by: Aaron DeWitt - 21st January 2012

  • 4
  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced/Expert
  • 3All-Mtn. Terrain
  • 4Family Friendly
  • 1Aprés Ski
  • 2Terrain Park
  • Overall Value
Conditions can be as good as anywhere
none if you're not expecting a world class resort

Full review

I learned to ride and ski at Sunrise in 1986 and have not missed a winter since. Sunrise is not the biggest or fanciest resort out there-- if you're expecting the accommodations or amenities of a Vail or Park City, you need to adjust your expectations. It is simply a fun, local AZ resort with potentially GREAT snow, good terrain and a variety of decent accommodations available in nearby Greer, Pinetop and Show Low. With the exception of the new high-speed quad several years back, not much has changed at Sunrise over the years. The terrain offers something for most ability levels, and unless you are a very advanced rider or looking for a large terrain park, you should be happy exploring the mountain for several days. There are some very fun albeit short, advanced runs if you know where to go and lot of fun natural terrain with little jumps and whoops to make laps on. The snow conditions at Sunrise can be as good as anywhere in the west and I've had some of my best powder days EVER riding at Sunrise in 2 feet plus of EPIC powder with hardly anyone on the mountain.They get at least a few of these good dumps every winter with lots of 6+ new inch days. I know this is a bold statement but I have ridden at the following resorts over the last 25 years (most on several occasions) as my point of comparison..... California: Heavenly, Big Bear, Snow Summit, Mountain High and Mammoth. Utah: Park City, Brian Head, Snowbird, Brighton, The Canyons. Colorado: Wolf Creek, Vail, Breckenridge, Keystone, Telluride, A-Basin. Oregon: Mount Bachelor (every year for 20 plus years), Timberline. Idaho: Brundage Arizona: Snowbowl, Sunrise, Williams. As far as the staff at Sunrise goes, it's mostly Apache tribal members because the resort is located on the White Mountain Apache Reservation. The Apaches tend to be rather quiet especially when they don't know you. Don't take this as rudeness, it's just a cultural difference that most people are not accustomed to. The Apaches are very friendly once you get to know them and damn funny too!! Respect gets respect, be courteous and smile and you should be fine! Have fun!!
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