While Arizona is known for its natural wonders, desert landscapes, and extreme heat in summer (some regions experience eye-wateringly high temperatures of 41°C/105°F during June and July), the Grand Canyon state actually sees snowfall in some areas, particularly in the northern and high altitude parts of the state. These areas can sometimes attract as much as 100 inches of snow per year with regions such as Flagstaff in the state's north being one of the snowiest places to visit during the winter months, often experiencing weeks of freezing weather.
Larger populated cities in the southern part of the state, such as Tucson and Pheonix, are also known to receive a light dusting of snow from time to time, however, it usually doesn't last long as the temperatures aren't cold enough for it to stick to the ground for longer than 24 hours.
What's winter like in Arizona?
The kind of weather you experience in winter in Arizona largely depends on where in the state you are. The southern regions, including Tucson and Pheonix, usually enjoy sunny weather (with a slight smattering of rain here and there) with average temperatures of around 20°C/68°F, so chances are you won't even need a jacket, at least during the day. Temperatures do tend to drop to freezing levels during the night so make sure you pack a heavier coat or jacket if you're planning on participating in any nighttime activities.
However, if you're travelling further north (think Grand Canyon National Park, Flagstaff, and Kingman), the months of December, January, and February are likely to bring cold days, frequent snowfall, and other wintry weather conditions with average temperatures of around 3°C/38°F.
Regardless of where you are, make sure to keep an eye on weather patterns throughout your stay as they can shift quickly and can sometimes be unpredictable.
What to pack for winter in Arizona
Again, what to pack for your trip to Arizona depends on which part of the state you're travelling to. Clothing items such as dresses, shorts, and t-shirts are all acceptable for the southern, drier regions whereas jackets, coats, and warmer clothing are needed for the northern regions. It's also best to at least pack a light jacket or heavier cardigan, even if you're going to arid, desert-like areas as the temperatures can drop to freezing or below.
You should also pack comfortable, enclosed walking shoes, a waterproof jacket in case of light showers, and a hat to protect you from the sun's rays when you're outside.