As the song made famous by Andy Williams says, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year”! This is especially true in Arizona, where there is certainly something for everyone... even snow. For many, the holidays just are not complete without some of the white stuff. So, for those of you needing a winter fix, here’s where to find the flakes.
Mount Lemmon is in the Santa Catalina Mountains located in the Coronado National Forest north of Tucson. It is 9,157 feet above sea-level, and receives approximately 180 inches of snow annually. The drive up the beautiful Catalina Highway traverses four completely different ecological strata. From saguaro cactus at the bottom, to the pine and aspen groves at the top, the drive is breathtaking. During this time of year, you can leave the warm Tucson climate, go skiing or sledding for the day, and be back in the desert before dark!
The White Mountains along the Arizona - New Mexico border are the state’s second highest range. Pinetop-Lakeside and Springerville-Eagar along the northern edge of the range provide the most popular access points. Take a trip to the White Mountains and experience a real Arizona winter. Ski, tube or sled down snow-covered hills and then get warm by a fire. Located 220 miles east of Phoenix and 250 miles north of Tucson, this recreational winter wonderland is not to be missed.
North of Flagstaff at 12,643 feet, the San Francisco Peaks is not only the dominant feature of the forest area known as the Volcanic Highlands, it's also the highest mountain in Arizona. Three of the summits that ring this dormant volcano's now quiet inner caldera are higher than any other mountain in the state. This mountain is sacred to the native peoples that live in the area and its soaring profile set against a blue Arizona sky serves as a source of awe to visitors. Hiking, sightseeing, wildlife watching and skiing are the predominant recreation activities enjoyed in this land of mountains, forests and lava flows.
The Grand Canyon shows its beautiful, moody side this time of year. Under a blanket of snow, she lays very still. This quietude typifies the canyon in winter and allows one to experience her grandeur as if transported back in time. I have been to and in the Grand Canyon many times and winter is my favorite. The air is crisp and the views are sharp. Package a number of Arizona joys into one experience… head to Williams and take the Grand Canyon Railway up to this natural wonder of the world for the day. The Grand Canyon will not disappoint.
Welcome to winter in Arizona. No matter where you’re visiting from, we’re glad to have you. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Eid-Ul-Adha, or simply enjoy this time of year, we wish you a very joyous holiday season and extend our best wishes for a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.
Thomas J. Ruberto
Owner / Publisher
Get KEY Insider Travel Deals, Special Events &
Things to Do in Arizona
Find the BEST things to do in Arizona with some of our most popular guides plus other special events.