The San Francisco Peaks are subject to a wide range of climate conditions. Precipitation ranges from 20 inches (50 cm) in the lower area of the mountain to over 40 inches (100 cm) on the upper slopes. Temperatures fluctuate greatly from night to day.
Precautions should be taken to avoid being caught on exposed peaks and ridge tops during northern Arizona’s regular summer thunderstorms. Plan ahead: watch approaching storms and get to a safe area before the storms hit. The safest places to be, if you do get caught in a storm, are forested areas away from ridge tops, ledges, rock outcroppings, or the tallest trees.
Several factors make it necessary to implement some restrictions — the fragile habitat of the Peaks, a threatened plant species, the Kachina Peaks Wilderness designation, and the municipal watershed for the City of Flagstaff in the Inner Basin.