Flagstaff is an ideal location for hiking, biking, and other outdoor activities. The city also offers a wide range of cultural attractions that are sure to please everyone in your group. Explore the rich history of Flagstaff with its Native American heritage, or learn about space at one of the best observatories in the country. Whatever you’re looking for when traveling to Flagstaff, AZ—we’ve got it!
San Francisco Peaks
The San Francisco Peaks are not only the highest mountain in the state of Arizona but also the highest peak in the San Francisco Mountain range. At 12,633 feet above sea level, this is a sacred site to many Native American tribes including Hopi and Navajo.
The area was first inhabited by people roughly 10,000 years ago and it has long been used as a source of water by early peoples. It is located in Coconino County and features trails suitable for all skill levels ranging from easy hikes to more challenging treks that gain elevation quickly.
- Arizona Snowbowl: This is one of the most visited winter resorts in the country. It offers skiing, snowboarding, and snow tubing to visitors year-round. The mountain has a natural terrain park and an alpine slide that’s open during the summer months. A chairlift brings you up to 12,000 feet above sea level where you’ll enjoy views of Mount Elden and Flagstaff Lake during your visit.
- Museum of Northern Arizona: This 33-acre museum showcases artifacts from Native American tribes such as Hopi, Zuni, and Navajo along with other objects from ancient civilizations across North America. You’ll also find exhibits on geology, wildlife biology, archaeology, and more at this attraction filled with interactive displays designed for kids as well as adults who love learning about history!
- Lowell Observatory: If you’re interested in astronomy then this is a place worth checking out! Located atop Mars Hill mountain at an altitude of 7800 feet above sea level (about 2600 meters), this observatory houses several telescopes used for studying our solar system including Earth’s moon.”
If you’re a fan of astronomy, this is the best place to visit in Flagstaff. Lowell Observatory was founded in 1894 by Percival Lowell and was one of the oldest astronomical observatories in the United States. It’s located near Mars Hill Mountain, which offers some stunning views over Flagstaff.
The original telescope that was used at Lowell Observatory is still on display here today—it’s called “The Great Refractor” and was built by Alvan Clark & Sons around 1891 for use at Harvard University. The camera for this telescope weighed 3 tons!
Lowell Observatory has an array of telescopes available for public viewing (included with admission), including:
- Pluto Telescope – An 8-inch telescope named after our favorite dwarf planet; it provides views that are up to 100x better than what you’d get with your naked eye! This telescope also lets you see deep space objects like galaxies and nebulas without any obstruction or light pollution from cities below us on Earth.
- Mars Rover Simulator – You can experience what it would be like driving around on Mars by sitting in this simulator car along with two other people while wearing virtual reality headsets, which show you what it looks like through cameras mounted onto rovers exploring Mars’ surface right now! It’s pretty cool how far technology has come since we first started exploring space back when man first landed on Luna nearly 50 years ago…
Riordan Mansion State Historic Park
Riordan Mansion State Historic Park is a historic house museum in Flagstaff, Arizona. The house was built in 1904 by James Riordan, a prominent businessman, and politician. The mansion has been restored to its original condition and furnished with period antiques.
The home is decorated with artwork from some of the most renowned Native American artists including Ernest Lohden, Fred Kabotie, Charles Loloma, Harvey Dunn, Peter Pitseolak Sr., Joe Haldeen Brattstrom, and many others.
Flagstaff Urban Trail System
The Flagstaff Urban Trail System is a network of paved trails that connect the city and surrounding areas. The three trails that make up this system are the Flagstaff Urban Trail, Coconino Loop, and San Francisco Peaks Loop. The most popular part of this trail system is the San Francisco Peaks Loop which allows people to hike along an old mining road while enjoying amazing views of the Snowbowl Ski area and Humphreys Peak (the highest point in Arizona).
It’s important to note that some parts of these trails might be closed during winter months due to severe weather conditions or unstable terrain.
Walnut Canyon National Monument
- Location: About 30 miles from Flagstaff, Walnut Canyon National Monument is a great place to go if you want to get out of town without having to drive too far.
- What to See: The park has over 800 American Indian sites, including a village with both ceremonial and residential structures. There’s also a site called the “beaded figure” that was discovered in 1998 by a hiker walking through the forest. It’s considered one of the most important archaeological discoveries in Arizona history because it dates back 2,000 years!
