Visiting Flagstaff in November is a time for calm reflection, warm food, good friends, and day trips. By the turn of November, the peak of tourist season has passed and the winter sports season is still on the horizon. The students have all settled in, celebrated homecoming, and begun hunkering down for the rest of the semester.
November is a great time to visit Flagstaff for a great number of reasons, of course that’s if you don’t mind a chill to the air. So, let’s explore some of the top annual things to do in Flagstaff in November that make it a great late autumn destination.
Flagstaff Weather in November
Before we dive in on the many things to do, let’s talk for just a moment about Flagstaff weather in the Fall. The best way to enjoy Flagstaff any time of year, is to be prepared for the weather and November is certainly no exception.
What are the average temperatures in Flagstaff in November? The average daily highs in November will generally run in the mid-50’s. A rare good day can perhaps reach the low to mid 60’s and the chiller days can be in the 40’s or possibly even the 30’s. The average nightly lows will definitely be below freezing, and commonly in the 20’s. You can expect some nights to be in the teens, as well as, some in the low 30’s.
Is there snow in Flagstaff in November? It is uncommon for November to see a large amount of snow, however, it is not uncommon for an early season storm or two to come through. The average precipitation in November is 1.76 inches with about an 11% daily chance of rain/snow. With this said, it’s important that you keep an eye on the forecast as you plan your trip to Flagstaff so you are prepared for any circumstance.
Is it windy in Flagstaff in November? Fall in Flagstaff is known for it’s cold, windy days! Luckily for you, they are generally more concentrated in September and October. The average winds per day in November are 7mph with gusts in the teens or 20’s. However, if you do get a windy day in November it will be cold!! Check the forecast and dress accordingly.
What should I wear in Flagstaff in November? This is a great question to go along with weather. One consistent thing about weather in Flagstaff, is that it can vary day by day, hour by hour, and minute by minute. There are several micro-climates as you travel from one part of town to another, and also if you are changing elevations the weather can vary significantly as well.
So the best way to dress for Flagstaff is layers! This means comfortable shoes, wool socks, long pants, and multiple layers up top. The best thing about Flagstaff year round is that there is rarely a day where the sun does not shine for at least awhile. So it’s always possible you will enjoy the sun in a simple long sleeve mid-day, add a vest or sweater by late afternoon, and add a down coat by evening. Gloves and a hat, particularly by end of November, are also a great idea.
Things To Do In Flagstaff In November
Now that we have established a baseline for what climate to expect in November, let’s explore some of the fun things to do in the area this time of year. As you can imagine, being right smack dab in the shoulder season, November still has one foot firmly in autumn activities and one foot in winter activities. This time of year begs both questions: What is there to do in Flagstaff in the Fall?, as well as, What is there to do in Flagstaff in the Winter? So, our list below will explore both topics.
1. Enjoy the Outdoors
- Early Season Skiing at Snowbowl
- Depending on the year, the Arizona Snowbowl will open for skiing about 3 weeks into November. The resort does have snowmaking operations, and so there is generally enough of a base for at lease one or a couple runs to be open. On occasion, there will be a few really good early storms on the mountain and you can get some nice skiing in over Thanksgiving.
- One of the best tips for skiing at Snowbowl, is to buy your tickets early from their website. They often have early season deals that may not be available at the ticket window.
- Snowbowl is a great destination for the beginner snow sport enthusiast or for more advanced riders and skiers. The mountain consists of 55 trails serviced by 8 lifts.
- Flagstaff Nordic Center
- Cross country skiing and snowshoeing are great activities to enjoy in November at the Nordic Center. Your visit can include access to their numerous trails, as well as, rentals if needed.
- Instruction is available for those newer to snow sports, and lodging that is a bit more on the rustic side is also available on site.
- Other trails with free access in the area are great for cross country skiing and snowshoeing as well. However, you will either need to rent your gear from another local outfitter or have your own.
- Take a Hike (perhaps see some fall colors?!)
- Some great places for easy to moderate day hikes in and around Flagstaff are: Buffalo Park, Campbell Mesa, Picture Canyon, Griffith Springs, and Fat Man’s Loop.
- In early November it is not uncommon for the last of the trees to still be shedding their leaves in a colorful and wintry fashion. Though most of the leaves have fallen, the hiking in and around Flagstaff is still beautiful just in a very different way.
- Flagstaff Extreme Adventure Course
- Weather permitting, you can take the whole family and soar among the trees on Flagstaff Extreme’s zipline and/or adventure course.
- Visit a Nearby Park, Monument, Heritage Site etc…
- Flagstaff is either home to or nearby nearly a dozen state or federal parks or monuments. All of which are worth a visit. Depending on how much time you have you may want to explore a few.
- In Flagstaff: Walnut Canyon National Monument & Riordan Mansion State Park. If you visit both of these parks on your visit, you will gain a fairly comprehensive insight to both the ancient and more modern history of Flagstaff. Walnut Canyon is not only a beautiful deep gorge with incredible biodiversity and nice hiking, it also contains nearly one thousand year old ruins from the ancient Northern Sinagua. Riordan Mansion is the historic home of the Riordan family who were some of Flagstaff’s first and most influential residents. They owned and operated the lumbermill, Flagstaff’s then largest employer, for near fifty years.
