2012 AH Classic Wall CalendarShop the AH Store >>

Our 2015 calendars are now available!

Classic Wall Calendar

CL15 $10.99

Our classic 13-month spiral-bound calendar features 30 full-color photographs and a handy map of Arizona on the back.

Order Now >>
Purchase Camping GuideShop the AH Store >>

Featured Book

Arizona Highways
Camping Guide

AGCS3 $22.95

Our newest book, which includes Arizona Highways iconic photography and maps, is sorted by region and is written for car-campers and families. Detailed information about accessibilty, amenities and fees is included for each campground.

Order Now >>
2011 AH Wildlife CalendarSee Selection of Images >>

Featured Prints

Poster Prints
Special Edition Prints

Many of the extraordinary images found in our award-winning magazine, scenic coffee-table books and exquisite calendars can be purchased as fine posters and prints.

Order Now >>
Shop the AH Store >>

Featured Gift Item

Centennial Issue Reprint

SPCENN2 $4.99

If you missed our February 100-page Centennial Issue on newsstands earlier this year, here's your second chance to get a copy of this special collector's edition of Arizona Highways magazine..

Order Now >>

  • print page
  • Tell a Friend
  • Post to Facebook
  • YouTube
  • past to del.icio.us
BULLEThistory archive

History Archive Photo
A skier prepares to tackle one of Arizona Snowbowl's runs in this photo from the resort's early years. Today, Snowbowl has 40 runs and six lifts.

© Arizona Historical Society

>> Click on image to view
it larger in a separate window.

Bowl Record
Despite a sometimes stormy history, Arizona Snowbowl, near Flagstaff, has been attracting skiers, snowboarders and other winter enthusiasts for 76 years.

By Kayla Frost

Throughout its 76-year history, Arizona’s most accessible ski resort has weathered many storms — and not just blizzards. Arizona Snowbowl has repeatedly been the center of controversy, primarily because of its battle with Native American tribes. Nevertheless, it has persevered as one of the oldest continually run ski resorts in the country.

When Snowbowl opened in 1938 on national-forest land, it was little more than a two-person rope tow powered by a car engine and accessible only via a dirt road cleared by the Civilian Conservation Corps. Although its setup was primitive, its location on the flanks of Agassiz Peak, a 12,300-foot mountain 15 miles from Flagstaff, was dazzling.

Alpine festivities, such as the 20-30 Club’s Snow and Ice Fiesta, helped Snowbowl quickly grow in popularity. But the resort’s history is full of ups and downs. In 1941, the CCC built a beloved lodge, but it burned down 11 years later. In 1944, Snowbowl didn’t open at all because of World War II gasoline-rationing. But it survived — unlike other ski resorts — and over the years, owners played hot potato with the resort, often discouraged by low-snow seasons. Plus, Snowbowl struggled to compete with larger, higher-budget ski resorts in other states.

Opposition from Native Americans, particularly Navajos and Hopis, has been the biggest obstacle to Snowbowl’s expansion over the years. The tribes believe that the mountain is holy, so harming it in any way is sacrilegious. Nevertheless, in 2009, Snowbowl won a long legal battle against tribal members and environmentalists to use treated waste­water for artificial snow, which was sprayed on Agassiz’s slopes for the first time during the 2012-13 ski season.

For more information about Arizona Snowbowl, call 928-779-1951 or visit www.arizonasnowbowl.com.

>> Back to History Archive


Story ArchivesFind previously published stories online... [more]

Global SnapshotsSend us a photo of you or someone you know posing with Arizona Highways. We'll post it on our website. It's that simple... [more]

Photo of the DaySend us a photo of you or someone you know posing with Arizona Highways. We'll post it on our website. It's that simple... [more]

 

Social MediaJoin our Facebook, Twitter and Flickr communities for behind-the-scenes glimpses at Arizona Highways... [more]

Events & PromotionsEscape, experience and explore Arizona, one event at a time... [more]

Travel GuidesThere's so much to see and do in Arizona. Let our online travel guide be your one-stop resource for planning your next Arizona adventure... [more]

site map  |  terms of use  |  privacy policy  |  corporate sales  |  about us  |  contact us

Arizona Highways Television AZ Dept. of Transportation AZ Dept. of Public Safety Arizona Highways Photo Workshops

© Copyright 2014 Arizona Department of Transportation, State of Arizona. All rights reserved. Reproduction in part or whole without written permission from the publisher is prohibited. The images on this Web site are copyrighted, digitally watermarked and registered with the Digimarc tracking system. All rights reserved. Copying and downloading images from this site are strictly prohibited.