- How To Get There: You can access Walnut Canyon National Monument via I-40 or US 180 (the freeway), but if you have time, try hiking down into the canyon instead!
- What To Do There: Take pictures at each site along your journey—you’ll be glad you did when looking back on them later! Also, remember that photography isn’t allowed in certain places such as residential structures or burial sites so make sure not to cross any barriers once inside them (like ropes).
Wupatki National Monument
Wupatki National Monument is a National Monument located in north-central Arizona, United States. Wupatki National Monument was established on December 8, 1924.
Wupatki National Monument preserves the ruins of the Sinagua people who lived there between 1100 and 1425 A.D., after which they abandoned the area because of drought conditions. The monument also contains numerous prehistoric sites from different periods (2500 B.C.-1000 A.D.), including the remains of Native American villages and petroglyphs carved into stone cliffs by ancient peoples for thousands of years before Europeans reached North America
The Museum of Northern Arizona
The Museum of Northern Arizona is a great place to learn about the history of northern Arizona. The museum has a great collection of Native American artifacts, minerals, rocks, plants, and animals.
The museum also hosts many events throughout the year such as lectures by experts in their fields, workshops on how to use their collections for school projects or personal learning experiences, and family nights where kids can explore the museum without parents getting bored out of their minds!
Wheeler Park and the Coconino County Fairgrounds
The Coconino County Fairgrounds is a great place to go hiking. It is also home to the Coconino County Fair and many other events throughout the year. Some of these events include horse racing, car shows, rodeos, concerts, and more! If you’re looking for a relaxing activity that will provide some entertainment at the same time then this is an excellent choice!
Humphrey’s Peak and Mount Elden Trails
The first thing to know about this hike is that it’s very popular, so expect crowds during the summer and on holidays. The second thing to know is that the trail is rocky, with steep sections—it’s not an easy hike by any means. That being said, if you’re up for a challenge (and have proper hiking shoes), this could be one of your favorite things to do in Flagstaff.
The trail begins at 8,300 feet above sea level and takes you up Mount Elden, an extinct volcano that rises another 1,500 feet above Humphreys Peak (the highest point in Arizona). The summit offers views of Mount Elden below and forests around it as well as distant landmarks like San Francisco Peaks and Mount Baldy in California. It’s also possible to drive up here if you don’t want to hike five miles!
Flagstaff Arboretum and Botanic Garden
One of the city’s most popular attractions, this lush garden is full of gorgeous plants, trees, and flowers. The Arboretum has paths for walking tours or you can just enjoy it from your car. Several water features add to the beauty as well as provide irrigation for some plants. The surrounding landscape is quite picturesque and makes for a wonderful day out at any time of year!
Out of Africa Wildlife Park
Out of Africa Wildlife Park is a zoo, safari park, and animal sanctuary located in Camp Verde, Arizona. The park is open year-round and has over 450 animals representing over 100 species. Visitors can expect to see lions, tigers, giraffes, and elephants as well as many other exotic animals at Out of Africa Wildlife Park. There’s even an aviary where you can visit tropical birds!
Out of Africa Wildlife Park is home to one of the most popular zoos in Arizona because it is so large with many different exhibits that feature a wide variety of animals from all over the world.#ENDWRITE
Lava River Cave
The Lava River Cave is an example of a lava tube, which is formed when lava cools and hardens from the outside in. These tubes can be very long, with one in Hawaii measuring more than 20 miles. They are generally dark and cool compared to the surrounding area because they have no openings to the outside world. The Lava River Cave is very popular among people who like exploring caves for their adventurous spirit, but it’s important to note that this type of cave exploration comes with inherent dangers—it’s not something you want to attempt on your own!
Flagstaff is a great place to visit year-round. It has a lot of amazing things to do, so you’ll never get bored. Whether you’re visiting with family, friends, or your significant other, there’s something for everyone in Flagstaff!
We hope you enjoyed our list of the best things to do in Flagstaff. We know there are many other great activities for visitors and locals alike, but we tried to include some that were unique and offered something different than what you would find elsewhere in Arizona. If you ever visit Flagstaff and want more ideas on where to go or what else there is to see, don’t hesitate to ask one of our staff members!