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Snow Issues mid-March?

Brisbane, Australia
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Snow Issues mid-March?

Greetings.

We will be in Flagstaff 11-14 March with a view to visiting Walnut Canyon NM, Sunset Crater Volcano NM, Wupatki NM and Petrified Forest NP (saw GCNP last year).

Had not thought about snow until reading another topic.

Any advice about likely impacts snow might have on what we are planning would be greatly appreciated (e.g. will we not be able to see some of these, need special car tyre attachments, etc?).

Any other useful suggestions? We are coming from Tucson and then heading west along old Route 66 to Kingman and on to Lake Havasu City.

Many thanks.

Phoenix, Arizona
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1. Re: Snow Issues mid-March?

Hi Alan23,

Sounds like you have a nice trip planned! Flagstaff is in the mountains - 7,000 feet elevation, and is subject to snow all the way through March. That being said, when we have a late winter snow in Flagstaff, it usually does not last too long a day or two at most.

If you are driving from Tucson, you should watch the weather reports for Flagstaff and the predictions for the days you are to travel to that area. That will give you a good idea about what to expect.

The freeway - I-17 - is kept fairly free of snow, however, the roads can be snow packed and slippery especially the last 30 miles into Flagstaff.

As far as visiting the National Monuments in the Flagstaff area, the main highways to the Monuments are kept clear of snow as well, so you should be o.k. in your plans. Petrified Forest and Painted Desert is at a much lower elevation and the roads through this Monument should be fine. Enjoy your trip!

Wayne

Mesa, Arizona
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2. Re: Snow Issues mid-March?

It could be 20 deg or 60 deg you just don't know. The best place to check out is www.wunderground.com/US/AZ/Flagstaff.html for weather. Then check out http://az511.com/hcrsweb/hcrsweb.jsp or dial 511 from your p hone once in Arizona. My advice for vehicles is that you don't need 4 wheel drive. The best (IMHO) for possible snow would be an AWD vehicle like a subaru outback or similar All the roads are well paved but a freak storm can hit any time well into April.

If you have time take a detour from Phoenix to sedona to Flagstaff. Worth the stop. You might have to check but I am not sure if Walnut Canyon is fully open yet. They had a huge rock fall last year and I 'm not sure if they've fixed it completely.

tripadvisor.com/GoListDetail-i3541-Northern_…

Flagstaff, Arizona
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3. Re: Snow Issues mid-March?

March is very much a "transition" month. Today in Flagstaff it is 60 degrees (today is 24 Feb). But it could snow any time.

Historically, March is a high precipitation month. However, this is a desert climate so "high precipitation" here, is going to be lower than other areas.

Always be prepared for winter driving conditions at anytime in Northern Arizona. On the plus side, if it does snow while you are here, there is excellent skiing at Arizona Snowbowl this year.

Have a good trip.

Mesa, Arizona
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4. Re: Snow Issues mid-March?

As far as i know Flagstaff is NOT considered a "desert area". We are at 7000 feet in elevation + and are nothing like a desert. Sedona/Camp Verde/Winslow/Holbrook are high desert but this area is anything but a desert. We have mountains and pine trees. Please do not think that all of arizona is a desert it is far from the truth.

tucson az
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for Tucson, Arizona, Northern Mexico
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5. Re: Snow Issues mid-March?

The Colorado Plateau where Flagstaff is located is considered high altitude semi-desert, and has the world's largest Ponderosa pine forest. Flagstaff itself is also not "in the mountains," though there are mountains nearby. In technical terms of climate and geography, nearly all of Arizona is either desert or semi-desert.

Brisbane, Australia
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6. Re: Snow Issues mid-March?

Many thanks to all the helpful suggestions everyone made; really appreciate them.

We are really looking forward to being in "your" place for a few days next week.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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7. Re: Snow Issues mid-March?

We own a timeshare in Flagstaff tht starts the third weekend in March. Back in 2005 we flew into Phoenix, arriving at around 7pm. The drive up into the mountans to Flagstaff was trecherous, with snow, sleet and slippery roads over the mountain pass. Not fun, to say the least.

We are planning a 1:00pm arrival into Phoenix this year to avoid the potentially lousey nightime driving just in case there is wintery weather.

As others have said, you never really know what March may bring.

8. Re: Snow Issues mid-March?

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