Flagstaff is located 140 miles north of the capital city of Phoenix, Arizona, and is a common stopping place for people journeying to and from the Grand Canyon National Park. Outdoors enthusiasts will have a seemingly never-ending list of tourist attractions in Flagstaff and see on their visit to this scenic destination. Whether you’re here to enjoy the natural beauty of the red rocks, or you’re passing through on a road trip along historic Route 66, Flagstaff has something for everyone and is sure to be a memorable destination.
10. Arboretum at Flagstaff
For a small admission fee you will gain access to amazing views and information regarding native plant and animal species. A visit here will give you with a better understanding of natural life in the desert. Enjoy daily-guided walking tours of the Arboretum grounds where you will see the largest collection of high country wildflowers in the United States. Admission includes entrance to the daily Airborne Raptors Show, featuring demonstrations from 10 different birds of prey. This is a popular tourist attraction in Flagstaff and will provide entertainment for people of all ages. Open daily from 9 am to 5 pm.
9. Humphrey’s Peak Trail
Located 23 miles north of the city, Humphrey’s Peak is the highest point in Arizona and is often covered in snow for up to six months of the year. The best time to hike is from June to October, where on most days you can enjoy views of the Grand Canyon to the north. Winter outdoor enthusiasts are also welcome to explore the mountain, but permits are required. There are two primary trails to the top, the Humphrey’s Peak Trail (4.75 miles roundtrip) and the Weatherford Trail (18 miles roundtrip). Humphrey’s Trail is recommended for day-trippers, and is considered to be a difficult hike, but well worth the view from the top.
8. Visit a Museum
With storied past of pioneers and early settlers, visiting a museum is a great way to learn and develop an appreciation of the city’s origins. Visit the Pioneer Museum and learn about the early pioneers and the settlement of the region. This museum was originally built in 1908 and was used as a hospital until the 1930s, so history is abundant. For natural history go to The Museum of Northern Arizona, which includes a wealth of ancient artifacts from original settlers and exhibits that display the incredible beauty and history in the region. Good for all ages.
7. Flagstaff Extreme
For thrill seekers and family fun check out Flagstaff Extreme. This is a great way to experience the outdoors, try something new, and test your limits. There is an adult course and a kids course available so no one will be left out. Start your day with a brief 30-minute training session to get comfortable with the ropes, then you will start navigating the course through hanging nets, obstacles, suspended bridges, and rope swings. Voted as one of the best things to do in Flagstaff, spend the day developing your skill and agility and leave with a sense of accomplishment.
6. Go on a Brewery Tour
Flagstaff has a growing micro brewing scene, to the point where locals often describe it as a drinking city with an outdoor problem. If you enjoy micro brews you will definitely enjoy downtown Flagstaff, where you can find four breweries all within ¼ mile of each other. Enjoy one or enjoy them all. Favorites include Mother Road Brewing Company, Wanderlust Brewing Company, Beaver Street Brewery, Lumberyard Brewing Company, and Flagstaff Brewing Company. A visit to a brewery is great and lively way to enjoy an afternoon or evening with friends.
5. Arizona Snowbowl
If you’re looking for a weekend getaway any time of year try Arizona Snowbowl, a world-class ski resort offering terrain for all skill levels. People don’t always think of Arizona when they think of skiing, but this resort offers similar terrain and around 260 inches of snow each year. The region is sometimes referred to as “Little Colorado” because the views and snow is so similar. This resort has fun activities, beautiful views and outdoor activities to enjoy year round. Take a scenic chairlift ride in the summer and enjoy a panoramic view of surrounding mountains and the valley below, or play Disc Golf on the 18-hole course at the base of the mountain.
4. Visit Ponderosa Pine Forest – Coconino National Forest
Coconino National Forest is home to the largest Ponderosa Pine forest in the United States, located in the northern Flagstaff Ranger District. Enjoy a scenic and romantic drive on the Around the Peaks Loop, where you will get views of pine forests, aspen groves, and wildlife, including herds of elk! The National Forest offers a diverse array of landscapes, ranging from mountains and prairies to pine forests and desert. Camping, hiking and fishing are all popular ways to spend time in the park. Whatever type of high desert scenery and outdoor activity you’re looking for, you will probably find it here.
3. Walnut Canyon National Monument
Looking for incomparable views and a sense of ancient American history? Look no further. This is a true gem of the region. Walnut Canyon offers curved canyons, unforgettable geological formations, and a view into the lives of original settlers of this rugged landscape. You will see homes of former inhabitants built directly into the sides of the cliffs and canyons. Go on a Discovery Hike with a Park Ranger and learn about the flora, fauna and people that once lived here. The park is open year round and offers free days and weekends on select holidays throughout the year.
2. Sunset Crater Volcano
A once active volcano, the Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument is now a massive crater in place of what appears to have been a mountain that erupted around 1,000 years ago. In reality, the volcano is actually a geologic formation known as a cinder cone, which results when lava flows from beneath the earth’s surface through one central vent. Visits to the National Monument provide stunning views that display nature’s power. Enjoy a hike to the top of a volcano on the Lenox Crater Trail, or drive to the top and view from the Cinder Hills Overlook. However you get there, the view will leave a lasting impression.
1. Wupatki National Monument
A trip to Wupatki National Monument is one of the best places to see ancient ruins of Pueblo Indian dwellers. The majestic views of red rocks and well-preserved ruins will give you a glimpse into the lives of original settlers. The still standing structures is a testament to the craft and skill of ancient builders, but the caves have also helped to preserve many of the ancient buildings over the centuries by shielding them from the elements. This is a recommended must see for all visitors to this region, you will leave with a sense of history and a sense of place that cannot be put into words.
Today arrival options to the city vary from car, plane, or train. Getting around the city is easy by car, bus or bike, and was even designated as a Bicycle-Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists, so bring along your bike or rent for a free or cheap mode of transportation. No matter what you do in the area, there are many cool and fun places to visit in Flagstaff, where you can try something new and experience a taste of the Wild West.