WINTER TRAVEL TIPS

Tips for Visiting Flagstaff with Family During Winter

1) Bundle Up!

Flagstaff can be cold, maybe not Chicago during an ice storm cold, but it can get cold. With the average winter temperatures hovering in the 30's and 40's during the day, at night it can drop easily into the teens and even the negatives. Wear multiple layers as the temperature can change throughout the day. You will want to be ready for it! Bundling up means bringing long sleeves, jackets, thick socks, boots (not just tennis shoes), hats, scarves, and gloves. If you are going to do any snow play make sure your pants, gloves, and boots are all waterproof otherwise you will get wet and cold. There are many places in Flagstaff where you can buy winter weather gear if you forget or need more. We recommend you check out the local outdoor shops like Aspen Sports, Peace Surplus, or Babbitt Backcountry Outfitters.

2) Protect Yourself from the Sun

Flagstaff is at almost 7,000 feet of elevation. This means the air is a lot thinner here and the sun's rays are consequently stronger. Sunscreen is a must, no matter the season, but particularly in winter because people tend to forget about it. If you're headed up to the mountain to ski or snowboard, sunscreen is even more important because the sun's rays will reflect off the snow and right onto your skin. It's similar to when you're at the beach and the sun reflects off the ocean, except make it brighter and stronger. Wear sunscreen whenever possible, and don't forget sunglasses or goggles when you're outside, snow blindness is a real thing!

3) Refuel Frequently

If you're up in Flag during winter sledding or up on the mountain, don't forget to refuel yourself with calories frequently! It takes a lot more energy to run through a foot of snow than on the flat ground, so kids will be likely to burn more calories than they usually do. Keep snacks on hand to fight off the hungry beast and keep them fueled for more hours of snow play. Snacks like dried fruit and granola give boots of energy while keeping you fuller, longer. Don't forget, hot chocolate is kind of a must when it's cold outside! Late for the Train has some amazing hot cocoa for kids and Rendezvous in Downtown Flagstaff has some great “adult” hot beverages as well (and they open really early and close late, wink, wink).

4) Respect Nature

Cold weather and snowstorms bring a whole new layer that can complicate even the simplest of tasks. The roads can become ice rinks and ruin your aspirations of sledding. Keep snacks, water, and blankets packed in your car in case you slide off the road; if you are able, get chains for your tires if a big snowstorm is expected; never drive on less than a quarter tank of gas (if you slide off the road, you don't want to run out of fuel when trying to keep warm); and make sure your cell phone is always charged or mostly charged so you can call for assistance. The list can go on and on, and nothing beats good judgment and use of common sense. Learn about cold injuries so that you can lookout for signs of hypothermia and prevent that from occurring or what to do in case you find someone in that situation. If your kiddo is shivering and suddenly stops and feels extremely warm to the point where they start to take off clothes, this could be a sign of hypothermia and they need to be taken inside immediately. People die every year in Flagstaff due to cold exposure; don't let your family be one of them!

5) Be Flexible

Flagstaff's temperature, weather, snow levels, and road conditions vary a lot. If you had plans to go sledding and there's not enough snow, being flexible will be important to maintaining sanity after all the travel and coordination you've already done to get here. There could be a number of things that go wrong due to inclement weather so make a Plan B with activities that make your trip still worthwhile. Bring new games to play, or tell ghost stories by a fire. The attraction you have come to see might be closed due to inclement weather, take this time to have a good old-fashioned snowball fight or make a snowman instead. The restaurants might close early due to snow, head to a gas station and have a one-time junk food feast, making it a special time for kids instead of a problem. You might even get stuck in town due to highways closing. Try to make the most of it and find the positive in the situation. The weather will do what it is going to do, but how to look at it will determine how much fun you could actually have! So grab a hot chocolate, go sledding, and enjoy Flagstaff in winter.

Note to Sledders:

If you do go sledding, please, please, please do not leave your plastic sleds or pieces of them on the side of the road or in the forest. Not only do local Flagstaffians have to go out of their way to pick up after you, but natural wildlife can also get hurt or sick from them. There's nothing remotely ok nor acceptable about leaving your trash in the forest.

Spotlight Favorites

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To see our availability or book a reservation, check out www.flagstaffextreme.com or give us a call at 888-259-0125!

(See our website for age and height restrictions)

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