Flagstaff, Arizona

Guide to Flagstaff: how to get there and where to stay, what to see and where to go in the evening. Highlights of Flagstaff: fresh reviews and photos, places to see, branded entertainment and shopping.

According to toppharmacyschools, Flagstaff is located in northern Arizona, at an altitude of about 2000 m above sea level, near the San Francisco Pikes mountain range and not so far from the Grand Canyon. Flagstaff is known for three things: the famous observatory, filming and amazingly rich in terms of natural beauty surroundings. This is a wonderful city for those who are attracted by an unusual combination of desert landscapes, snow-capped mountains, craters and canyons, clean air and dark starry skies.

How to get to Flagstaff

Flagstaff Pulliam Airport receives scheduled flights, including from Phoenix. The nearest major international airport is also located there (approximately 2.5 hours by car). Daily Amtrak trains run to the city on the Chicago-Los Angeles line. Plus, the city stands at the intersection of Interstate 40, which runs from California in the west to New Mexico in the east along the historic Route 66, and Interstate 17, which leads to Phoenix.

A bit of history

The first permanent settlement was established here in 1876, and over the past 10 years, the town has become the largest on the railroad line between Albuquerque and the West Coast. The city grew rapidly thanks to the railway: by the end of the 19th century, about a hundred trains passed through it daily. And in 1894, astronomer Percival Lowell, in search of a good site for the observatory, chose Flagstaff and brought here a specially designed Clark telescope two years later – it remains in the observatory to this day. Finally, in 1926, the construction of Route 66 was completed, which passed through Flagstaff.

Attractions and attractions in Flagstaff

The small city stretches along the famous Route 66, and its compact downtown area is only about five blocks in the western part of Flagstaff, near the Mars Hill base, where the Lowell Observatory is located. The latter is a historical institute and still a major center for astronomical research, which you can walk around with an organized tour. The tour program includes the opportunity to look through the 24-inch Clark telescope and smaller telescopes.

It was Lowell who discovered the planet Pluto in 1930 at his observatory. And during the preparation of the Apollo program in the 1960s. her Clark telescope was used to map the moon in search of a safe landing site for the module.

The Museum of Northern Arizona is located on Valley Road, in the northern part of the city, on Highway 180. Here you can get acquainted with the life of Native Americans and the natural history of the region, look at Native American pottery and woven products. The museum has a good view of the Flag River, and the gift shop at the museum sells a variety of traditional Native American art, especially Navajo rugs.

3 things to do in Flagstaff:

  1. Spend an evening in the popular lounge of the Monte Vista Hotel or visit the Museum Club, built in 1931. Since then, not a single piece of decor has been changed or even moved in this roadside bar.
  2. Take a photo of a pair of gargoyles on the rare gothic pink Church of the Nativity.
  3. Take the chance to go skiing in the middle of the desert.

The Flagstaff Arboretum is a 200-acre botanical garden with a research station and nature center that houses the largest collection of upland wildflowers in the United States. There are also guided tours around the arboretum, and on certain days there are shows with birds of prey.

The Riordan wooden mansion has been given the status of a historical park. This is an excellent example of the architectural style of the Arts and Crafts movement, built in 1904 as a family residence. Also of interest is the Arizona Pioneer Historical Museum – small, but storing a variety of documents and photographs related to the history of the city. The museum occupies the building of a former hospital, and among its expositions is dedicated to early medicine, as well as the history of Route 66, logging and the railway with an old steam locomotive.

On New Year’s Eve, Flagstaff residents gather around the historic Weatherford Hotel, built in 1897. At midnight, an almost two-meter-high metal pine cone weighing about 30 kilos is dropped from the roof of the hotel. The tradition has been going on since 1999, when the owners of the hotel threw a garbage can from the roof, decorated with drawings, light bulbs and cones, in honor of the coming millennium.

The historic Monte Vista Hotel was built in 1927 on San Francisco Street and became the heart of Old Town Flagstaff. Since many films about the Wild West were filmed in the city and its environs, the brightest stars of American cinema stayed at the hotel: John Wayne, Harry Cooper, Bing Crosby, Spencer Tracy, Humphrey Bogart, Clark Gable, Anthony Hopkins. There are many ghost legends associated with the hotel, such as the ghostly bellhop who knocks on guests’ doors at night. And in one of the rooms they filmed the scene of the cult “Casablanca”.

Neighborhood of Flagstaff

The surroundings of Flagstaff are the most conducive to all types of mountain tourism, including mountain biking and rock climbing. You can start from Mount Elden, which is pierced along and across by hiking trails. One of the most popular routes is Elden Lookout, which leads to an observation deck with a beautiful view of the city at an altitude of 855 m from the starting point.

Arizona Snowbowl is one of only three ski resorts in the state, and the fact that it’s located in the desert gives it a special charm. Snowbowl became one of the first 10 ski resorts in the country. It is located in the mountains of San Francisco, not far from the highest mountain in the state – Humphreys Peak. There are several sacred places for Indian tribes in the mountains, so hiking here is not possible everywhere.

Around the city there is an incredible number of national parks, of which the most famous, of course, is the Grand Canyon. But there are others: for example, Walnut Canyon, where you can see Indian rock paintings. Or Wupatki, where the ruins of Indian settlements have been preserved. Not far from it is an extinct volcano – Sunset Crater. And Barringer Crater, to the east of the city, is no longer formed by a volcano, but by a meteorite, and this is an exceptionally well-preserved meteorite trail (although not the largest in the world).

Halfway between Flagstaff and Phoenix is ​​Montezuma Castle National Monument with rock paintings; Oak Creek Canyon is often referred to as the Grand Canyon’s little brother for its scenic beauty; and in Glen Canyon you can see the famous Rainbow Bridge created by nature.

Flagstaff events

Despite its small size, Flagstaff hosts many events and weekend festivals each year. In the spring, the Northern Arizona Book Festival is held here, allowing famous writers in the country to present their latest work. The film festival takes place every October and lasts 4 days with several film sessions. During the summer, the city hosts festivals of Hopi and Navajo arts and culture, the Arizona Celtic Festival, and a beer tasting festival. And in September, for more than 20 years, the Science Festival has been held in Flagstaff – a family event with lectures and all kinds of interactive programs.

Flagstaff, Arizona