As promised, the ski lift took us to the top of Agassiz peak which sits at 11,500 feet above sea level. It took about 30 minutes to ride the lift up the side of the mountain.
And half way up there was snow! Tired, weary snow. But snow it was!
In the winter, skiers are treated with not only with a stunning view, but have access to 777 skiable acres with a vertical drop of 2,300 feet. Six chairs service the area where the terrain rating is 40% beginner, 42% intermediate and 21% advanced.
But it appears that this particular chair lift drops you in expert territory in the winter. I have to tell you that if I was on skis at this point, I’d be just a bit freaked out. My choices are diamond and double diamond.
The San Francisco Peaks tower so dramatically against the landscape of Flagstaff and surrounding area that they are even visible from the pueblo ruins at Wupatki National Monument, dozens of miles away.
On a clear day, you can see the North Rim of the Grand Canyon over eighty miles away.
Standing in the silence of these beautiful peaks, it is easy to see why the native people of Arizona consider this to be sacred land. They say it is where earth meets heaven.
The Navajo consider the San Francisco peaks to be the most sacred mountains in all the west and their medicine men use the herbs collected from the mountaintop in healing ceremonies.
The Hopi believe the Kachina spirits live at the top of the mountain, gracefully moving through the clouds from summit to summit.
The Zuni, Havasupai and Yavapai-Apache also consider these volcanic highlands to be sacred and return regularly to pray and honor the spirits that dwell there.
Here is a video from Arizona Snowbowl that features the ski lift and the area around it.