Winter Backcountry Permits

San Francisco Peaks in WinterKachina Peaks Wilderness Access permits, commonly known as backcountry permits, are required in winter for access to the Kachina Peaks Wilderness area.


Permits are available at:

  • Peaks Ranger District and the Supervisor's Office in winter weekdays from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • Once there is significant snow, permits can be obtained Saturdays and Sundays at Agassiz Lodge at the Arizona Snowbowl. Call the Snowbowl to check on availability.

This free permit is designed to help inform backcountry snow recreationists about travel hazards, and to assist the Forest Service and the Coconino County Sheriff's Office with search and rescue should that become necessary. Permits are only required for accessing the backcountry from Arizona Snowbowl and the Snowbowl Road.

Backcountry permits are valid for the entire winter and are designed for snowshoers, cross-country skiers and snowboarders using the Kachina Peaks Wilderness. Permits are required to be displayed in the front windshield of the permit holder’s vehicle if the vehicle is parked at the Lamar Haines trailhead, the entrance of the Freidlein Prairie Road (Forest Road 522) or the Arizona Snowbowl Ski Area.

In addition to having a permit, backcountry campers, skiers and snowboarders who launch their trip from the Ski Area or the Snowbowl Road also need to enter information in one of three trip registers. The Coconino National Forest added a new trip register location at the Lamar Haines trailhead on Snowbowl Road last year. The others are at the ticket window at the Hart Prairie Lodge and near the top of the Agassiz chairlift.

The Forest Service wants people to enjoy backcountry winter activities -- but with a high degree of safety. The information we’re asking for is intended to help people avoid dangers associated with avalanches and hypothermia. When someone reads the hazard warnings on the permit, it usually makes them stop and think for a few moments, and this is often exactly what is needed to introduce the element of caution that can save a person's life.

Backcountry permits, which are free of charge, are available at the Flagstaff Ranger Station and the Supervisor's Offices during the week. When Arizona Snowbowl is open, permits may also be obtained in the Agassiz Lodge Lounge on weekends from 9 a.m. until 11:30 a.m.. For more information, call the Flagstaff Ranger Station at (928) 526-0866.

Rules and Regulations for the Backcountry Permit [PDF, 16kb]


Current Conditions


More Resources


Map of wintertime recreation sites around Flagstaff, Arizona Flagstaff Winter Recreation Hotline
1-844-256-SNOW (7669)
Courtesy of Flagstaff CVB


See our Winter Recreation page for a recreation map, backcountry permit information, and more info!



Back to Recreation Permits and Passes.

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