One of the things that always excites me about my home state of Arizona is seeing the natural landscapes here. I love finding a way to explore the beauty of Arizona and one of the exciting things that Arizona has to offer can be found here in the forested city of Flagstaff. Flagstaff has the Arizona Snowbowl, a ski and snowboard resort and also the largest beginner terrain in the Southwest, and every year, Arizona Snowbowl has scenic chairlift rides, including in the fall time.
Why visit Flagstaff?
You may think Arizona is just known for its (dry) heat and its desert area since there are 4 deserts in the state. Although Arizona does have a lot of those, it isn’t entirely just that! There are also a lot of forested and much cooler areas of Arizona, and Flagstaff is one of those commonly known cities with that atmosphere. There’s fresh air and so much green to see in Flagstaff and it is higher elevation than a lot of cities in Arizona.
I also recommend if you’re going to be in Flagstaff to check out these other places:
- Buffalo Park in Flagstaff
- Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument
- Hike Aspen Corner in Flagstaff
- Other places mentioned in the collaborative post of 14 Beautiful Places to See in Arizona
- And don’t forget to grab a bite downtown Flagstaff! I’ve eaten at Swaddee Thai Cuisine and Aloha Hawaiian BBQ and highly recommend them.
About the Arizona Snowbowl Scenic Chairlift
Where to find it:
9300 N Snow Bowl Rd
Flagstaff, Arizona 86001
Are you planning on going to Flagstaff around October? It’s the perfect time to visit the Arizona Snowbowl if you’re inspired to look at nature’s fall colors, Arizona style. The colors are at their peak in early and mid-October, but this opportunity is open until late October.
Last fall in 2020, I got to experience the thrill of riding a scenic chairlift at Arizona Snowbowl. I’ve never been on a ski chairlift before this (which means I’ve never gone skiing or snowboarding yet before!! That will change eventually!), but I knew it was time to try it out when I found this opportunity. I had found a 20% off discount code and applied it as I bought tickets for my parents and I. I brought my parents along to enjoy it with me! So the tickets were originally $25 each, but I luckily got it for $18. (Watch out for those deals!)
Going on the scenic chair lift, you will get lifted up to the San Francisco Peaks, which is one of Arizona’s volcanic mountain ranges. It has the highest summit in the range called Humphrey’s Peak. Humphrey’s Peak stands at 12,635 feet high and it is considered a very challenging summit hike to get to the top. Although you’ll get a glimpse at Humphrey’s once you’re up there on the chairlift, you won’t get quite the full experience hikers do but you’ll come across other sceneries like the San Francisco Peaks, which are remarkably awesome to see, even after it had a collapse, sinking 2,000 feet of it many, many years ago.
You’ll have an opportunity to roam around the meadows around the chair lift area and near it there is a connection to Humphreys Peak trail. During fall time, the grass is all yellow and can be a cool photo opportunity to get your fall photos done.
Review of the Arizona Snowbowl Scenic Chairlift
The ski lift is just about 20-25 minutes. Lines can get long and tiring to wait on, so it’s highly recommended to get there early and if you ever get hungry (while waiting or not), there are a couple food trucks there you can grab from.
I honestly thought going on this was scary… but worth it! Views are amazing with the yellow and orange trees (and the golden aspens) that only come out in such a rare time of the year. Although, it is VERY windy and cold when you reach the top) and the drop can be scary to see knowing how high you are and seeing the ground beneath you (minus with the powder/snow). The ski lift goes up to 10,500+ feet to 11,000+ feet. My dad unfortunately lost his cap because of the wind.
I recommend doing this if you want to share a memory with people you truly love and to bond on the thrill of the heights (if they’re like me, who has never ridden a ski lift prior). I also recommend bringing people who won’t hike with you ever but could gain experience getting close to the peaks of mountains.
Lastly, don’t forget to bring your camera (wrapped around you with a camera strap) because it is SO scenic and you do not want to miss snapping away and seeing those trees and their changing colors.