Posted by: RasmaSandra | May 4, 2022

Fabulous Flagstaff

Arizona State Line highway sign

Our armchair travels across the US have brought us to Arizona or the Grand Canyon State.

Our first stop is Flagstaff a city that is surrounded by mountains, desert, and ponderosa pine forests. It is the gateway to the San Francisco Peaks which is home to the tallest mountain Humphreys Peak in Arizona.

Walnut Canyon National Monument just east of Flagstaff is one of the area’s most impressive attractions. Ancient Sinagua cliff dwellings line the steep canyon walls descending to the bottom of dry Walnut Creek. From the Visitor Center, you can look out over the canyon toward the ruins. The best way to experience the monument is to take the one-mile Island Trail that begins at the Visitor Center. There are stairs that will take you down the canyon wall about 185 feet and then you can walk below the overhanging walls. The stairs have handrails and are paved. Along the way you can see large ponderosa pines and Douglas fir trees.

Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument is the youngest of the over 600 volcanoes between Flagstaff and Williams. The cinder cone looks like a huge black sand dune with small grains of lava cascading down the steep hillside. There are trails that run along the base. The landscape has areas with fields of chunked lava. The vegetation that survives here are the pine trees.

Wupatki National Monument has a scenic road that you can take looping back to Flagstaff. It is covered by grassland on the Colorado Plateau north of Flagstaff and is home tp well preserved Native American ruins. There are many pueblos. The Wupatki Pueblo was the main center for trade among different cultures. Arriving from the north end you’ll see the Nalakihu and Citadel Pueblos. Climbing the Citadel Pueblo you’ll get an impressive 360-degree view from the top.

The Lowell Observatory sits on a hill above the main streets in Flagstaff. There are short programs on different subjects held at regular intervals all through the day and evening. At the Steele Visitor Center, you can find interactive displays that relate to the universe.

The Putnam Collection Center features items from the life of American businessman, author, mathematician, and astronomer Percival Lowell including his 1911 Stevens- Duryea auto and his very first telescope.

The Museum of Northern Arizona was founded in 1928. It had a collection of over five million pieces related to Northern Arizona and the Colorado Plateau, Among them are Native American artifacts, fine art pieces, and objects related to natural science. There are five permanent exhibitions focusing on the Colorado Plateau including the Hopi Kiva Gallery, the Geology Gallery, the Babbit Gallery, and the outdoor James Golightly courtyard. The museum also hosts special travelling exhibits and four times a year puts on special Heritage Festivals.

On the campus of Northern Arizona University hidden by some buildings and set among large pines is the Riordan Mansion State Historic Park.


The home can be seen on a guided tour. It has 40 rooms. There are period pieces dating from the turn of the century.

The Pioneer Museum has well-preserved steam engines and boxcars dating from 1929 in the front of the main building, The museum is housed in a former hospital dating from 1908. You can see artifacts and items from the early days of Flagstaff. The focus is on the development of Flagstaff from 1880 to 1960 featuring information and exhibits on the history of logging and ranching. On the grounds, you can see the one-room cabin of pioneer and former Flagstaff mayor Ben Doney, a 1915 Model T Forn and a Fire Engine that saved nearby Riordan Mansion.

In Historic Downtown Flagstaff you can find remnants of Route 66 and a collection of historic buildings. It is interesting to walk the 12 block area and also check out the boutiques, tourist shops, and restaurants.

Keep an eye out for the Weatherford Hotel, Orpheum Theater, Babbitt Brothers Building and the Hotel Monte Vista.

The Flagstaff Visitor Center can be found two blocks south in the old and refurbished train station which is still in use.

The Lava River Cave is 700,000 years old, It is one mile long and offers a real caving adventure. You need to bring light sources as there is no lighting and no guide, You can see stone icicles and interesting rock features. The cave is cold 35 to 40 degrees F and the rocks can be slippery. It is located about 14 miles from Flagstaff along paved and gravel roads.

The Arboretum at Flagstaff is just south of the city and is home to more than 750 different plants that are adapted to the climate of Flagstaff. Among the highlights are a variety of beardtongue plants also known as penstemon. These large flowering plants can grow up to 10 feet high. Their peak blooming period is mid-July.

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  1. Another beautiful article. What’s a pueblo?

    • Thank tyou. A pueblo is an adobe house built by the Pueblo people.

  2. What a wonderful tour (and GREAT photos!). Thanks for sharing Fabulous Flagstaff.

    • Thank you and glad you enjoyed the tour, I cannot take credit for the photos but I always try to find the very best ones I can,

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