What’s in a name? Well, for Sunrise Park Resort, there’s way more than meets the eye. In fact, there’s a whole story behind the name; one that pays homage to the White Mountain Apache Tribe. Sunrise Park Resort, one of Arizona’s skiing and snowboarding destinations is owned by the White Mountain Apache Tribe.
To the White Mountain Apache Tribe, in a young woman’s life, sunrise is a sacred time. At the time a young woman experiences the onset of adulthood, the tribal members gather on Sunrise Mountain for a sunrise dance to celebrate womanhood, Matthew Weiss, marketing director of Sunrise Park Resort, says. To honor such sacred traditions, the Resort opened its doors and instituted the name Sunrise Park Resort in 1972.
Labeled as a “friendly, learn to” resort, Weiss says, the resort is for every snow sport goer. The Resort has three mountains: Sunrise Mountain, Apache Mountain and Cyclone Mountain, and each mountain offer something different.
“We have 65 trails, and our mountain is 40 percent green, 40 percent blue, and 20 percent black runs,” Weiss says. “We have moguls, tree runs, and we have a good variety. Sunrise has the most variety of our trails. Apache has our wide trails and Cyclone has the steepest runs and the most blues and blacks.”
From the Phoenix Convention Center, Weiss says that if you drive the speed limit, (which we, ahem, always encourage that you do), you can get to Sunrise Park Resort in four hours. If the drive is too far for your booty to handle or too expensive for your near-poverty-stricken, college-self, Sunrise Park Resort partners with ski clubs, Action Ride Shop in Mesa, and Desert Snow Connection.
With pick-up locations in the East and North Valley, Desert Snow Connection is a charter bus service that will deliver you to the resort.
“The package includes your pass and transportation. You can buy a ticket and the bus ride. It’s the same as gas, but instead, you can sit back and relax. These are like the big tour, commuter buses,” Weiss says. “It takes about the same amount of time, give or take. Sometimes, they take up to 5 hours. And, they generally leave at about 4 a.m., and that will put them here at 9 a.m. Usually, they leave again at around 4 p.m. [from Sunrise Resort].”
Since the Resort is four hours away, sometimes it can feel like more of a destination than a quick day-trip. And if that’s the case for you, luckily Sunrise Park Resort has a hotel for convenient, on-site, overnight stays.
This season, Sunrise Park Resort is offering a $99 season pass for all full-time—enrolled in at least 12 credit hours—college students who attend an accredited university. Students are eligible to purchase the pass even if they attend universities outside of Arizona. The deal gets even sweeter with no blackout dates, and the pass is good all season long. So, our advice is that you get out there and shred some Sunrise slopes.
Sunrise Park Resort, Highway 273, Greer, 928.735.7669, sunriseskipark.com