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Flagstaff Arizona

Exploring Flagstaff Arizona on your Grand Canyon vacation is a unique side trip, one full of historic sites and interesting cultural education along with recreational and wilderness adventures.

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Why should I visit Flagstaff?

Flagstaff AZ, surrounded by the Coconino National Forest, offers a multitude of recreational options and an interesting look into the past of the Native American cultures and early pioneers.

Where is Flagstaff?

Flagstaff is approximately 80 miles south of Grand Canyon. Take US Highway 180 from the southern entrance road all the way into Flagstaff.

What sort of Services and Amenities does Flagstaff offer?

Vital Flagstaff Arizona information for any visitor is what sort of lodging and dining options you’ll find when traveling here. Flagstaff is a large city and has many accommodations, from standard motels and hotels to bed and breakfasts and many quaint inns.

It is simple to quench your thirst or satisfy your hunger in Flagstaff. There are over 200 restaurants and many nightspots to enjoy when in town.

What can I do or see in Flagstaff?

All Flagstaff Arizona vacations should include at least one visit to each of the attractions below.

Historic Downtown and Railroad District
A Flagstaff vacation must include a visit to historic downtown Flagstaff and the Railroad District, with a multitude of shops, galleries, restaurants and plenty of events all year round.

Lowell Observatory
Of all Flagstaff Activities, this may be one of the most educational, with a 6,500 square foot visitor center, wide screen multimedia shows, and fascinating live presentations. The Alvan Clark Telescope provides peeks into the dark skies over Arizona.

  • Location: Located at 1400 West Mars Hill Road, one mile west of Flagstaff. You can reach this attraction from Grand Canyon by taking Arizona Highway 64 to US Highway 180 East directly into town.
  • Season/Hours: Open all year from noon to 5 or 9:30 pm (depending on the day of the week) from November through February, and from 9 am to 5 pm or 9:30 pm from March through October.
  • Cost: Adults $10, seniors and college students $9, ages 5 to 17 $4, children under 5 free.
  • Services: Exhibits, daytime guided tours, shows in the McAllister Space Theatre, an astronomy gift shop.
  • Phone: (928) 233-3211

Riordan Mansion State Historic Park
Enjoy a view of the original artifacts and furnishings that decorated this mansion in the early 1900s. A guided tour will take you through the forty rooms of living space and into the servant’s quarters.

  • Location: Take Highway 64 to US Highway 180 headed east to Flagstaff and the mansion is at 409 West Riordan Road.
  • Season/Hours: Open 7 days a week through Labor Day weekend. Winter hours are from Thursday to Monday 9:30 am to 5 pm. Tours are every hour on the hour starting at 10 am.
  • Cost: Adults $7, Youths (7 to 13) $3, children 6 and under free
  • Services: Guided tours
  • Phone: (928) 779-4395

Pioneer Museum
Bring the whole family to learn about life in the early 1900s. The kids particularly enjoy the old steam engine and the interactive exhibit called “Pioneer Kids.”

  • Location: When driving from Grand Canyon to Flagstaff, you’ll find the Pioneer Museum on Highway 180 about one mile north of town, at 2340 N. Fort Valley Road (Highway 180).
  • Season/Hours: Open all year, Monday through Saturday from 9 am to 5 pm.
  • Cost: Adults $5, ages 12 and under free
  • Phone: (928) 774-6272

Coconino Center for the Arts
Enjoying the arts has never been more pleasurable than at Coconino Center for the Arts in Flagstaff. Browse the exhibitions to your heart’s content and experience the pure aesthetics.

  • Location: The center is about one mile north of Flagstaff at 2300 North Fort Valley Road. This is also Highway 180. It is located behind the Pioneer Museum.
  • Season/Hours: Open all year Tuesday through Saturday from 11 am to 5 pm.
  • Cost: Many free exhibitions
  • Phone: (928) 779-2300

The Arboretum at Flagstaff
Hike the nature trail through this 200-acre botanical garden, stop to see the meadow and wetland and visit the greenhouses. A 45-minute guided tour is best so you can learn all about the Arboretum and the 2,500 species of plants living here.

