2009 Snow
Home Up



We were greeted by snow once before during a visit to the Grand Canyon, and that was back in 2005.  That year, we stayed in Flagstaff, and the snow, while enough to cover the ground and roads, was slushy, and it didn't really affect driving.  This year, we had snow overnight at the Canyon, but it was really not much more than a dusting.  We weren't concerned, but while we again never really ran into any serious driving problems, the snow was more widespread and consistent.  In fact, it snowed and then rained pretty much all the way back to Phoenix, but at least it was about 60 degrees there when we arrived, and the snow had long since given way to rain as we came down in elevation along I-17.


Time-exposure shot taken at about 5:45 a.m. on our last morning in the southwest as we were loading up the van for the last time.  Some snow had fallen, but it was barely enough to stay on the trees and windshields.  The pavement, as you can see, was just wet in places.   We didn't really expect the snow to be an issue, and it really wasn't.  But it did give us slight pause now and then.
The McDonald's in the small shopping area just south of the park entrance where we stopped for breakfast and only a few miles from where the photo at the top was taken.  But things were a little more snowy here, with snow continuing to fall lightly.
The view ahead as we pulled out of the McDonald's parking lot for the drive to Phoenix, 230 miles and about 3.5 hours (we hoped) away.
As we got closer to I-40 at Williams about 60 miles south of the Canyon, conditions began to get slowly worse.  Here's a view out the front window as we headed east on I-40 the few miles (about 30) between Williams and Flagstaff.  We had hoped and assumed that, once we reached Flagstaff and I-17, turned south, and began to descend in elevation, the snow would disappear and become no worse than rain.  That did happen, but the snow stayed with us a considerable way.  But the road conditions never really got any worse than you see here.  The plows were out in force keeping things cleared and salted.

It was pretty, though.