We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

N. Arizona between Xmas and New Year

Los Angeles...
13 posts
Save Topic
N. Arizona between Xmas and New Year

We are thinking about driving from LA to Flagstaff and Monument Valley next week, between Christmas and New Year. However, extended weather forcast says Flagstaff will have snow shower next Wed & Thurs... Should driving be an issue for us? Do I need a SUV? We (my wife, myself and 2 kids - 7 and 8) can always do this trip at a different time but are looking for something to do next week. Thanks in advance for any advice.

Edited: 22 December 2010, 09:25
Cottonwood, Arizona
Level Contributor
676 posts
Save Reply
1. Re: N. Arizona between Xmas and New Year

The weather can be precarious during this time of year. If I were driving from CA, I would probably choose another time of year to do your proposed trip...

The plateau that surrounds Flagstaff can get a ton of snow. Having said that, it is usually cleared up pretty quickly, but sometimes it has been known to shut down I-40 for up to a day!

An SUV equipped with snow tires would surely not be a bad idea.

Uden, The...
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
Level Contributor
60,942 posts
42 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: N. Arizona between Xmas and New Year

It does not look too bad weather.com/outlook/…USAZ0068 but you'll be on the road app 4 days between LA and MV and back. Have you checked lodging in MV? The View hotel is expensive but nothing can beat its views.

Tet

Cottonwood, Arizona
Level Contributor
676 posts
Save Reply
3. Re: N. Arizona between Xmas and New Year

Tet, would you not agree that there are better/more appropriate time(s) of year to do this road trip?

Marina, California
Destination Expert
for Tucson
Level Contributor
6,050 posts
98 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: N. Arizona between Xmas and New Year

Flagstaff is fantastic for New Years. I was up there a few years ago for it and, it was really cold, but it was also a ton of fun. Then again, you say you have kids, and it is not, in any way, a kid-friendly event. People out there had kids, but I wouldn't bring mine. Too many drunks.

A "snow shower" likely won't be enough to get upset about. It's the big storms that close the roads that you have to get worried about and avoid. At the most, it'll be charming. White Christmas, right? The kids certainly won't get that in LA.

Uden, The...
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
Level Contributor
60,942 posts
42 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: N. Arizona between Xmas and New Year

Maybe adding Sedona instead Monument Valley would be a good idea.

Less driving and also very scenic. I guess you already have been to Grand Canyon NP. We also love snow and a White Christmas. With the right equipment (wintertyres etc) we have traveled a lot on slippery roads and in the mountains for a White Christmas.

West Yellowstone...
Destination Expert
for Flagstaff, West Yellowstone
Level Contributor
2,288 posts
61 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: N. Arizona between Xmas and New Year

I've lived in Flagstaff for about 10 years and never owned an SUV. We drive (front-wheel drive) sedans and just stay in during bad weather. I don't, however, think I'd want to plan a trip through the area if time was tight and you couldn't delay your return for a day or more if circumstances called for it. As Desert Rose pointed out, the snow can close the highways. I'd definitely not attempt to drive down highway 89 to Sedona if there has been any snow to speak of. If you make that plan, and snow hits, use I-17 instead.

There are two New Year's Eve celebrations downtown. One is at 10 p.m. (family celebration) and the other at midnight. With kids, I'd suggest the 10 p.m. celebration and head back to your hotel to watch other celebrations on TV.

BTW, the event is a giant "pinecone drop" from an historic downtown hotel. There's live music at Heritage Square very nearby and it is a lot of fun, but be prepared for the cold!

If you choose to stay in Flagstaff rather than venture towards Monument Valley or Sedona, there are lots of winter play activities that would appeal to kids- cross-country skiing, downhill skiing, sledding (equipment and info available at Peace Surplus downtown on Rt. 66) and the Jay Lively ice arena offers family ice skating opportunities. There is also an indoor swim complex (The Flagstaff Aquaplex) with water slides and a lazy river the kids might enjoy.

Enjoy your trip!

Mesa, AZ
Level Contributor
1,396 posts
147 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: N. Arizona between Xmas and New Year

Sadly, I just cancelled my stay at the Grand Canyon, leaving tomorrow, returning next week. I just didn't want the hassle and and uncertainty of weather and road conditions. There was already an overturned vehicle on the 17 north, and the weather coming out of California isn't pretty. AND, I now have the stomach flu! Double whammy!

West Yellowstone...
Destination Expert
for Flagstaff, West Yellowstone
Level Contributor
2,288 posts
61 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: N. Arizona between Xmas and New Year

Sorry to hear that, kmesaaz. All around, it sounds like it was for the best that you cancelled. Feel better!

Cottonwood, Arizona
Level Contributor
676 posts
Save Reply
9. Re: N. Arizona between Xmas and New Year

Sorry to hear that.... Get well soon!

Los Angeles...
13 posts
Save Reply
10. Re: N. Arizona between Xmas and New Year

Thank you all for your replies. Maybe I will consider another time to visit N. Arizona. What about S. Arizona? Are there much to do for the kids? Would the weather be more forgiving?