June - August
Summer is the best time to travel to Flagstaff, and peak travel season. While the rest of Arizona is feeling temperatures in the 100s, Flagstaff typically is in the 80s for most summer days. That temperature difference alone makes it a popular getaway for other southwest residents. Summer is also peak season for the nearby Grand Canyon, and many folks choose to stay in Flagstaff while visiting the canyon. Summer brings lots of free fun to Flagstaff, from movies shown on the downtown square every Friday to music festivals, arts and craft shows and more. You can also ride the Snowbowl’s skyride to the top of the peaks during the summer. The city’s busiest months are June and July, followed by August, May and September. If you’re coming in the summer, pack shorts and short-sleeve shirts, but don’t forget a light windbreaker for those cool nights or periods of rain during the monsoon season, which typically brings brief rain showers before returning to sunshine much of July and August.
December - February
Winter is Flagstaff’s off season, though when the snow falls Flagstaff becomes Arizona’s winter sports home, with downhill and cross-country skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, sledding and other winter activities. Even on days that see snowfall (which typically starts sporadically in November), the skies usually clear up and are blue and sunny most of the day. Hotel prices are the lowest generally from November through February. The city gets a little extra bump in visitors for the annual New Year’s Eve Pine Cone Drop at the Hotel Weatherford. Some restaurants open only for dinner in the winter, but most stay open year-round. If coming to Flagstaff during the winter, be sure to bring a coat, wear layers, and bring water-resistant pants, gloves and a warm hat.
March - May; September - November
Fall and spring are both shoulder seasons in Flagstaff. In the fall, many people come to enjoy the colors as the trees turn yellow, red and orange to welcome the cooler weather. Day hikes along the many forest trails in the peaks above Flagstaff are fabulous this time of year. During the annual Festival of Science every fall, the U.S. Naval Observatory Flagstaff Station (USNOFS) opens its doors to the public for tours. Historical ghost tours are usually offered downtown in October. They book up quick, but the city is considering cutting them because of budget restraints. If visiting during the fall, dress in long sleeves, pants and a lightweight jacket. The spring is generally Flagstaff’s strangest weather, where you can get snow one day, really windy weather the next and it can be hot a few days later. If visiting during this time of year, check weather reports the day before you plan to arrive and pack accordingly. Typically long-sleeve shirts and pants are sufficient, but you might also need a windbreaker or jacket.