Hotels in Flagstaff, USA
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Flagstaff, USA: Gateway to the Grand Canyon
The city of Flagstaff sits near the San Francisco Peaks mountain range and is just an hour and a half from the Grand Canyon, one of the nation's most famous sites. Flagstaff is a logical place to stop when heading to the Canyon from the Phoenix area and features attractions of its own for guests to explore.
Flagstaff is a high-altitude location and has a variety of activities available that cannot be found in the desert below. Being in a different eco-system is perhaps one reason for the popularity of the city amongst people from around the state and beyond, since it provides an escape from the high temperature found throughout Arizona.
Explore the National Parks
There is a high concentration of United States National Parks in the Flagstaff area, giving visitors unlimited options when exploring the outdoors. Walnut Canyon National Monument and Wuptaki National Monument are significant because they feature Native American ruins from centuries ago. Also, Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument, which is connected to Wupatki, contains a dormant volcano that visitors can walk into and explore.
Barringer Meteor Crater sits just east of the city and is significant because it is one of the best-preserved meteor strike locations on the planet. The Glen Canyon National Recreation Area features a large natural bridge, while Montezuma Castle National Monument has a Native American city that is built into the side of a mountain. Selecting which National Parks to explore from Flagstaff is hard because there are so many within short driving distance of the city's hotels.
Head to the Mountains
Being that Flagstaff is located near a major mountain range, plenty of alpine activities can be found. The Arizona Snowbowl is one of the only ski resorts in AZ and is perhaps the state's most popular. This area also has great hiking opportunities during the summer, including a trail that heads to Humphreys Peak. Numerous hotels in the area are just a short distance from the resort, as well, making it readily available for those coming in from other parts of the world.
Another popular hiking spot near Flagstaff is Mount Elden. Trails can be found up and down this mountain from every side, with Elden Lookout Trail being the most popular because it scales 855 metres high and ends up at a lookout tower with views of the entire city.
Experience Some History
When visiting Flagstaff, visitors will quickly get an old west vibe, due to the city's history. This history can be seen in many of the museums around town, starting with the Museum of Northern Arizona. This venue is notable because it is full of exhibits showing Native American life from before the arrival of Europeans. Pioneer Museum has exhibits depicting more recent history, as it has artefacts and pictures from European expansion in this part of the world.
Other venues worth visiting in Flagstaff when looking to explore its history include Riordan Mansion State Historic Park, the Fort Tuthill Military Museum, and the Elden Pueblo Historic Site, which offers tours of archaeological ruins from between 1050 and 1275 BC. Ask at the hotel front desk for more information about these sites and how to reach them.
Annual Festivals and Events
Cultural festivals are a major part of life in Flagstaff, as is shown by the events that are held annually. Many of these events celebrate the contributions of the Native American tribes from the area: the Hopi, Zuni, and Navajo. The Hopi Festival of Arts and Culture is held on July 4th weekend every year, while the Zuni Festival of Arts and Culture takes place in late May. The Navajo Festival of Arts and Culture is in early August. Hotels can sometimes become harder to book during these festivals, so making arrangements before arrival is recommended.
Other annual festivals held in Flagstaff include the Arizona Highland Celtic Festival, the Coconino County Fair, Dew Downtown Flagstaff, and Celebraciones de la Gente. Pickin' in the Pines Bluegrass & Acoustic Music Festival is held in the middle of September and attracts good-sized crowds to the city.
See Science Up-close
The Lowell Observatory is one of the top attractions in Flagstaff, AZ and one of the best known astronomical research centres in the United States. This centre is the location from which Pluto was discovered, making it significant historically, as well. Tours of the venue are available daily. Guests are also able to use the Clark telescope at the Observatory for a look into outer space. The Observatory is up a hill and a fair distance from most downtown hotels, so making travel arrangements might be necessary.
The Arboretum at Flagstaff is another place where visitors can explore science. This location is a 200-acre garden and research area that has one of the largest collections of wildflowers in the entire country. Guided tours are available of this facility twice per day.