Wing Mountain snow play area set to close this winter.
July 20, 2017
Photo Courtesy of Coconino National Forest
The concessionaire that operates and manages Wing Mountain Snowplay Area eight miles north of Flagstaff during winter months recently requested to cancel its permit and cease management of the snowplay area.
At the request of Recreation Resource Management (RRM), the Forest Service cancelled the concessionaire’s special use permit on June 21 after RRM removed all its structures and amenities, returning the site to its original state.
The snowplay area will not be managed by any concessionaire this coming winter, and Forest Road 222B—the mile-long road used to access the area—will be closed to vehicles during the winter months. No parking will be available in the area, and parking is always prohibited along U.S. Highway 180.
The Forest Service plans to begin a public engagement process in 2018 to understand what recreational experiences the public desires for the Wing Mountain Snowplay Area, and to consider community concerns about traffic congestion and related issues. The agency may seek a new concessionaire to manage the area in the future.
Wing Mountain Snow Play Area can be a challenging and difficult recreation site to manage. The site was only open in the winter when there was enough snow for sledding, and frequently closed its gates when it reached its 500-car capacity, especially on the weekends, sometimes seeing up to 1,200 vehicles cycled through the area on busy days.