Another great feature of living in Flagstaff is that higher altitudes for cross-country skiing are just a few miles away
Locals and visitors alike can enjoy Flagstaff’s Winter Wonderland on cross-country skis and snowshoes at the Flagstaff Nordic Center, just 15 miles northwest of downtown Flagstaff on Highway 180 (Fort Valley Road). The Nordic Center offers 40 km (25 miles) of groomed trails, wandering amid the beautiful pines and aspens of the Coconino National Forest.
The Nordic Center experience, of course, depends on snow conditions. The Center sits at an elevation of 8,200 feet where it tends to snow a bit more and snow lasts a little longer, especially in the forested surroundings. Skiers of every skill level are welcome, whether for just skimming through the pristine scenery or enjoying an athletic workout.
Ski and snowshoe rentals are available (weekdays are a bargain!). Lessons (group or private) are available on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
For the more adventurous, overnight accommodations are available at the Nordic Center in rustic cabins or yurts heated by wood-burning stoves.
On Friday nights, you’ll find an outdoor winter party at the Nordic Center. Friday Night Fires is a chance to be with friends and enjoy the warmth of a bonfire with hot cocoa and coffee from the lodge. You can take your own snacks or refreshments and just hang out. Go out for a starry ski or snowshoe hike – it’s optional!
Junior Nordic Club
Local parents and volunteers team up to offer a Junior Nordic Club ski program to get kids out in the snow, have some fun, and learn basic cross-country ski skills through games and activities. Kids of any ability and skill level are welcome, ages 7 – 17. Space is limited.
The Flagstaff Nordic Center hosts the cross-country skiing and snowshoe events for the Arizona Special Olympics Winter Games.
Summer Activities at the Nordic Center
Yurt, hut and cabin camping are available at the Flagstaff Nordic Center in the summer months. The Nordic Center is ideally located for exploring the many attractions of the greater Flagstaff area and the Grand Canyon. There’s easy access to the expansive San Francisco Peaks hiking trail system for high altitude views and exploration on Arizona’s tallest summits. Mountain biking is superb in the area as well.
The Nordic Center hosts the annual “Gaspin’ in the Aspen Summer Woods Run (15k, 5k and 1k Kid’s Kilo), to be held this year on June 15th. The Flagstaff Marathon is a 100% off-road even on varying terrain at altitudes ranging from 8000 feet to 8600 feet (half-marathon as well), to be held this year on September 21st.
The Nordic Center also hosts weddings, corporate events and retreats in its main lodge and other facilities.
Details and prices for all activities and accommodations can be found at the Flagstaff Nordic Center website.