Sunrise Park Ski Getaways

ski getaways

Sunrise sits in the heart of the White Mountains in east-central Arizona. Its three-peak layout beckons skiers and riders from as far away as El Paso (299 miles) but Tucson, Phoenix, and Albuquerque are all a bit closer and provide their share of winter enthusiasts.

The up-to-date facilities include the spacious Sunrise Day Lodge and high-capacity lifts, including the Sunrise Express detachable quad. This lift runs from the base to the summit of Sunrise Peak at 10,700 feet. Cyclone Circle has the same summit elevation but the resort tops out at a lofty 11,100 feet on the summit of Apache Peak. All told there's an 1800 foot vertical drop draped over 800 acres of skiable terrain and 65 marked trails. In addition to the Sunrise Express there are two fixed-grip quads, four triples, a double, and a couple of surface lifts. About 10% of the terrain is protected by snowmaking.

The predominantly green and blue terrain is sure to please the vast majority of skiers and riders. Beginners who ride to the summit of Sunrise Peak will have to negotiate some intermediate corduroy before getting to some good green on the peak's front side. But there's also a front side quad that serves only green circle trails. Pop over the top of Sunrise Peak for a long ride back to the base on Sidewinder. An equal pleasure for beginners will be Lonestar from the top of Cyclone Circle. That by no means exhausts the possibilities for beginners here. Intermediates will also enjoy their choices, from steepish cruisers like Maverick and Rustler to fast groomers like Typhoon and Phoenician.

Advanced skiers and riders will find the biggest cluster of black diamond terrain off the Cyclone triple, where trails like Eclipse, Tempest, and Hurricane Ridge will keep you entertained. Or try Lupe from the top of Sunrise Peak, 1400 feet of continuous drop. Families of different abilities should check out the highest summit, Apache Peak, where two triples serve a bit of everything for all abilities.

Snowboarders have a dedicated park just above the base lodge, with a half pipe, rails, and jumps that range from mild to wild.

Little kids have their own special area, and beginners of all ages will appreciate the low-key learning terrain around the lodge.