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.
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.
Because we are located in a spot that makes us the perfect hub for sightseeing, Route 66 was completed in 1926, and still runs through town, with a lot of original Route 66 restaurants, (like Miz Zip’s on Route 66) motels, and other remnants of that era.
The Grand Canyon lies approximately 80 miles to the north – and you can see amazing views when you travel the loop – Hwy 89 takes you past Sunset Crater National Monument (stunning volcanic geology) and Wupatki National Monument (comprehensive ruins overlooking the distant Painted Desert). You can stop in at Cameron Trading Post, and continue on Hwy 64 through the East Rim Gate, stopping at Desert View Watchtower for magnificent views, and some history lessons. After stopping at the overlooks, visiting the South Rim and Hermit’s Rest, return to town via Hwy 64 south, continuing on Hwy 180 where views of the back of the Peaks are overwhelming.
Shopping, dining, and perhaps stopping for a beverage – all things that are available in Historic Downtown Flagstaff. Special events are held in Heritage Square throughout the year. Don’t miss the Pinecone Drop on NYE – held at the Weatherford Hotel.
Flagstaff has many quality lodging options, and an amazing array of dining establishments. There are fun side stops – Lowell Observatory, the Museum of Northern Arizona, the Pioneer Museum, The Arboretum, or try your skills in the treetops at Flagstaff Extreme Adventure Course & Adventure Ziplines. Plan your stay for enough time to take it all in.
So you don’t miss a thing, stop by the Flagstaff Visitor Center located in the 1926 Historic Train Station in the heart of downtown. They have trained experts to advise you on what to see and do while in Flagstaff – and you can pick up your copy of the Flagstaff Discovery Map there, as well at all advertiser locations.
Be prepared for the weather, as we are a seasonal destination. White, fluffy, snow can be had in the wintertime, monsoon rains occur in the afternoons of late summer, and it’s always a good idea to bring a jacket for when the sun goes down. We are at 7,000 feet elevation, after all. But our balmy summers – honestly, they are the best. Low humidity, warm daytime temperatures, cool evenings…spring flowers and fall colors – we have it all. We look forward to welcoming you to Flagstaff!