Arizona Snowbowl Continues to Restrict Uphill Access


In an email to uphill users today, Arizona Snowbowl announced that it will continue to restrict access to non-paid users.

Uphill users employ a variety of methods to climb uphill at ski resorts. By using “climbing skins” and alpine touring bindings a skier is able to climb uphill and then ski back down. Other users use snowshoes or patterned skis to make an ascent.

Arizona Snowbowl allows uphill access during non-lift hours. They require a free permit and armband to be carried by uphill users. However, Snowbowl has restricted access to non-paid users so far this season citing safety concerns and lack of snow. According to the email from Safety and Risk Management Coordinator Jon Gauld:

“We are still in a holding pattern with regard to ACCESS, due to warmer temps and lack of natural snow fall. Our pre-season terrain preparation has taken a lot longer this year, and has been very dynamic compared to previous years. Therefore, Uphill Access continues to remain closed, but an opening (we hope), is in sight.”

A Winter storm is expected in the area beginning this evening and continuing into Saturday morning. Local Forecasting has predicted up to a foot of snow at the ski area. In the emailed statement, Snowbowl says that enough snow may enable them to move equipment to the Sunset Chair, enabling uphill access to open. But, they remain cautious, “we’re not promising anything and we can’t guarantee a date”, they say.

Arizona Snowbowl operates entirely on public lands under a Special Use Permit with the United States Forest Service. The ski area operates and maintains the roads and parking lots which make the ski area as well as other trails and recreation opportunities more accessible to the public.

Many ski areas in North America are adopting Uphill Access Policies that determine how much access they allow and under what conditions. There are a wide variety of policies ranging from paid passes to completely restricted. WinterReview has compiled an extensive list of Uphill Access Policies with links to many ski areas and a summary of their policies.

For  more information on Uphill Access at Arizona Snowbowl, visit their Uphill Access page.

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Tim Allen is writer and editor for WinterReview and covers all the news of Arizona Snowbowl. He can be reached by email at