Flagstaff, AZ, Guide and Information
Your Guide to Flagstaff, AZ.
Named for a ponderosa pine flagpole made by a scouting party on July 4, 1876, Flagstaff sits at the base of the wondrous San Francisco Peaks – the highest point in Arizona. “The summit which never melts”, or Dook'o'oosłííd as it’s called by the Navajo, one of many tribes who have sacred ties to the mountain. Learn more about Flagstaff history here.
Flagstaff is surrounded by the largest stand of Ponderosa pine in the world – which is why our early economy relied upon logging for many years. A wonderful tour of Riordan Mansion State Historic Park will show you how one of the original lumberyard families, the Riordan’s lived. Many of their original artifacts are still available in this classic Arts & Crafts style mansion. The railway and ranching also contributed to the history of the town.
The Colorado Plateau was first inhabited by various Native American tribes such as the ancient Sinagua and Anasazi peoples who left clues to their lives in caves and dwellings throughout the Plateau. Flagstaff itself is surrounded by various reservations, including the Navajo, Hopi, Havasupai, and Hualapai, to name a few. Native American culture still influences the towns of northern Arizona in many ways.
In the mid-1800’s, pioneers moved west and some settled in and around Flagstaff. There are a few ideas on how Flagstaff got its name, but the general consensus says that on our nation’s birthday, July 4, 1876, a ponderosa pine tree was stripped of its branches, made into a flagpole and a flag was raised to celebrate. In 1891, Coconino County was created, with Flagstaff as the County seat.It wasn’t until later in 1894 that Flagstaff, the flag staff’s namesake, became incorporated as a town. Flagstaff’s population has grown to about 70,000 strong; this old “camp,” is still surrounded by towering pines of the Coconino National Forest that have and likely always will be an integral part of the history of this southwestern destination.
Most people that live in Flagstaff, Arizona are big on enjoying the outdoors. The same can be said for the visitors! One look around and you’ll see all kinds of fit and athletic types toting gear essential for recreating in the great outdoors, including backpacks, hiking boots, sun hats, water bottles, bikes–from road to mountain to fat–and even skis, snowboards and snowshoes. (Yes, it snows on average one hundred inches in Flagstaff every year.) People that live and visit here love to get out and experience the Coconino National Forest, the largest contiguous ponderosa pine forest within the entire United States.
Add to that a terrific climate that’s warm and dry enough to spend long periods of time outside and also cool enough (especially at night) to make it quite pleasant to play outdoors every season of the year, and you understand why this southwestern destination attracts so many outdoor enthusiasts from all over the world. Plus, its location can’t be beat.