Ooops... apparently it snows in Flagstaff

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Chatter163

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Flagstaff is not a hot place at all. In fact, in the summer, it is sometimes listed as having one of the the coolest temperatures in the country.
 

BCL

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Flagstaff is not a hot place at all. In fact, in the summer, it is sometimes listed as having one of the the coolest temperatures in the country.
High altitude will do that. I look at a place like southwest Utah, where the two most visited places are Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park. They're at similar latitudes, but Bryce Canyon is maybe 2500 ft higher elevation and is really, really cool. Or even when I was at the entrance to Haleakala National Park where there were people who looked like they came from the beach and were feeling really cold at the entrance at about 7000 ft elevation.
 

dwebarts

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High altitude will do that. I look at a place like southwest Utah, where the two most visited places are Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park. They're at similar latitudes, but Bryce Canyon is maybe 2500 ft higher elevation and is really, really cool. Or even when I was at the entrance to Haleakala National Park where there were people who looked like they came from the beach and were feeling really cold at the entrance at about 7000 ft elevation.
When I lived in Santa Fe, I worked at Eddie Bauer part-time. We sold a lot of jackets in transition months and even summer to tourists that thought the weather would be the same as it would be in Phoenix. Even if it was warm during the day, those 35-40℉ temperature drops at night really hit hard that first night or two.

I've driven through snow flurries in southwestern Colorado on Labor Day weekend.
 

BCL

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When I lived in Santa Fe, I worked at Eddie Bauer part-time. We sold a lot of jackets in transition months and even summer to tourists that thought the weather would be the same as it would be in Phoenix. Even if it was warm during the day, those 35-40℉ temperature drops at night really hit hard that first night or two.

I've driven through snow flurries in southwestern Colorado on Labor Day weekend.
A lot of people think Arizona or New Mexico is all low altitude desert. But geography and weather doesn't necessarily recognize lines on a map. I've been hiking at the Grand Canyon where it wasn't that bad at the South Rim, but got hotter and hotter going down where heat was trapped in the canyon. Even then I saw the sign warning about hiking there in the winter where there might be snow and/or ice.

I've was in Yellowstone in early June and was told that it snowed the previous week. I went hiking and found some remnants of that snow at higher altitudes. Heck - I've heard that October is a popular time for big wall climbing in Yosemite because the weather is mild requiring less water be carried. But there was an infamous snowstorm where several climbers died from hypothermia because they didn't come prepared for freezing temperatures. That can happen at 5-8K feet elevation.
 

happycamper

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OKAY total fail here. I picked a trip and wound up choosing roundtrip GA - Flagstaff in late December. I was so excited, spoke with a lady on the phone who helped get me and the kids into two separate roomettes next to eachother. Booked the hotel, and then went to call the car rental company to see if she'd pick us up from the hotel, and that's when she said "If the roads are in good condition, yes."

OH NO!! What have I done?? LOL

I thought I had done all my research top to bottom, completely thorough, how did I miss the fact that Flagstaff AZ gets snow and enough snow to hinder our possible trip to the Grand Canyon? It's too late now regardless, hotel is non refundable, and we're only staying 2 nights anyway. One way or another I want to be able to get to the Canyon though, but I suppose if we have to hunker in a hotel it wouldn't be the worst thing in the world.

Has anyone been to Flagstaff in late December (20th-22nd to be specific) that can give advice about the weather?
Im thinking worse comes to worse you can book last minute for the transfers from Amtrak to Williams and go on the Grand Canyon Railroad to the Canyon. Im guessing it travels in the snow and you wont have to drive. Also an idea would be to look into tours of the Canyon from Flagstaff as they may have better vehicles to manage the weather and you could leave the driving to them. If you are not familiar with driving in snow it really would be best to leave it to those who are as it can be tricky....
 
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