Hidden gem of the southwest

by: azskibum48 - Jan 17, 2012

  • Overall Rating 5
  • Family Friendly 4
  • All-Mtn. Terrain 4
  • Terrain Park 4
  • Nightlife 3

    Pros: Fabulous snow, short lift lines, variety of terrain

    Cons: Far from civilization

    Recommended For: Family Friendly

    Date Visited: Jan 1, 2012


Full review

Sunrise is not a fancy destination resort with all the amenities, it's just three peaks with one high-speed quad and several older, slower lifts that take you to some 10.500 to 11,000 foot peaks loaded with some of the biggest quantities of the famous western dry powder -- same snow as Utah -- with some of the shortest lift lines you'll find anywhere. Quite often, like this season, you find that Sunrise has some of the best ski conditions in the country in terms of base depth and new powder.

The terrain is nicely varied among green, blue and black runs, although the blue runs on Sunrise peak tend to be blue-black and may be a little tough for some intermediate skiers and boarders. Less accomplished intermediates will do better on the Apache and Cyclone peaks. The black runs tend to be shorter, with long run-outs, but the green and blue runs are more typical of the average western U.S. ski resort. The double blacks off of Cyclone will challenge even the most expert skier, but they are shorter than some of the expert runs at other resorts in the west.

The lodges and eateries are plentiful on each of the 3 peaks and the lodge at the top of Apache peak has some of the most gorgeous views you will find anywhere in the west. The Apache people are friendly, gracious hosts, and the lift tickets and food are cheaper than average, and the food is excellent -- the Indian taco is a must-try!

The ski school is very professional and affordable, and offers lessons to skiers and boarders of all levels.

For a long weekend ski getaway, a cabin in Greer, AZ is highly recommended. Greer is only 15 minutes drive from Sunrise and is a town of mostly rental cabins, with a couple great restaurants and bars. Nightlife options are limited to the bars in Greer, the Hon-Dah casino or bars in nearby Pinetop-Lakeside, but that still leaves a lot of choices. A Sunrise ski trip offers great skiing on tons of dry powder on three hefty peaks, great food, decent bars and Indian casino gambling, and the opportunity to stay in a cabin in the quaint little picture postcard town.of Greer. It's a more laid-back experience than a Vail or an Aspen kind of trip, but very worthwhile -- especially for those who mostly want to ski. With the short lift lines and the high speed quad on Sunrise peak, you will be amazed at how many excellent runs you can squeeze into a ski day!

Advertisement

Advertisement