How to Enjoy a Snow Weekend in Flagstaff


Dress for Snow and Ice:

I once saw a woman walking around snowy downtown in snow pants and stilettos. I’m all for fashion as a means of self-expression, but if you aren’t wearing practical shoes you are going to be making some involuntary snow angels. Make sure you have shoes that can handle the ice, snow pants are nice, gloves are essential. Shop the sales at the end of the season, check the thrift stores. There’s no need to spend a million bucks. But you and your kiddos will have more fun if you are comfortable.

Be Prepared to Walk (a little):

Please do not pull over at the first patch of snow on the side of the 17. This is illegal. This is dangerous. If you really want to enjoy the snow safely you can’t just get out of your car and sled down the side of the freeway. The city has this map available to help you find an appropriate place to play. The map even includes transportation info and good routes to bypass downtown traffic. Be sure to check the status of Flagstaff Snow Park as well.


Flagstaff isn’t Disney land, we don’t have anyone paid to keep this place looking nice. I remember one absolutely heartbreaking snow day when my family got to one of our favorite “secret” sledding hills to discover that the previous party had completely trashed the place. They’d left their dog’s waste, their Starbucks cups, the shards of their plastic sleds, even diapers. I was distraught and infuriated.

This place is our home.

If you come to our mountains to enjoy their beauty, do your part to maintain them. No one is cleaning up after you. Bring a garbage bag and encourage your family to leave the woods better than they were when you got there. This is a great opportunity to teach your children responsibility.

Get The Right Sled:

Plastic sleds are garbage, they are impossible to steer and they are slow. Also, they shatter into a million pieces. When they shatter, the bits go everywhere. If you want to have a quality snow day, spend a little extra and get a quality sled. I’ve found that foam sleds are the best. And you can order them on amazon. The one that I bought at age 13 lasted about 10 years. And they actually do seat two children. When you get a sled that won’t fall apart, you won’t have to pick up the pieces and you will be reducing the amount of garbage that gets left here every winter.

Do Your Research:

Please don’t call the Nordic Village asking if you can sled there. You can’t, and their poor employees are sick of answering that question. Definitely, do a few google searches, check some websites, know where you can play before you get in trouble. And know how to get there.

And if you are a skier or a snowboarder please educate yourself on the controversy surrounding Snowbowl. As a responsible adult set a good example for your children and make sure you understand what you are supporting when you pay for a lift ticket. Here are a few good resources:

History of Snowbowl

Reclaimed water for snowmaking 

Hopi tribe’s lawsuit  

Drink Some Cocoa!

If you really want an authentic experience bring a camp stove into the woods and make backcountry cocoa. But if that’s not an option indulge in a warm beverage from one of our local coffee joints.

Macy’s Coffee House has the best cocoa, probably ever.

Bookman’s cafe is awesome because you can warm up surrounded by used books.

Late For the Train has two convenient locations.