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Living in Flagstaff, with its four distinct seasons, offers something for everyone!

Snow on Mt. Elden

Snow on Mt. Elden Outside Flagstaff, AZ

We got a brief taste of the coming winter in recent days with a light snow and dropping temperatures. It’s a reminder that Flagstaff is a town for all seasons.

I often explain to distant callers that, “yes, we do get snow in Arizona.” Flagstaff sits at an elevation of 7,000 feet, a full mile above Phoenix and the Sonoran Desert.  On the southern edge of the expansive Colorado Plateau, with mountain peaks soaring another mile above downtown Flagstaff, early dustings of snow can come while October’s autumn colors still glow.  Then there can be snow anytime through April, with the most snow, by the statistics, in the month of March.

And yes, there are ski runs on Flagstaff’s San Francisco Peaks.  Arizona Snowbowl attracts skiers to the flanks of Mount Agassiz and winter visitors can enjoy the hospitality of our town — it’s lodging, restaurants and other attractions.  Summer and autumn visitors can ride Snowbowl’s chair lift to the top of Mount Agassiz for spectacular views of the surrounding region.

The Flagstaff Nordic Center offers cross-country skiing, northwest of town on Route 180, when snow conditions allow, with up to 25 miles of groomed trails.

Many winter visitors simply come to play in the white stuff, go sledding, and see the pine forest in its snowy splendor.  The addition of holiday lights and décor make downtown Flagstaff an idyllic spot to shop for gifts or grab a bite by the fire.

In general, Flagstaff winters are somewhat mild, with harsh temperatures and gusty winds at times. But the harshness rarely lasts long.  Major storms can hit bringing big snows, sometimes several feet during the course of a storm, but more often than not, mild temperatures follow, back into the mid-40’s, and streets can be clear and dry in a couple of days.

Heavy snowpack on the San Francisco Peaks means a “good winter” because melting snow recharges the drinking water aquifers, and even provides fresh water downhill for other towns.  Winter snows also recharge the life and health of our surrounding forests, and affect the forest all year-long in terms of summer fire danger.

Spring in Flagstaff means warming temperatures and often-windy days, though snow and overnight frost can occur into May at times.  Snow can cap the San Francisco Peaks through June some years, well after temperatures have warmed for spectacular days.

Summer in Flagstaff is outdoor paradise for hiking, mountain biking, camping, gardening, evening concerts, dinner on a restaurant patio, or any number of pursuits.  Flagstaff’s rainy season – the coming of the Southwest Monsoon – begins in early July, with thunder showers building many afternoons, bringing refreshing and much-needed rains that often clear by sunset.  The pattern can continue day after day, and into mid-September.

Autumn colors begin to pop in late September, and by early October entire hillsides of aspen trees glow gold and yellow.  Warm afternoons last through October, with cooler nighttime lows, reminding everyone that the cycle soon starts all over again.

To buy or sell any Flagstaff home, please contact us: Elite Team at RE/MAX Peak Properties.

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