Nestled in the ponderosa pines of northern Arizona, the city of Flagstaff is a great base for seeing the sights of northern Arizona. Perched at 7,000 feet at the foot of the San Francisco Peaks, Flagstaff enjoys cool summers and great winter weather for skiing and sledding. Flagstaff was a convenient stopping point along the famous Route 66 cross-country highway. In fact, you will still see many shops selling Route 66 memorabilia and signs bearing the old highway’s designation. The 12,634 foot peak of Mount Humphrey towers above the skyline and serves as an important local landmark both for Native Americans and Flagstaff residents. Flagstaff is home to Northern Arizona University and is an important rail center from cargo moving back and forth across the country. You will constantly hear the tooting of trains as they pass through the area as they make their way through town.
In the Coconino Forest, you can find all types of outdoor activities from horseback riding to hiking, to fishing to biking, to boating. Flagstaff is a great “home base” for your RV as you tour the various national monuments and landmarks. The Grand Canyon is approximately 90 minutes to the north, the Petrified Forest lies to the east, Sedona to the south, with any number of great Native American landmarks such as Wupatki National Monument, Walnut Canyon National Monument, Sunset Crater Volcano, Meteor Crater and Montezuma’s Castle all within an easy day’s drive. Stop off at the old historic train station which now serves as a visitor center. Take the Verde Canyon Railroad or the Grand Canyon Railway from nearby Williams to the South rim of the Grand Canyon.
In the city of Flagstaff, itself, there are also many interesting things to see and do. In winter, when the snow packs in, there is skiing from the Snow Bowl ski lodge. In summer, you can take a trip up the mountain on the ski lift to hike around at the top and see the meadows covered in wildflowers. The view is fantastic and the air is clear and crisp. If you enjoy winter sports, consider tubing down the mountain at the Elk Ridge Ski and Outdoor Recreation Area.
Another interesting thing to see and do is to visit the Lowell Observatory founded by Percival Lowell in 1894. This working observatory features information about current sky observation, movies on astronomy and information on the history of the observatory. A 200 acre Arboretum, featuring 2,500 species of plants native to the Arizona high country is also an excellent place to visit. The arboretum does close from November 1st to March 31st so this is a summer activity only. You can also walk around in downtown Flagstaff where there may be a fair or celebration taking place in the town square. Want to learn more about Native American culture? Visit the Museum of Northern Arizona 1 mile west of town. Taste a bit of Flagstaff’s past at the Riordan Mansion State Historic Park. Here you can tour the 40 room mansion build in 1904 by two of Flagstaff’s lumber baron brothers. Learn about Military history at the Fort Tuthill Military Museum just outside of the city. Both the city and the area has a lot to offer so plan to spend some time in this beautiful, woody area.