Mountain High closed early this year. We are used to it staying open until April, so the lack or snow in SoCal this year while the rest of the U.S. was getting inundated with fresh powder inspired us to do a Spring Break road trip to hit as many of the Powder Alliance resorts as we could comfortably do in a week.
The plan: use our Mountain High VIP passes to ski and snowboard free at Arizona Snowbowl (Flagstaff), Snow Basin (Salt Lake City), Stevens Pass (northwest Washington), Timberline and Mt. Hood Ski Bowl (Oregon), and Sierra at Tahoe. Ten days, 3000 miles in our Dodge Caravan (stow 'n go, baby! The ONLY way to road trip!).
Read the blog posts for reviews and tips for each leg of our journey. You, too, can visit 12 ski resorts for free with a VIP pass from Mountain High or any of the other alliance resorts. Just $50 extra over the regular pass -- what a deal!
Destination: Arizona Snowbowl, Flagstaff
Drive time: 6.5 hours from Wrightwood, CA, where Mountain High is located. An easy drive (Hwy 15 to Hwy 40 and you're there)
Lodging: Days Hotel. Not recommended. Has indoor pool and hot tub but it's somewhat run down and not the cheapest. No free breakfast. But it's just a mile or so down the road from the Foxglenn skate park, and first floor rooms have handy sliding doors to the parking lot. Next time we'll get a vacation rental that's walking distance to the fun downtown area.
The plan: left after work on a Thursday so we could ski Friday, since none of the Alliance resorts honor the free passes on Saturday.
The Arizona Snowbowl: easy to reach from town (I dropped off "the boys" and went back into town to do some thrift shop exploring since I only wanted to ski half day). Great vibe all over the ski hill, both with staff and other skiers/boarders. Good park features and advanced terrain; excellent area for beginners with wide open easy runs that are separated from the more advanced areas. They had a Family Friday special where it only costs $10 to ski from 2pm til closing. We will definitely make this a regular quick getaway in the future when they have good snow.
The town: we love Flagstaff! Microbreweries, street performers and drum circles, quaint shops, art galleries. A whole shop dedicated to different flavors of olive oil and balsamic vinegar with free tastings. What's not to love about a town like this? We were there for their First Friday Art Walk - perfect timing!
Mountain High's Disc Golf just opened for the season. Ranked in 25 top courses but #3 for Most Scenic, this 2.5 mile frisbee golf course winds through the forest with incredible views. Concessions are also available on the weekends -- enjoy a lunch with a view!
Welcome, winter! Snow has come early to Wrightwood this year. Let's hope there's lots more to come! Photo taken at Mountain High at noon on 10/9/13.
Yesterday while it thundered in the flat-lands and rained in Wrightwood, it snowed at Mt. High, just a few miles UP the street (literally, of course!). There's not enough snow to ski, but hopefully this early snow is a good sign that we'll have a good season, and an early season opening. The temperatures have certainly dropped this week, making it cold enough for making snow at Mt. High -- and cold enough for big cozy fires at the cabin!