What are your favorite Flagstaff Attractions? Whether you are looking for a way to learn more about the area or just enjoy the scenery then there is always something for to you to do. In this article we will talk about five Flagstaff attractions that are great for those that love the outdoors, but are also interested in learning a bit more about the natural or ancient history of the area. Without further ado, let’s jump into five favorite Flagstaff attractions to either enjoy the natural or ancient history of the area.
Flagstaff Attractions #1 – The Arboretum at Flagstaff
First on the list is the the Arboretum. It is located a bit off the beaten path, so it is often overlooked by visitors and locals alike. However, I highly recommend that everyone visits the Arboretum often. They are open from mid April through October and their regular exhibits include garden tours, bird walks, wildflower walks, a butterfly house, and artwork. They also have a number of really fun events throughout the summer including plays, concerts, soirees and special exhibits.
Flagstaff Attractions #2 – Walnut Canyon National Monument
The second area attraction I’d like to highlight is Walnut Canyon National Monument. The monument is a wonderful place to visit for a couple reasons. It is home to a selection of wonderfully preserved Northern Sinagua ruins and it also offers a glimpse into the geological history of Flagstaff and the Colorado Plateau. There are two primary trails that your can take, one is much easier and simply offers a bird eye view of the canyon and the other is a bit longer and more difficult with a number of stairs. It is still quite accessible for most folks though. Most often guests will do a self guided walk through the monument, but there are a number of guided tours offered throughout the year.
Flagstaff Attractions #3 – Skyride at Arizona Snowbowl
Third on our list is to experience the grandiosity of the San Francisco Peaks Wilderness via the scenic Skyride at the Arizona Snowbowl. Not only is the drive up Snowbowl Road a beautiful site in itself, the view from near the highest point in Arizona is simply breathtaking. Of course, I would always recommend the hike to the top of Mt. Humphreys for anyone that wants the ultimate Arizona view, but the chairlifts view from the southwestern slope of Mt. Agassiz is also spectacular and much more accessible for the average person.
Flagstaff Attractions #4 – Lowell Observatory
The fourth attraction takes our gaze even higher up in the sky than the Peaks and literally into the stars. Lowell Observatory has been watching the skies over Flagstaff since 1894 and has been a part of some major advancements and discoveries over the years. Most notably, the observatory is know for the discovery of Pluto on Feb 18, 1930, but also for its contribution to the moon mapping efforts for the Apollo missions and for the first detection of the expanding nature of the universe… so cool, right!
Flagstaff Attractions #5 – Flagstaff Lava Tube (Lava River Cave)
Okay, now that we have gone to the stars let’s jump back down and go beneath the earth. When you go up the chairlift at Arizona Snowbowl you are actually climbing an ancient volcano, and number five on our list is another remnant of our volcanic past but underground. North of town is a volcanic lava tube that you can crawl into and hike down all the way to the end. The hike is pretty short maybe a bout a mile and a half round trip, but it is pitch black, with slippery and sharp rocks, and some areas where you have to duck and shimmy. Be sure to bring at least 2-3 light sources, you do not want to be stuck in there without light! But when you get to the end, be sure to turn off your lights, be quiet and just listen to the stillness.
In our other articles we will discover more area attractions actually in Flagstaff as well as on the outskirts, but for now get out and explore these options and tell us about your favorites in the comments.
Until next time, keep exploring my friends. We’ll see you later.