- Just Outside of Town (accessible within 1 hour or so): Wupatki & Sunset Crater Volcano National Monuments, Homolovi State Park, Slide Rock & Red Rock State Parks, and Honanki & Palatki Heritage Sites. Once again, all of these sites incorporate Flagstaff geological, cultural, and in some cases Arizona’s more modern roots.
- Further Away (typically day trips): South Rim of Grand Canyon, Page, AZ with Hoover Dam, Antelope Canyon & Horseshoe Bend, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Grand Canyon Caverns & the East Rim, Petrified Forest National Park, V Bar V Petroglyph Site, and Tuzigoot National Monument.
2. Enjoy the (mostly) Indoors
- Coffee, Food, & Brews
- Flagstaff’s coffee scene has been at the core of our culture for many decades, but the microbrew and local food scenes have really take off over that past several years. November is one of the best times to experience all three. There is nothing better than a warm cup of house brewed coffee to ease your day into heading outside and exploring. Or than an aprés ski or hike house crafted beer with appetizers and meals made entirely from regionally sourced ingredients.
- Great places to try are: Macy’s European Coffee House, Firecreek, Late for the Train Single Speed, & Rendezvous for coffee, Beaver Street, Lumberyard, Flagstaff Brewing Co., Dark Sky, Historic, and Wanderlust for a good beer, and Proper Meats, Brix, Karma, La Vetta, Northern Pines, Diablo Burger, The Cottage, and Martanne’s.
- These suggestions are really JUST the tip of the iceberg! We wish we could provide a comprehensive list of all the food and drink spots around town, because eating is our favorite!, but the point of all of this it: skip the fast food and eat/drink local!
- Have Fun with the Whole Family
- While we always encourage folks to get outside and enjoy all that Arizona’s wilderness has to offer, we also know that there will be plenty of time to spend indoors with the family. Flagstaff has some great businesses that offer fun and oftentimes interactive activities for folks of all ages!
- Here are some great ideas: go bowling at Starlite Lanes, enjoy axe throwing or laser tag at Flag Tag, test your problem solving skills in an escape room, test your physical problem solving skills at indoor rock climbing gym (Beta or Flagstaff Climbing), and express your creative side at either Creative Spirits or Board and Brush.
- Explore Arizona’s Wild Side, the Stars, & It’s Culture
- The last things to do in Flagstaff in November that we will explore are also fun for the whole family or visitor’s of any age, but they are more specific to connecting with the natural side of our town.
- When visiting a town it is so important, at least in our opinion, to connect to a place’s past in order to feel a part of the community. Some of the best places to do so in Flagstaff are: Lowell Observatory, the Museum of Northern Arizona, Bearizona & the Deer Farm (both in Williams), the Flagstaff Pioneer Museum, or, of course, on one of our self-guided walking or driving tours.
3. Annual Flagstaff Events in November
- While November might not be the best time in Flagstaff for annual events, there are few fun things happening that you may want to coordinate your visit around!
- Holiday Lights: Across the US, it is traditional for many places to have lighting festivals in November and December and Flagstaff is no exception. While the City of Flagstaff lighting ceremony, as well as, the City of Sedona’s are in December, the Little America Holiday of Lights ceremony is traditionally in mid-November. Even if you are not in town for the actual lighting, it’s worth driving by this iconic Flagstaff hotel and seeing it’s lighting display. Perhaps you will even want to stay there!
- Movies, Plays, & Concerts: Spend those chilly November evenings inside watching a movie or play or listening to music. Movies: Support great causes at Grand Canyon Youth’s Rivers and Reels and the Reel Rock Movie Festival. Also check out the Winter Movie Series at the Orpheum. Plays: Head on over to Theatrikos or NAU to explore this year’s ticket of fantastic local theater productions. Music: Feel cultured with the Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra or head out and watch some live music at one of our intimate, but awesome, live venues around town. Some ideas are: Orpheum, Coconino Center for the Arts, Ardrey Auditorium, Flag Brew, Museum Club, and Firecreek.
Where to stay in Flagstaff in November?
One of the best parts of visiting Flagstaff in November is that rates for lodging generally drop during this time of year. Flagstaff has a lot of great hotels with a couple newer ones, as well as, historic hotels downtown or along Route 66, but you may want to consider getting a vacation rental. Perhaps even one with a hot tub!
Some cool, local lodging ideas in Flagstaff are: the Arizona Mountain Inn & Suites, stay at a historic hotel at the Weatherford or the Monte Vista, rent a Yurt at the Nordic Center, enjoy the lights at Little America, be close to skiing at the Ski Lift Lodge, or enjoy a bed and breakfast at the Inn at 410.
Okay, my friends! We hope this article will help you plan an enjoy your time in Flagstaff during either the month of November or whenever you decide to come visit us. See you soon!