Backcountry Access

THE COCONINO NATIONAL FOREST REQUIRES THAT ALL SKIERS/RIDERS OBTAIN A FREE BACKCOUNTRY PERMIT TO ACCESS AREAS OUTSIDE OF THE SKI AREA BOUNDARY.

Please visit the local avalanche center website for backcountry conditions and education: www.kachinapeaks.org or www.avalanche.org

Backcountry permits are now available at two Coconino National Forest Flagstaff Offices from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday – no Holidays

  • Flagstaff Ranger District
    5075 N. Highway 89; on the East side across from the Mall
  • Coconino NF Supervisors Office
    1824 S. Thompson St.; on the West side off of Old Route 66

Permits will be available as conditions allow at Agassiz Lodge Lounge Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

The San Francisco Peaks contain 77 avalanche slide paths. Areas beyond the ski area boundary are not patrolled or maintained, meaning that avalanches and other hazards may exist. Access to public lands outside the boundary is provided through marked access points.

The Arizona Snowbowl assumes no responsibility for the safety and welfare of skiers going beyond the ski area boundary. If rescue is needed it can be costly and may be slow. Should you need help, rescue in the backcountry is coordinated through the Coconino County Sheriff’s Department Search and Rescue Office. Call 911 for emergencies.

We strongly urge those venturing into the backcountry to know your limits and to educate yourself on avalanche dangers and preparedness. Backcountry terrain is rugged and has not had any sort of preventative avalanche control work performed. This risk, along with the other hazards – large cliffs, obstacles, changing snow conditions, tree wells, etc. – requires respect, knowledge and preparation. Before heading into the backcountry-be prepared & let someone know where you are going and when you should be back.

“Know Before You Go”
Items Needed for Backcountry Travel:

  • Avalanche transceiver
  • Backcountry shovel
  • Avalanche probe
  • Matches or lighter
  • First aid kit
  • Food that is high in energy
  • Plenty of water
  • Headlamp
  • Extra pair of gloves
  • Extra hat

You should realize that your actions affect not just yourself, but also every other member of your party and potentially any other winter enthusiast who may be required to help in the case of an accident. If you feel something is above your ability level, it is your responsibility to make the wise judgment and inform your group. Please visit www.kachinapeaks.org, or www.avalanche.org.