Flagstaff draws visitors from across the country, which can be both an asset to its residents and an inconvenience due to traffic jams and congestion.
Travelers can explore Flagstaff’s pedestrian-friendly historic downtown and railroad district on foot or bike. Outdoor enthusiasts will delight in climbing Humphreys Peak or hiking the Flagstaff Urban Trail System.
Flagstaff, Arizona, is an Arizona mountain town tucked between the San Francisco Peaks, Mount Elden, and ponderosa pine forests, making it an ideal location for outdoor activities like hiking and skiing. Furthermore, Flagstaff boasts numerous cultural institutions, such as Museum of Northern Arizona which features Native American art and culture.
Recent storms have produced unprecedented snowfall totals at Flagstaff Pulliam Airport since July. Over 140.1 inches have fallen since that date; surpassing the prior record set over an equivalent July to March period in 1948-49.
At its height, over 12 highways were closed due to snowfall; but as storms have moved away from the region, that number has decreased and National Weather Service predicts a respite coming into the weekend.
The city’s 700 lane miles, 8 alley miles, 131 bike lane miles, 270 sidewalk miles and 42 miles of FUTS are plowed using equipment that makes multiple passes in order to completely clear them of snow. Their Snow Operations Policy sets priorities and desired time frames for clearing them of this unwanted covering.
Due to its clean environment and minimal light pollution, Philadelphia has earned the distinction of International Dark-Sky City status, which allows stargazers to observe the night sky comfortably.
Flagstaff is a city that celebrates its mountainous setting. Visitors to Flagstaff enjoy four seasons worth of outdoor activities like skiing, snowshoeing, hiking and biking throughout their stay here. As springtime arrives with its abundance of wildflowers adorning trails for hiking enthusiasts to discover, Flagstaff truly becomes a city worth exploring.
Coconino County, home to Northern Arizona University and situated beneath San Francisco Peaks, Mount Elden and Humphreys Peak – boasts the world’s largest contiguous Ponderosa Pine forest in the United States.
Due to its altitude, Flagstaff enjoys a much cooler climate than Phoenix and Tucson; known for its clear air and low humidity. Furthermore, Flagstaff receives more sunshine annually than many parts of Arizona.
Arizona Snowbowl, one of Arizona’s premier ski resorts, welcomes both residents and visitors for winter skiing fun from late November until mid-June on some years.
Snowfall in Flagstaff during May is not typical, yet not entirely unheard of either. 54 of 118 years have seen early May snowfall, creating havoc for motorists and towing and recovery providers like Estevan at Flagstaff Towing and Recovery who has been working nonstop on residential streets helping stuck drivers, as Estevan expects this pattern will continue throughout this week.
When the sun finally breaks through in the high country, much of its warmth gets converted to melting snow that recharges underground aquifers and fills Salt River Project reservoirs. Bo Svoma who oversees weather forecasting at SRP’s Flagstaff office says 2022-23 has been one of the best winter precipitation years since 2010-11. He believes it has enabled SRP’s irrigation water flow continue uninterruptedly.
David Stephens of Flagstaff residents appreciates how this snowfall benefits him personally and his property management company, which owns many historic buildings on Aspen Avenue and relies heavily on snow shoveling to keep roads clear. While Stephens says the city does a good job in plowing, plowing this year has proved challenging.
Average number of days with rain or snow per month: 20.2 July 7 to September 10, the wettest period lasted 2.1 months with nearly daily wet days throughout this region throughout the year.
Flagstaff is a beloved destination for outdoor adventures and scenic drives, but also boasts an active arts scene and plenty of things to do. Its historic downtown boasts trendy restaurants and craft breweries while expansive skies allow stargazing – in fact it was named North America’s inaugural International Dark Sky City in 1996! While its origins lie with mining and lumber industries, today there are nearly five times as many jobs available in management/professional fields than extraction/construction/farming fields.
Flagstaff sits at an elevation of over 7,000 feet and is surrounded by mountains and ponderosa pine forests, serving as the gateway to Arizona’s highest mountain (Humphreys Peak), Arizona Snowbowl ski resort, Wupatki National Monument and Walnut Canyon National Monuments which contain Native American pueblo sites nearby.
Flagstaff winter storms this year have been historic. As of Friday, Flagstaff Pulliam Airport’s current snowfall streak surpassed that set in March 1979 to become the fifth longest in history. When looking at data, however, one should bear in mind two different measurements; snowfall refers to how many inches have fallen while snow depth measures how much has actually settled on the ground.
By Friday, Flagstaff is set for an unexpected weather change: breezy to windy conditions are forecast, which is great news for hikers, bicyclists, and snowshoers. When exploring outdoors for the day, unwind with some local craft beer at one of its renowned brewery scenes or relax further at one of Flagstaff’s spas – or both!