Best time to visit Tucson, AZ

Skiing and Snowboarding near Tucson, AZ

Explore the tallest peak of the Santa Catalina Mountains

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Last updated: by Olga Valchyshen
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Southern Arizona may seem an unlikely place for winter sports. However, it's actually possible to go skiing or snowboarding near Tucson. The Santa Catalina Mountains get a decent amount of snow in the winter, and their height is enough to keep it from melting.

Mt. Lemmon Ski Valley is located at the highest peak of the Santa Catalina Mountains. The resort features 5.2 mi (8.5 km) of slopes and three lifts that take skiers and snowboarders as high as 9,022 ft ( 2,750 m).

Given that Mount Lemmon Ski Valley is one of the southernmost ski destinations in the US, it's quite impressive that it receives 180 inches (460 cm) of snowfall every year. However, the snow here is most reliable in mid-winter, specifically, February. The resort generally stays open from mid-December to April. And mind that it's closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

There is no grooming on the slopes, so the terrain can be challenging. Catalina Highway, which leads to Mount Lemmon might get closed in case of a snowstorm. Four-wheel-drive cars and chains are handy to get to the ski area.

The mountain is famous for its scenic 30-min ski lift, called "Sky Ride," which provides stunning views of the forest, the valley, and mountain ranges stretching north.

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