Explore Flagstaff and Northern Arizona
Northern Arizona has a wealth of cultural, historical and natural resources. There are many opportunities for half or full day side trips in the surrounding area. Check the local papers for special events celebrating local flavor, performing arts or speakers programs.
Some of the West's most beautiful country surrounds Flagstaff — from the alpine forests of the San Francisco Peaks to the rugged deserts of neighboring Native American nations, and the glorious red rocks of Oak Creek Canyon. Grand Canyon National Park, Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument and Meteor Crater are all within easy driving distance, as are many archaeological treasures.
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The park is located in the city of Flagstaff. Flagstaff is a community rich with cultural diversity, beauty, and history as well as amazing educational, recreational and scientific opportunities. Restaurants, lodging, fuel, Amtrak, airport, banks, libraries, groceries, laundry, theaters, shopping centers, and golf courses are available.
Surrounded by natural wonders like the Grand Canyon, Oak Creek Canyon, and Meteor Crater, Flagstaff offers a multitude of accommodations and restaurants, and a variety of cultural, historic and scientific attractions. Visitors from all over the world are attracted to the clean mountain air, year-round outdoor recreation opportunities, historic downtown charm and Western legacy of pioneer ranchers, railroad builders and lumbermen.
Museum of Northern Arizona
The Museum of Northern Arizona has evoked the very spirit of the Colorado Plateau for more than eighty years. It serves as the gateway to understanding this region, with nine exhibit galleries, revealing Native cultures, artistic traditions, and natural sciences. MNA’s four Heritage Program festivals highlight the region’s cultures and encourage communication and the exchange of ideas between visitors, educators, and artists.
Lowell Observatory is a private, non-profit research institution founded in 1894 by Percival Lowell. The Observatory has been the site of many important findings including the discovery of the large recessional velocities (redshift) of galaxies by V.M. Slipher in 1912-1914 (a result that led ultimately to the realization the universe is expanding), and the discovery of Pluto by Clyde Tombaugh in 1930. Today, Lowell's 19 astronomers use ground-based telescopes around the world, telescopes in space, and NASA planetary spacecraft to conduct research in diverse areas of astronomy and planetary science. The Observatory welcomes 70,000 visitors each year to its Mars Hill campus in Flagstaff, Arizona for a variety of tours, telescope viewing, and special programs.
The Arizona Historical Society’s Pioneer Museum is located in the historic Coconino County Hospital for the Indigent. The building was built in 1908 and served as the County Hospital until 1938. The museum houses more than 10,000 artifacts associated with the history of Flagstaff and northern Arizona, including livestock working gear, medical equipment, household items, toys and dolls, textiles and costumes. The largest exhibit, a 1929 Baldwin articulated locomotive and a Santa Fe caboose, was moved to the museum grounds in 1994. The Pioneer Museum sponsors two major annual events: the Flagstaff Wool Festival which features wool spinning, sheep shearing, felt making, weaving, and camp cooking; and the Independence Day Celebration which features living history camps including demonstrations of cannon firing, mountain man skills, woodworking, candle dipping, spinning, weaving, and camp cooking. Every winter, come enjoy the annual “Playthings of the Past” exhibit. This features antique toys, games, dolls and all sorts of childhood memories.
Coconino Center for the Arts
The center for art, science and culture. Diverse rotating exhibitions include local, regional, and national art, contemporary fine crafts and special science programs. Intimate 200 seat theatre offers performances throughout the year.
The Arboretum at Flagstaff
The Arboretum at Flagstaff is a botanical garden, research station, and environmental education center. Our goal is to help visitors better understand the plants and plant communities of the world-renowned Colorado Plateau. The Arboretum is known for its beautiful collection of 2,500 species of plants, guided tours, Wild Birds of Prey programs, and spectacular views of the surrounding mountains, meadows, and forests. Enjoy guided tours daily, birding, greenhouse, and gift shop. Classes and workshops on gardening and natural history are also available.
Coconino National Forest
The world’s largest contiguous ponderosa pine forest surrounds Flagstaff. With elevations ranging from 2,600 to 12,633 feet, the forest features diversity from desert cactus to alpine tundra and is home to a variety of wildlife.
The San Francisco Peaks
Rising more than a mile above the surrounding pine forests and grasslands of northern Arizona, the San Francisco Peaks are a prominent feature of the southern Colorado Plateau. A stratovolcano, the Peaks rise in dramatic isolation to over 12,000 feet. They are often visible from more than one hundred miles away. Traditional land uses of the area have included grazing of livestock and logging. Today, recreation and tourism, have become the most prominent land-uses of the Peaks. The mountain's caldera, known as the Inner Basin, contains an aquifer that supplies much of the municipal water for the city of Flagstaff, the largest city on the Colorado Plateau. The San Francisco Peaks are well known as the place of origin of C. Hart Merriam's Life Zones concept, developed in a study done on the slopes of the volcano in 1898. Several distinct biotic communities can be observed from the base of the peaks to their summit, including pinyon-juniper woodlands, ponderosa pine, mixed conifer, aspen, and spruce-fir forests, and finally alpine tundra atop the two highest peaks, Mt. Humphreys and Mt. Agassiz.
The Fort Valley Experimental Forest Station
Coconino Experiment Station (now Fort Valley Experimental Forest) was the first USFS research facility established in the nation when it opened in August 1908. Researchers studied natural and artificial regeneration, stand improvement, sample plots, climate - everything that might influence a tree's life. Permanent sample plots were established over all the various forest types in the southwest in 1912. NAU forestry professors and students have been remeasuring the plots for the past eight years, providing a ninety-year record of change. Fort Valley also served as the site for Ranger Schools to train incoming District 3 rangers. Students learned silviculture, camp maintenance, law, grazing, fieldwork, horse care, and office work during the two-week sessions. Today, the Fort Valley campus is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is eligible as a National Historic Landmark. Plans to refurbish the buildings are in process. The archives generated from Fort Valley's pioneering work in USFS research include photographs, maps, correspondence, and reports which are maintained by Rocky Mountain Research Station.
