy unlimited sledding on the hill carrying your sled, or play in the snow.
LONE TREE SLEDDING AREA
If you are looking for sledding in Arizona near Flagstaff, another great addition is Lone Tree Sledding Area, located south of Northern Arizona University of S Lake Mary Rd.
You can have fun sledding in the hills for free, and despite being close to the University, the area is surprisingly a hidden gem.
Note that the incline may not be suitable for young children.
There are no restroom facilities or food options, but you can find them within walking distance.
Maintained by the Forest Service, the Lone Tree sledding area may sometimes get closed due to broken sleds and trash.
One of the most popular spots for tubing and sledding in Arizona near the Flagstaff area is Crowley Pit.
It is often crowded during holidays as it is one of the best areas near Flagstaff to sled.
The only way to find some space is to get here early, especially if you plan a trip here on the weekends.
You can have fun sledding in the hills for free.
Since it is operated by the Forest Rangers, it is best to carry your sled, as rentals can be difficult to arrange during the rush season.
Also, be sure to bring a good sled as plastic sleds are often destroyed by the snow and litter the slopes.
There are a few bigger hills ideal for experienced people while the smaller ones are good for tackling by the kids.
HOW TO REACH?
Crowley Pit is about 25-minute drive northeast of Flagstaff, off Highway 180.
If the road conditions are ideal, you will be treated to stunning landscapes on the way comprising alpine forests sprinkled with snow everywhere.
Carry enough water, food, and chairs for your picnic as there are no amenities.
MORMON LAKE LODGE
If you are looking for secluded getaways for sledding in Arizona near Flagstaff, one of my favourite recommendations is Mormon Lake Lodge.
Not only is the accommodation and location stunning, but it is also the best place for upping your sledding adventure.
There are plenty of areas near the Lodge and surrounding areas with many hills ideal for both experts and beginners.
Besides sledding, Mormon Lake Lodge is a hotspot for snowshoeing and snowmobile tours.
I highly recommend spending a night or two at one of the cabins at Mormon Lake Lodge, to admire the stunning landscapes surrounded by pine and aspen trees.
The lodge serves delicious food at its steakhouse. Plus, head to their country store for snacks and hot chocolate between your sports.
The Mormon Lake Lodge offers rentals of skis, boots, poles, and snowshoes, so you can skip bringing yours if you wish.
Day passes cost $8 per person and $25 for a group of four people or more.
Snowmobiling costs $60 to $70 per hour. Check their latest rates on the official website.
Opening hours: 9 AM to 4 PM
HOW TO REACH?
Mormon Lake Lodge is about 40 minutes southeast of Flagstaff located off of S Lake Mary Rd.