Explore Flagstaff, Arizona
Flagstaff, Arizona, is a city located in the heart of the state. It’s home to a variety of outdoor activities and attractions, making it a great place to visit. Whether you’re looking for a weekend getaway or an extended vacation, here are 10 places to go and 5 places to avoid in Flagstaff.
1. Grand Canyon National Park
Grand Canyon National Park is one of the most popular attractions in Flagstaff. The canyon is 277 miles long, up to 18 miles wide, and a mile deep, making it one of the most spectacular natural wonders in the world. Visitors can explore the canyon by hiking, taking a mule ride, or rafting down the Colorado River.
2. Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument
Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument is a volcanic cinder cone located just north of Flagstaff. The volcano last erupted in the 11th century and is now a popular destination for hikers and photographers. Visitors can explore the lava flow, crater, and nearby cinder hills.
3. Walnut Canyon National Monument
Walnut Canyon National Monument is located just east of Flagstaff. It features a series of steep cliffs and canyons that are home to ancient cliff dwellings built by the Sinagua people. Visitors can explore the ruins on hiking trails, or take a guided tour.
4. Lowell Observatory
Lowell Observatory is a research center and museum located just outside Flagstaff. It was founded in 1894 by astronomer Percival Lowell and is best known for its discovery of Pluto. Visitors can explore the observatory grounds, learn about astronomy, and even look through a telescope.
5. Riordan Mansion State Historic Park
Riordan Mansion State Historic Park is a large Victorian-style mansion located near downtown Flagstaff. It was built in 1904 by two brothers who were prominent businessmen in Flagstaff. Visitors can take a guided tour of the mansion, which includes the original furnishings and artwork.
6. The Museum of Northern Arizona
The Museum of Northern Arizona is a large museum located in downtown Flagstaff. It features exhibits on the history, culture, and natural history of the region, as well as a planetarium and an outdoor amphitheater. Visitors can explore the museum’s collections and attend lectures, workshops, and other events.
7. Flagstaff Extreme Adventure Course
Flagstaff Extreme Adventure Course is an outdoor adventure park located just outside Flagstaff. It features zip lines, rope bridges, and other obstacles for visitors to conquer. The course also offers guided tours and team-building activities.
8. San Francisco Peaks
The San Francisco Peaks are a series of mountains located just outside Flagstaff. The highest peak is Humphreys Peak, which stands at 12,633 feet. Visitors can explore the peaks on hiking trails, mountain bike trails, and scenic drives.
9. Wupatki National Monument
Wupatki National Monument is a large archaeological site located near Flagstaff. The monument contains over 700 ancient ruins, including pueblos, kivas, and other structures built by ancient civilizations. Visitors can explore the ruins on self-guided tours and guided hikes.
10. The Arboretum at Flagstaff
The Arboretum at Flagstaff is a botanical garden located just outside Flagstaff. It features over 500 species of plants from around the world, as well as a maze, a butterfly garden, and a children’s garden. Visitors can explore the gardens on self-guided tours or take a guided tour.
Places to Avoid in Flagstaff
1. Arizona Snowbowl
Arizona Snowbowl is a ski resort located near Flagstaff. While the resort is popular in the winter, it has recently come under fire for its plans to expand the ski area by using treated wastewater on the slopes.
2. USGS Astrogeology Science Center
The USGS Astrogeology Science Center is a research center located in Flagstaff. While the center is open to the public, it primarily serves as a research facility and does not offer any tours or activities for visitors.
3. Little Colorado River Gorge
The Little Colorado River Gorge is a canyon located near Flagstaff. It is a popular destination for hikers and photographers, but the terrain is extremely treacherous and requires special equipment and experience.
4. Kachina Wetlands
Kachina Wetlands is a marshland located near Flagstaff. While the wetlands are home to a variety of wildlife, they are also prone to flooding and can be dangerous to explore.
5. Lockett Meadow
Lockett Meadow is a popular camping spot located near Flagstaff. Unfortunately, the area has been plagued by crime and vandalism in recent years, making it a place to avoid.