Yes, there can be snow in Arizona – and we know where to find it! Or, at least where to find it when the weather cooperates. Contrary to popular belief, Arizona is not all desert landscape. Once you get about 2 hours out of Phoenix, the elevation is higher and you can be treated to the white fluffy stuff during the winter months!
And in case you’re wondering, there has been actual recorded snow in the Phoenix area. It’s rare, and never lasts long, but it has happened. Below is a photo of the February 2019 snowfall – we hopped in the car to Cave Creek to play for an hour!
So generally speaking, there can be snow in Arizona anywhere from November-April. That said, this year of 2020 has been the driest Arizona has ever experienced, so while there’s been a couple days of snow, nothing has lasted. You will likely see the best snowfall starting in January and running through March. The most popular place to play in the snow is Flagstaff. Lesser known areas are near Greer, and south of Phoenix near Tucson at Mt. Lemmon.
Please check all websites listed below for current snow information. We will link to a couple webcams as well, which will come in handy for sneak peeks. What we list here is just an approximate for snow findings. Keep in mind that road conditions will change drastically! We’ve driven in some pretty nasty snow falls, and not all drivers are use to slippery roads. Be safe!
Snow in Tucson
Mt. Lemmon among the Catalina Mountains sits at 9,000+ feet, and offers skiing and snowboarding! Ski Valley is just over 3 hours south of Phoenix, and offers other amenities like dining and ski lessons. Sledding isn’t allowed at Ski Valley, and the surrounding area is too much of a forest. However, check out Rose Canyon for easy access to simple snow play! This area does get insanely popular after a snowfall. For more ideas of things to do in Tucson, check out these blog posts.
Snow in Flagstaff and Williams
Northern Arizona is where most Phoenix families go for snow fun! And for good reason, as there’s numerous options, all within 3 hours from the Valley. Want just sledding? There’s Oakhill Snow Play Area near Williams, and no cost involved. The Flagstaff Snow Park at Fort Tuthill Country Park is another highly popular stop, with various levels of sledding/tubing runs. Here is their official site, with listing of prices (starting at $10/person a day).
The Arizona Snowbowl does not allow sledding. But it’s great for skiing! (We’ve also popped up here for snow photos.) Other great skiing options are the Arizona Nordic Village and Mormon Lake Lodge. Elk Ridge Ski and Outdoor Recreation Area near Williams offers skiing and tubing. There’s also lodging options at a couple of these locations.
For two casual spots for sledding, look up Crowley Pit and Wing Hill, both north of the Snowbowl. Casual in this sense means there may not be bathrooms available, or lodges for little ones to take a break and warm up. These places may or may not be open in 2021.
This page on the City of Flagstaff website is a MUST READ. It has more information about snow options, including where you can and can’t park. Need more ideas of things to do near Flagstaff and Williams? We’ve got you covered with these blog posts.
One extra bit of fun might be to take a sleigh ride with Hitchin’ Post Stables!
Yes, there can be snow in Arizona – and we know where to find it!
Snow in the White Mountains
There’s one more place to find snow in Arizona, and this is in the White Mountains, about 3-4 hours east of Phoenix. Sunrise Park Resort near Greer offers skiing and other winter sports, as well as dining and lodging. A little further is Alpine and the Hannagan Meadow Lodge is your best bet if you’re looking for sledding! And they offer snowmobile tours. Also look up Williams Valley Sports Area, offering sledding and tubing, snowmobiling and skiing.
These locations are great, but also the furthest from Phoenix, making it a difficult day trip with kids. We recommend spending the night, either near Greer, or closer to Payson.
Speaking of Payson, they get snow as well! And at only 2hrs from Phoenix, it’s a great chance to play in the snow at a local park and still sleep in your own bed at night. Here is list of our favorite activities in the Payson area.
Other Helpful Information
As mentioned before, Sedona and Prescott and even Sunset Point, a bit north of Black Canyon City, can get light snow! This is another fun way to experience the fun and is helpful if you don’t have all the heavy winter jackets or boots (or snow pants, like us). We’ve had some great snow play in Flagstaff just by using rain boots, two pairs of socks, gloves, and layering up with pants and jackets. Don’t have a sled? No worries! Break down a cardboard box for sledding fun! We’ve also used low depth plastic bins in a pinch. Find even a park and have fun building a snowman!
It may also be helpful when planning to view web cams in cities or sport areas. This can often give a quick a view of weather conditions, and how much snow is present. Below are links to popular areas: