Does It Snow In Flagstaff, AZ? All About Flagstaff Climate

Yes, it does snow in Flagstaff, Arizona. Due to its high elevation and cooler temperatures, Flagstaff experiences significant snowfall during the winter months. On average, the city receives around 100 inches of snowfall annually, making it one of the snowiest cities in Arizona. 

The snowfall can vary from light flurries to heavy snowstorms, creating a winter wonderland and providing ample opportunities for winter activities such as skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and more.

Flagstaff, Arizona, with its picturesque landscapes and proximity to the stunning Grand Canyon, is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. Nestled in the high country of northern Arizona, Flagstaff experiences a diverse climate with distinct seasons. 

Does It Snow In Flagstaff, AZ?

One question that often comes up is whether or not it snows in Flagstaff. In this article, we will explore Flagstaff’s snowfall patterns and provide an overview of the city’s winter wonderland.

Location Overview

Flagstaff is a city located in northern Arizona, United States. Situated at an elevation of approximately 7,000 feet above sea level, Flagstaff is surrounded by the Coconino National Forest, offering breathtaking natural beauty and outdoor recreational opportunities.

The city is strategically positioned along Interstate 40, which makes it easily accessible for travelers exploring the region or en route to popular destinations such as the Grand Canyon, and Sedona. Flagstaff’s location at the base of the San Francisco Peaks, a volcanic mountain range, adds to its scenic appeal.

Home to Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff has a vibrant and youthful atmosphere. The downtown area offers a mix of charming shops, restaurants, art galleries, and historic buildings. The city has a rich cultural heritage, influenced by Native American tribes and the Old West history of the region.

With its stunning natural landscapes, outdoor adventures, and proximity to iconic landmarks, Flagstaff is a favorite destination for nature lovers, adventure seekers, and those looking to escape the desert heat of southern Arizona.

Geography and Climate of Flagstaff

Flagstaff is known for its diverse climate, with four distinct seasons. Summers are generally mild and pleasant, providing relief from the heat found in other parts of Arizona. While winters are characterized by cold temperatures and ample snowfall. 

Autumn brings vibrant foliage colors, and spring brings blooming wildflowers and a sense of renewal to the area.

Flagstaff’s snowfall is primarily influenced by its high elevation. Situated at around 7,000 feet above sea level, Flagstaff enjoys a cooler climate compared to other parts of Arizona. This elevated position brings colder temperatures, making the region more susceptible to snowfall during the winter months.

Historical Snowfall Record

Flagstaff, Arizona has a long history of significant snowfall due to its high elevation and cooler climate. The city has been keeping weather records for many decades, allowing us to examine its historical snowfall patterns. Here are some notable snowfall records in Flagstaff:

  • Snowiest Month

The snowiest month on record in Flagstaff was January 1916 when an incredible 98.9 inches of snow fell in just one month. This remains the highest monthly snowfall ever recorded in Flagstaff.

  • Snowiest Season

The snowiest season in Flagstaff occurred during the winter of 1972-1973, when a total of 210.9 inches of snow accumulated. This record-breaking season saw consistent and heavy snowfall over several months.

  • Single-Day Snowfall Record

On December 30, 1915, Flagstaff received an astonishing 31.0 inches of snow in a single day. This stands as the highest one-day snowfall record for the city.

  • Snowfall in a Calendar Year

In 1978, Flagstaff experienced its snowiest calendar year, with a total snowfall accumulation of 122.9 inches. This record showcases the city’s ability to receive substantial snowfall throughout the year.

It is important to note that these records represent exceptional snowfall events and may not be representative of typical snowfall amounts in Flagstaff. The city’s average annual snowfall is around 100 inches, with significant variation from year to year.

These historical records support Flagstaff’s reputation as a snowy destination, and it continues to attract winter enthusiasts who appreciate the winter wonderland that blankets the city and its surrounding landscapes.

Winter Season & Snowfall Pattern

Winter in Flagstaff typically begins in late November and lasts until early March. During this time, the city experiences cold temperatures, especially at night. 

The average high temperatures range from the mid-40s to low 50s Fahrenheit, while the lows can drop into the 20s Fahrenheit. However, it’s important to note that temperatures can vary significantly from day to day and even within a single day.

Flagstaff experiences a variety of snow events, ranging from light flurries to heavy snowstorms. When winter storms pass through the area, they can bring significant amounts of snow, often leading to snow days and school closures. 

Skiers and snowboarders highly anticipate these snowstorms, as they create prime conditions for hitting the slopes in nearby ski resorts such as Arizona Snowbowl.

Locations to Enjoy Snow

Flagstaff, Arizona offers several locations where you can enjoy the snowy landscapes and engage in various winter activities. Here are some popular spots to embrace the snow in Flagstaff:

  • Arizona Snowbowl

Located just 14 miles north of Flagstaff, the Arizona Snowbowl is a premier destination for skiing and snowboarding. With a diverse range of slopes suitable for all skill levels, it offers a thrilling winter sports experience. The Snowbowl boasts stunning panoramic views of the surrounding mountains.

  • Coconino National Forest

The Coconino National Forest surrounding Flagstaff transforms into a winter wonderland, providing ample opportunities for snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and winter hiking. The forest offers numerous trails, such as the Inner Basin Trail and the Lava River Cave Trail.

  • Fort Tuthill County Park

Fort Tuthill County Park is a multi-use recreational area that becomes a hub of winter activities during the snowy season. The park features designated sledding and tubing hills, where you can have fun sliding down the slopes with family and friends.

  • Wing Mountain Snow Play Area

Wing Mountain Snow Play Area is a popular spot for families and individuals looking to enjoy a day of snow play. Located a short drive from Flagstaff, this designated snow play area provides slopes for sledding, tubing, and building snowmen. 

  • Parks and Neighborhoods

Flagstaff has numerous parks and open spaces that turn into snowy wonderlands during the winter. Thorpe Park, Buffalo Park, and Bushmaster Park are just a few examples where you can enjoy a snowy walk, have a friendly snowball fight, or build snow forts. 

Factors Influencing Snowfall

Several factors influence the snowfall patterns in Flagstaff, Arizona. The city’s high elevation, at around 7,000 feet above sea level, plays a significant role. The higher elevation brings cooler temperatures, increasing the likelihood of snowfall during the winter months. 

Additionally, Flagstaff’s location in northern Arizona, surrounded by mountainous terrain, contributes to its snowy climate. The mountains can enhance precipitation and create orographic lifting, leading to more substantial snowfall. 

Weather systems that move through the region, such as winter storms and frontal systems, also play a crucial role in bringing precipitation and snow to Flagstaff. The combination of these factors results in the city’s reputation as a snowy destination, attracting winter enthusiasts from near and far.


Flagstaff, Arizona, experiences a significant amount of snowfall due to its high elevation and cooler temperatures. With approximately 100 inches of snowfall annually, Flagstaff is a popular  destination for winter sports enthusiasts and those seeking a snowy adventure. 

The city’s snowy landscapes, combined with its proximity to natural wonders like the Grand Canyon, make it an ideal winter getaway for anyone seeking a unique and memorable experience. So, if you are a fan of winter wonderlands, Flagstaff might just be the perfect  destination for you.