Where The Ground Is Even: A Christmas In The Arizona High Country

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The area averages about 74 inches of snowfall a season, and the U. Forest Service recommends waiting until there's at least a foot of snow to cover stumps and rocks before planning a sled day on Oak Hill. There is a designated free parking area and admission is free.

Hours vary depending on snowfall and access. For weather information and other details, visit the Kaibab National Forest section of U.

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Forest Service website. Forest service hotlines, like the Kaibab National Forest Supervisor's Office, , or the Williams Visitor Center, , can offer detailed, daily updates. The play area — ideal for snowball fights and general rough housing — lies in Coconino County and is situated just east of Bill Williams Mountain. The Benham Snow Play Area is set at approximately 7, feet, meaning only one thing — you better bundle up. For weather information and other details, visit the Kaibab National Forest section website [www. The aforementioned forest service hotlines like the Kaibab National Forest Supervisor's Office, , or the Williams Visitor Center, , can offer additional details.

A historic area dating back to the s, Hannagan Meadow Recreation Area is a gateway to rustic campgrounds, groomed yet remote ski trails, winter trails to the Mogollon Rim, scenic drives, and access to the Blue Range Primitive Area. Route 60 for most of the way. From the city of Alpine, the area is about 25 miles south on U. The Flagstaff Snow Park is located at 7. In fact, you can even bring a completed liability waiver with you after downloading it from their website. A half day, either 9 a.

From Phoenix, head north on Interstate 17 and take exit , then head west and follow the signs to the Flagstaff Snow Park neighboring the Fort Tuthill Campground. You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter s - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in! Walker Lake This impressive wildlife viewing spot north of Flagstaff is also a great place to play in the snow.

This area is also known as the Kendrick Park Watchable Wildlife Trail, and is fine for additional winter activities like snowmobiling, plus cross-country skiing and snowshoeing at the nearby Peak View Winter Recreation and parking area — which is approximately 14 miles. Kendrick Park is located off Highway , approximately 20 miles north of Flagstaff. Editor's note: This post has been updated from its original version, which first appeared in November Janessa Hilliard and Lauren Cusimano contributed to this article. All rights reserved. We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements.

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The coffee shops here are really great and there are many to choose amongst. Late for the Train is a wonderful local roaster with the most delicious espresso and is conveniently located right on the way to the Grand Canyon. Flagstaff is a prime destination for hiking due to the beautiful mountain scenery, cool weather, and beautiful pines and aspens lining the trails. There are a number of wonderful trails around town check out 12 of my favorite Flagstaff trails to get started. A gorgeous moderate climb to stunning views of the Peaks!

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A must-do for any hikers visiting the area! There are 3 trails at Snowbowl, which are great for year-round use, from cool hiking in the summer, to fall leaf peeping in the autumn, to snowshoeing in the winter. The Aspen Nature Loop is the perfect year-round trail. Towering pines along the Kachina Trail at Arizona Snowbowl. Snowshoeing the Aspen Nature Loop at Snowbowl during the snowy winter season. Snowbowl receives over inches per year so there is always enough on the ground even when the snow melts in town. Unfortunately, there are not many resorts or mountain style lodging area.

However, individual house rentals are available.

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Williams, whose claim to fame is being the last Rt 66 town to be bypassed by I, is a popular tourist destination in the summer months due to the close proximity just an hour to the Grand Canyon. The Polar Express train ride all decked out for the holidays. The rest of the year it is a pretty quiet, laid-back place to base your Northern Arizona vacation, and is conveniently located within a short drive to many wonderful natural attractions. Being that it is nestled in the high altitude ponderosa pine forest of Northern Arizona, there are plenty of great hikes within the Kalibab National Forest to enjoy check out Kendrick Mountain and Keyhole Sink.

An abundance of Rt 66 themed diners and memorabilia gift shops should keep you busy for a few hours! Dozens of unique flavors of homemade pie await you at Pine Country restaurant. No visit to Williams is complete with a visit to Bearizona! A scenic drive-thru the park, as well as a walk thru section, will give you an upclose views of animals in a setting mimicking their natural environment.

Gorgeous views from the Keyhole Sink trail — a must-do for nature lovers visiting Williams. Downtown Flagstaff — home to lots of independent restaurants, coffee shops, art galleries, and the Monte Vista, one of the most haunted hotels in America! A day trip to Flagstaff to explore the various trails at Snowbowl is a must!

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Flagstaff is the premier leaf peeping destination in Arizona. The foliage here rivals some of the best in New England. Gorgeous views too! Overall, Williams is a great base for exploring the many national parks and monuments scattered all over Northern Arizona, and has the advantage of being much less hectic that the more popular alternative, Flagstaff. Williams is also closer to the Grand Canyon than Flagstaff. Payson is a tiny little community of just or so in the central portion of the state, about an hour and a half north of Phoenix.

Payson is located in the heart of scenic Rim Country, surrounded by the beautiful Tonto National Forest, and thus, offers plenty in the way of outdoor recreation. Be sure to check out the annual rodeo, which is the oldest continuous rodeo in the world. One of numerous antique shops in downtown Payson. La Sierra — one of the best dining choices in this small town. Delicious fajitas! The Liberty Theater, which opened up in , screened silent movies and vaudeville acts.

Today, it is a museum, gift shop, and working theater. The House of Joy, once a brothel, then a restaurant, and now operates as a boutique shop. Hull Avenue was once a hotbed for prostitution.

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The most interesting aspect of the town is the long history of paranormal occurrences. In fact, Jerome has been said to be one of the most haunted towns in the country.

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Legends of ghost hauntings go back decades and still continue today! At one point, the town even published a Jerome Ghost Post.


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The community center is nicknamed Spook Hall due to the repeated number of strange occurrences over the years. A ghostly cat has been sighted by numerous guests at the Mile High Inn. Do not be surprised if you see a ghostly cat! And the Jerome Grand Hotel, once an asylum, is so haunted that guests often end up sleeping in the lobby! You can take a ghost tour anytime of the year, although it is more fun around Halloween!

Spooky decor, great views, and mild weather make an October visit to Jerome a must!


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  5. Jerome is an Arizona town rich in history, with beautiful old architecture and an artsy vibe. Additionally, Jerome is located just a short drive from Prescott, Sedona, and Flagstaff, so you can check out all the great attractions in these areas as well. Be sure to stop for some local honey at The Honey Stand in pine! There are so many different varieties of delicious homemade honey available! Pine and Strawberry are 2 tiny communities in North Central Arizona which are becoming more and more popular with 2nd home owners seeking a quiet escape in the countryside. Both towns are part of the gorgeous Mongollon Rim Country area, which is located within a large ponderoaa pine forest.

    Gorgeous ponderosa pine forest surrounds Pine and Strawberry. Beautiful countryside scenery in rural Pine. Antique shopping is one of the most popular past times in Pine. There are a few cute local restaurants like the Randall House which features a nice shady outdoor patio. A stop at Pine Creek Fudge and Ice Cream is a must and they are also one of the few places serving espresso drinks sorry, no Starbucks here!

    They have a great patio where you can enjoy your treats in the beautiful country air!