Sunrise Park Resort: A Huffington Post Travel Ski Resort Guide
The Huffington Post
| By Jane Ellis
Sunrise Park Resort in Arizona is a popular destination for skiers and snowboarders. As part of a series on ski resorts, Huffington Post Travel offers our guide to Sunrise Park Resort, featuring all the key information snow lovers need to know before they hit the slopes.
Comprised of three mountains and more than 600 skiable acres, Sunrise Park Resort is Arizona's largest ski resort. Owned and operated by the White Mountain Apache Tribe, this resort draws a largely beginner and intermediate crowd, as only 20 percent of its trails are listed as expert level. Sunrise Park Resort's location in the White Mountains is a little more than 200 miles from Phoenix and Tucson in Arizona and Albuquerque, New Mexico. To access the resort by air, guests must fly into one of three municipal airports: Springerville, Show Low or Whiteriver. All of these airports are less than 40 miles from the resort.
Sunrise Ski Resort is made up of three mountains: Apache Peak, which is the tallest at 11,100 feet, and Cyclone Circle and Sunrise Peak, both of which are listed at 10,700 feet. Cyclone Circle is considered the most challenging of the mountains and is known for having the steepest terrain, while Sunrise Peak features two beginner areas. The resort receives an average of 250 inches of powdery snow a year and can also create its own snow when needed. Sunrise Ski Resort's biggest vertical drop is 1,800 feet and its longest run is 1.2 miles.
Trails And Lifts
Sixty-five trails are carved into Sunrise Ski Resort's three mountains. Of these, only 20 percent are rated "expert." The remaining trails are evenly split between beginner and intermediate levels. The resort's signature trail is arguably Cyclone Circle's challenging, black diamond-rated Tempest. Sunrise Ski Resort is serviced by 10 lifts, including three quads, four triples, a double and two surface lifts. In addition to the resort's numerous trails, Sunrise also has a terrain park for those looking to try their hands at tricks and night skiing. In addition, it boasts 13 miles of groomed trails for cross-country enthusiasts.
In The News
Sunrise Ski Resort is more of a ski facility for day-trippers than a resort known for its wild and crazy nightlife. However, skiers looking for a bit of fun can head over to the Sunrise Lodge Winter, which features a watering hole for those 21 and older, the Black Diamond Bar. Sunrise Ski Resort also occasionally plays host to snow sports competitions. For instance, in 2011, it held the Rip, Ride and Shred Competition. The resort also hosts the annual White Mountain Winter Games, which is a dogsledding competition.
Sunrise Ski Resort's half-day lift tickets cost $40 for adults, $35 for youths 13 to 17 years old and $23 for juniors 12 and younger. Senior citizens between the ages of 65 and 69 pay $28 and those older than 70 ski for free. Multiday lift tickets are also available. Hardcore skiers and snowboarders should opt for a season pass, which starts at $450 for adults and $380 for youths. The rental shop, located at the base of Sunrise, has a ski sports package that starts at $25 a day for adults and $21 for juniors. A snowboard package is available for $40. Sunrise Ski Resort also offers lessons. A ski class package, which includes a lesson, a lift ticket and rentals, starts at $62 for those 13 and older. A ski class package for children 7 to 12 years old is $57. The mountain also offers other lesson options, including private lessons.
Hungry skiers will find several dining options both at the base of the mountain as well as on the slopes. While the resort does not have onsite accommodations, the 100-room Sunrise Lodge Winter is situated nearby and offers free shuttle rides to the slopes every half-hour. Sunrise Lodge Winter has an indoor pool and game room. For those guests looking for additional fun outside of the slopes, Sunrise Ski Resort also features sleigh rides and snow tubing.
WATCH: Sunrise Park Resort
Here's an overall view of what Sunrise Ski Resort has to offer.