The desert of the Southwest rarely experiences the beauty of snow, otherwise known as “the white stuff that falls from the sky in the Midwest and East Coast”. Although we have cold weather and the occasional dip into freezing temperatures, it is still often accompanied by blue skies and sunshine. Seeing snow in the desert is always a treat and with a little help from your friends here at DETOURS, we’ll show you where to find the Winter Wonderlands of the West.
Las Vegas seldom sees snow, but just outside the hustle and bustle of the city are some hidden winter gems. One of the more popular places locals flock to during the winter months is Mount Charleston. You can find everything from hiking, skiing, and two cozy lodges with delicious hot chocolate. Since it’s only a 45 minute drive out of the city, it makes for a fabulous day trip where you can forget you’re in the desert! Maybe you’re feeling jealous of your east coast friends and their frozen ponds for skating? Well, Vegas has a way to one up them! At the top of the Cosmopolitan, Boulevard Pool transforms into an ice rink each winter, complete with snow fall every 30 minutes. “But I want the real thing”, you say? Faux snow and extravagant ice skating isn’t your cup of hot cocoa? If you want to see snow in person while also experiencing a truly unique western destination, hop on one of our full day Bryce Canyon tours. Departing on Tuesdays and Saturdays throughout the year, our Bryce Canyon tour is a full day trip that is sure to impress! With the world’s largest collection of hoodoos, the one-of-a-kind National Park is a marvel year round. When covered in snow, the amazing rock formations are even more spectacular and the “icing” on top of your trip. If you’re feeling more adventurous and really want to brave the snow, join us on a customized hiking tour of Bryce Canyon.
Phoenix is another city that hardly ever sees snowfall, so when it does, you bet we enjoy every last second of snowball fights and sledding. Since we’re more likely to experience a hurricane rather than snow (and no “Maria” does not count despite what some boisterous locals may claim), Phoenicians hold a few winter cards in their pocket. One of these is Arizona Snowbowl, located 2.5 hours north of Phoenix in Flagstaff. Tourists and locals alike can be found at this resort during winter months taking part in all the usual winter time activities. You’ll find skiing, snowboarding, and sledding in quieter parts of the grounds. Of course relaxing fireside at the lodge isn’t a bad choice either. If you’re looking for an ice skating experience in the Phoenix area, head over to the CitySkate Holiday Ice Rink in Downtown Phoenix. Featuring one of the largest ice skating rinks in the Valley, CitySkate is fun for the whole family. With festive art installations, Santa meet and greet, and movie nights, a night spent at CitySkate is a night to remember. Have a free day to see some amazing sights in other parts of Arizona? Tag along on one of our Grand Canyon South Rim tours, departing daily! See the incredible geological feature that is the Grand Canyon, which is mesmerizing and peaceful with a blanket of snow as the backdrop. While you’re there, take some photos, do some shopping, and experience the scenic snow covered landscape. Nature is calling!
Even though snow and our desert cities aren’t always used in the same sentence, that doesn’t mean that we don’t have some secrets up our sleeves on where to find it. Here at DETOURS we think that the best way to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year involves going off the beaten path, braving the cold weather, tearing it up on the ice rink and most importantly, doing it all with those who you hold close. From our family to yours, Happy Holidays!