Skiing at it’s peak! 2,300 vertical feet, 32 trails, and four chairlifts. In winter, enjoy skiing and snowboarding. In summer, enjoy the scenic skyride to 11,500 feet elevation. Lodging and dining at the Ski Lift Lodge at the bottom of the mountain. Dining also available at lower lift.
Flagstaff Nordic Center
Offering over 25 miles of groomed cross country trails and ten miles of snowshoe trails through beautiful forests. The trails will entertain and challenge beginner and seasoned cross-country skiers alike. Rentals and lessons available. Located one mile from Crowley Pit snowplay area. Hiking and biking in summer. Lodging available.
NAU Art Museum at Old Main
Located in the historic Old Main building on Northern Arizona University’s north campus, the NAU Art Museum presents fine and contemporary art exhibitions featuring local, national and internationally renowned artists. The Marguerite Hettel Weiss Collection includes paintings and sculptures by noted twentieth-century Mexican and American artists such as Diego Rivera and Francisco Zuniga and turn-of-the-century furniture and antiques. The second floor features six to eight temporary exhibitions of contemporary art yearly. The premier showcase for contemporary art in the region, the NAU Art Museum presents creative, cutting edge exhibitions.
Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument
Sunset Crater Volcano was born in a series of eruptions sometime between 1040 and 1100. Powerful explosions profoundly affected the lives of local people and forever changed the landscape and ecology of the area. Lava flows and cinders still look as fresh and rugged as the day they formed. But among dramatic geologic features, you'll find trees, wildflowers, and signs of wildlife – life returns. See for yourself on the one-mile, self guided Lava Flow Trail. A scenic drive connects Sunset Crater National Monument and Wupatki National Monument, ranging from mountain to desert landscapes.
Wupatki National Monument
Less than 800 years ago, Wupatki Pueblo was the largest pueblo around. It flourished for a time as a meeting place of different cultures. Yet this was one of the warmest and driest places on the Colorado Plateau, offering little obvious food, water, or comfort. How and why did people live here? The builders of Wupatki and nearby pueblos have moved on, but their legacy remains. Visitor center exhibits explain how they survived by farming, hunting and gathering, and trading. Short trails lead to Wupatki, Lomaki, and other pueblos.
Walnut Canyon National Monument
Walk in the footsteps of people who lived at Walnut Canyon more than 700 years ago. Peer into their homes, cliff dwellings built deep within canyon walls. The presence of water in a dry land made the canyon rare and valuable to its early human inhabitants. It remains valuable today as habitat for plants and animals. See for yourself on trails along the canyon rim and into the depths. The strenuous one-mile Island Trail descends into Walnut Canyon. The shorter Rim Trail offers overlooks, forest, and a pithouse.
The City of Williams is located in the largest stand of Ponderosa pine trees in the world, at an elevation of 6700 feet above sea level. Williams offers clear, crisp air and provides ample opportunities for outdoor recreation. The historic district of this once a bawdy frontier town now offers glimpses into Williams' colorful past. Saloons, bordellos, and shops have been brought back to life through the care and concern of present-day Williams merchants. Visitors can now safely stroll the brick sidewalks of the historic district, enjoying the sights and sounds of times now nearly gone. But don't be too surprised if you find yourself accosted by "cowboy gunfighters" - they're a mainstay of Williams summertime entertainment! Restaurants, lodging, fuel, Amtrak, airport, banks, libraries, groceries, laundry, and shopping centers are available.
Grand Canyon Railway
Travel a century-old rail line to the heart of Grand Canyon National Park aboard a vintage train with six classes of carefully restored passenger service. Journey from Williams, Arizona through pine forests and wide-open prairies as musicians play the tunes of the West on this uniquely historic Grand Canyon expedition. Each day the sounds of steam and clanging bells grace the air as the restored train departs from the historic Grand Canyon Railway Depot in Williams, Arizona.
There's a magic about the city of Winslow. Take just a moment to stop and look around, and you'll discover a whole new dimension to this unique western city. Civilizations have thrived in the area for centuries... the ancient Hopi village of Homolovi, the Mormon settlement of Brigham city, the booming town of Winslow over 100 years ago. More recent additions to the City of Winslow are The Standin' on the Corner Park, which has become an interesting draw for music fans who remember the line "standin on the corner in Winslow Arizona, such a fine sight to see" from the #1 hit by the Eagles. Restaurants, lodging, fuel, Amtrak, airport, banks, libraries, groceries, laundry, and shopping centers are available.
La Posada Hotel
La Posada Hotel, the “last great railroad hotel,” offers a unique cultural experience for Southwest travelers. Built in 1929 in Winslow, Arizona for the Santa Fe Railway, as their “Harvey House,” La Posada is truly one of America’s treasures. La Posada embodies the extraordinary vision of Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter, from its architecture down to its finely crafted details. Today, Allan Affeldt and his wife Tina Mion, are committed to returning La Posada to Colter’s original concept. Lodging and fine dining are available.
Old Trails Historical Museum
The Old Trails Museum in Winslow, Arizona opened in 1985 in an old bank building located in the heart of the downtown business district. The building, constructed in 1920, still contains its original tile floor, marble counters, and a vault, adding to the historic ambiance of the museum. The museum is located in the heart of downtown Winslow across from the world famous Standin' on the Corner Park on Old Route 66.
Thirty-five miles east of Flagstaff, near Winslow, Arizona. Experience the impact! The best preserved meteor impact site on earth. Complete with museum, theater, gift shop and country store.