The Hill Top is at an altitude of 3,538 feet above sea level. Daytime summer (June-September) temperatures may range into the low 100 degrees (Fahrenheit). Due to the low humidity, summer days are quite pleasant. The nights cool down, and a light jacket can be a welcome companion. During the winter (November-March), temperatures may drop into the 30's at night, with occasional snow flurries (once or twice a year). However, snow never remains on the ground for more than a day or two.
To the North and West, the Mojave desert tends to have quite sparse vegetation such as creosote bushes and ocotillo, as illustrated in the picture to the right with Lake Mead in the background. The Mojave desert regions get very little annual rain fall -- just a few inches per year. Animal life includes species, such as the desert tortoise, kangaroo rats, coyotes, and rattlesnakes.
To the Southeast, the Sonoran Desert experiences Summer "monsoon" rainstorms, and hence supports a richer and denser vegetation level. The Saguaro Cactus is the hallmark of Sonoran Desert regimes, but Sonoran Desert vegetation also includes many species of cacti, including varies of barrel cactus, cholla, ocotilla, and hedgehog cactus. Prickly pear and beavertail cacti are also found in higher elevations. Palo Verde and mesquite trees are found along desert washes, and patches of Joshua trees can be found in suitable microclimates. Animal life includes Desert Bighorn Sheep, deer, foxes, badgers, coyotes, as well as various lizards and snakes.
To the East, the elevation increases steadily up to the high Central Arizona Plateau. Vegetation rapidly changes from desert, to grassland steppe, to juniper woodlands, to stands of Douglas Fir and pine forests around Williams and Flagstaff.