  • Location: Take Highway 64 from Grand Canyon Village and get on US Highway 180 east to Flagstaff. The Arboretum is at 4001 S. Woody Mountain Road in Flagstaff.
  • Season/Hours: 1 April through 31 October
  • Cost: Adults $7, seniors $6, youths (3 to17) $3, children under 3 free
  • Services: Guided tours, wildlife programs
  • Phone: (928) 774-1442

Museum of Northern Arizona
Here you will learn all about the many diverse cultures and landscapes of the Colorado Plateau.

  • Location: Take US Highway 180 east from Grand Canyon National Park, and this museum is 3 miles north of downtown Flagstaff at 3101 N. Ft. Valley Road (Highway 180).
  • Season/Hours: Open all year daily from 9 am to 5 pm
  • Cost: Adults $7, seniors (65 and over) $6, Students with ID $5, Youths (7 to 17) $4, children six and under free
  • Services: Exhibit galleries, fine arts, tours, museum shop and bookstore, self-guided nature trail.
  • Phone: (928) 774-5213

Lava River Cave
This is a natural museum, where you enter through a hole in the ground and have to navigate slippery boulders. But you will learn a lot about cave climates, geology and history in this fascinating one-mile long lava tube cave.

  • Location: Lava River Cave is 9 miles north of Flagstaff. Turn left (when coming from Flagstaff) on Forest Road 245 (milepost 230). After 3 miles turn south on Forest Road 171 and take Forest Road 171B which turns left to Lava River Cave.
  • Season/Hours: Accessible year round
  • Services: Interpretive sign
  • Phone: (928) 526-0866 (Flagstaff Ranger District)

Coconino National Forest
This ponderosa pine forest provides you with a wide array of recreation opportunities. Go hiking, biking, camping or picnicking, and in the winter try cross-country skiing or snowshoeing.

Kachina Trail
Hike this five-mile trail for some real up close experience with the lovely spruce, aspen and pine forest. It’s a moderate hike and you should always carry water with you when embarking on this adventure.

  • Location: Take Highway 180 east to Flagstaff. Access to the forest is best using Kachina Trail. You can get there by turning from Highway 180 about 7 miles north of Flagstaff on Snowbowl Road (Forest Road 516) to the Snowbowl Ski Area. Park in the first parking lot on your right (to the south). The trailhead is at the south end of the parking lot.
  • Season/Hours: May to November
  • Phone: (928) 526-0866 (Flagstaff Ranger District)

Walnut Canyon National Monument
See how the people lived in this spot more than 800 years ago. The cliff dwellings high on the canyon wall show the historic past in full array.

  • Location: Take Highway 180 from Grand Canyon National Park to Flagstaff, and Interstate 40 towards Albuquerque. Take exit 204 south and you’ll arrive at the Walnut Canyon Visitor Center in three miles.
  • Season/Hours: Open all year, 9 am to 5 pm November to April and 8 am to 5 pm May to October
  • Cost: $5 per person (good for 7 days), children under 16 free
  • Services: Historic sites, camping, guided hikes and self-guided hikes.
  • Phone: (928) 526-3367

Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument
Created by a volcanic eruption 900 years ago, this crater still is as dramatic as the day it was formed. Hike the one-mile loop trail through an incredible landscape.

  • Location: From Grand Canyon National Park, take US Highway 180 east to Flagstaff, then head north on US 89. After about 12 miles, turn right on Sunset Crater/Wupatki Loop Road. It’s two more miles to the visitor center.
  • Season/Hours: Open all year, 9 am to 5 pm November to April and 8 am to 5 pm May to October
  • Cost: $5 per person (good for 7 days), children under 16 free
  • Services: Camping and interpretive programs, scenic drives, trails
  • Phone: (928) 526-0502

Other Flagstaff Arizona Resources

Flagstaff, Arizona

Flagstaff, Arizona is a unique alpine town located in northern Arizona.