Nov 17, 2022 - Things to Do

Snowbowl opening kicks of ski season in Arizona

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The weather is getting cooler and winter is on its way. Even in Arizona that means it's time to get your skis and snowboards out.

Driving the news: Ski season at Snowbowl begins Thursday, making it the first resort in the state to open this year.

  • Lift tickets can be purchased online. One-day tickets for opening day are $59, with prices varying by day.
  • Season and power passes that can be used at Snowbowl and eight other resorts in Colorado, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas and Utah are also available.

Of note: Only intermediate and advanced terrain will be open for the foreseeable future.

What's next: Sunrise Park Resort began making snow on Oct. 23, and anticipates opening on Dec. 2.

What we're watching: Ski Valley at Mt. Lemmon doesn't yet have a projected opening date.

  • Ski Valley doesn't make its own snow and has to wait for Mother Nature to provide.
  • The first snowstorm of the year at Mt. Lemmon usually doesn't come until around late December, according to the National Weather Service in Tucson.

State of play: La Niña conditions are expected, and that means a drier winter with below-average snowfall, Darren McCollum, a meteorologist with the NWS in Flagstaff, tells Axios.

  • Below-normal could still be close to normal, so it's hard to say exactly what this winter's snowfall will look like.
  • "One storm that falls in place could scuttle that whole prediction," McCollum says.

Yes, but: Fortunately for skiers at Snowbowl and Sunrise, the cold, dry conditions they've been experiencing are ideal for making artificial snow.

1 big tip: Jeremy here. I'm a self-taught snowboarder from my days living in Utah. The one piece of advice I would give anyone interested in taking up skiing or snowboarding: Have someone teach you or take some lessons rather than try to figure it out on your own.

  • I've got a nasty scar and a steel plate in my arm from a broken humerus I suffered during my first winter in Utah.
  • I didn't let that dissuade me and I was back on the slopes the next winter.

You tell us: Now that the weather has cooled, what outdoor activities, either in the Valley or around the state, are you looking forward to?

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