For years the Chamber of Commerce advertised Flagstaff as “the City of Seven Wonders.” Even though some of these wonders are outside the immediate region, Flagstaff representatives have been instrumental in their preservation.
1 ~ The Grand Canyon almost needs no introduction and defies definition. It is known throughout the world for its overwhelming size and labyrinthine landscape of ever-changing color. The Grand Canyon is the quintessential day trip from Flagstaff any time of the year. Located just 75 miles north of Flagstaff, “gateway to the Grand Canyon.” (We can show you a great scenic day trip or arrange a guided tour.)
2 ~ In Flagstaff’s backyard, the San Francisco Peaks, remnants of an ancient volcano, feature Arizona’s only true alpine environment and its highest elevation, Humphreys Peak, which offers hikers a real “top of the world” feeling. Myriad hiking trails take you through old-growth forests thick with waist-high ferns, mature aspen groves and sun-splashed meadows. The Arizona Snowbowl offers 2,300 feet of vertical drop and 32 scenic alpine trails for all levels of skiers and snow-boarders and, during summer, the Scenic Skyride, a serene, tree-top ride up to 11,500 feet and breathtaking views.
3 ~ Meteor Crater is the best-preserved meteorite impact site on Earth. The topographical terrain of this gaping chasm 570 feet deep and almost a mile across so closely resembles that of the Earth’s moon and other planets that NASA designated it one of the official training sites for the Apollo astronauts. Today, 49,000 years after the devastating impact, Meteor Crater is one of Arizona’s most popular visitor attractions. (Museum of Astrogeology, gift store, lapidary shop and coffee shop. Open year-round)
4 ~ Experience the beauty and history of the pristine stream-cut gorge that is Walnut Canyon National Monument. Two paved foot trails begin at the Visitor Center, one passing 25 of the cliff-dwelling rooms, the other overlooking the canyon. Located only 10 miles east of Flagstaff . (Open daily except Dec. 25)
5 ~ Begin your journey into Oak Creek Canyon, the luscious valley where water abounds, at Oak Creek Vista, 13 miles south of Flagstaff (on Hwy. 89A). Here you can enjoy an impressive stroll along the rim of the canyon and find Native Americans selling their handmade jewelry. The West Fork of Oak Creek is one of the most spectacular canyons in Arizona, with its colorful walls rising hundreds of feet straight up, picturesque stream and interesting flora and fauna. The trailhead of this famous, easy hike is right on 89A and open year-round. Down the road a piece (18 mi. from Flagstaff), in the heart of Oak Creek Canyon, is the popular natural waterslide in the creek, Slide Rock State Park. Near Sedona, there’s a day spa nestled in the red-rock cliffs, complete with creekside whirlpool, sunning/massage decks and 50-foot cascading waterfall.
6 ~ Wupatki and Sunset Crater Volcano National Monuments, 12 and 26 miles north of Flagstaff, was once home to the ancestors of today’s Hopi and Zuni Indians, the Anasazi and Sinagua people. The landscape that shaped the lives of these people 800 years ago appears unchanged, in many ways, since the eruptions. Take a driving tour or walk the trails and visit four of the ancient pueblos. (Visitor Centers open daily year-round. Picnic areas located along the loop road.)
7 ~ Montezuma Castle National Monument is the site of early 12th Century cliff dwellings of great proportions: 5 and 6 stories high, 20 to 45 rooms, set in cliff recesses a hundred feet above the valley floor.
And not to be overlooked:
~ Sedona, known for its stunning red-rock formations that speak to you of beauty and spirit, is a short, scenic drive from Flagstaff. (28 mi. through Oak Creek Canyon)
~ Jerome, a booming mining town in its glory days, then the quintessential ghost town and now a thriving artists enclave and tourist destination, boasts spectacular views of the Verde Valley and distant San Francisco Peaks. Great shopping and eateries. 60 miles from Flagstaff, it’s the perfect day trip.
~ The Petrified Forest National Park with Painted Desert views (116 mi. east of Flagstaff, off I-40) offers three visitor facilities, a 100-room pueblo built around 1250, park-road overlooks and several view hiking trails. (Ranger talks, gift shops, eateries, picnic shelters, gas station)
~ Flagstaff plays host once again to one of Northern Arizona’s premier recreation spots, Lake Powell, formed by the Glen Canyon Dam, one of the world’s highest dams. Headquartered in Flagstaff, the grand-scale construction project finished in 1963. The Glen Canyon National Recreation Area offers boating, camping, fishing, swimming and incomparable views.
~ Closer to home we have The Arboretum at Flagstaff, Riordan Mansion State Park, Coconino National Forest, Museum of Northern Arizona, The Museum Club on Route 66 and the Arizona Historical Society Pioneer Museum.
~ Explore Flagstaff’s dark sky! Lowell Observatory is located just down the street and up the hill from the England House Bed and Breakfast. Take a daytime guided tour, explore the hands-on exhibit hall and delight in the evening multimedia shows and telescope viewing. (Open daily)
Annual events include: Flagstaff Winterfest, Northern Arizona Book Festival, New Year’s Eve Pinecone Drop, Trappings of the American West, Concerts in the Park, Flagstaff’s Historic Walking Tours, Pine Country Pro Rodeo, Independence Day Festival, Coconino County Fair, Route 66 Days, Grand Canyon Music Festival, Flagstaff Festival of Science, Open Studio Tour and year-round First Friday Art Walks. And more!