Flagstaff Journals

Seven Wonders of Flagstaff

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A September 2007 trip to Flagstaff by Tolik

Lowell Observatory Photo, Flagstaff, Arizona More Photos
Quote: Visiting the Flagstaff area in September 2007

Flagstaff Overview

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Lowell Observatory Photo, Flagstaff, Arizona
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At an elevation of almost 7,000 feet, Flagstaff is among the highest cities in the U.S. Located along former wagon road to California, Flagstaff (called "Flag" by the locals) is surrounded by famous ponderosa forests and sits at the foot of Arizona's highest mountain, 12,634-foot /3,851m Humphrey's Peak. An outdoor lovers’ paradise, Flagstaff offers activities from skiing down the San Francisco Peaks to gazing at the stars at the Lowell Observatory. This town used to promote itself as "The City of Seven Wonders" — a reference to the Grand Canyon and other nearby Northern Arizona attractions. Problem is that not one of the wonders was actually in Flagstaff. Nowadays, the offic...Read More

Seven Wonders of Flagstaff

History of Flagstaff

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Sacred San Francisco Peaks Photo, Flagstaff, Arizona
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One of the frequently told stories about the naming of Flagstaff refers to a large pine, stripped of its branches, that was used to hang a U.S. flag for a Fourth of July celebration more than a century ago. As the story goes, the pine was so tall that people could see it from miles away. Flagstaff became a symbol, a landmark and, ultimately, a name. The inhabitants, sensing that the settlement would last after work crews finish up on the rail line and leave, named the town around 1881. Thomas F. McMillan, who set up his home in 1876 near a spring, is widely recognized as being the town's first permanent settler. The spring and its small settlement underwent several names beginning with Ant...Read More

Traveling around the San Francisco Peaks

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Sacred San Francisco Peaks Photo, Flagstaff, Arizona
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The San Francisco Peaks are a volcanic mountain range located in north central Arizona. In 1629, one hundred and forty seven years before San Francisco, California received its name, Spanish Friars founded a mission at a Hopi Indian village in honor of St. Francis. 17th century Franciscans gave the name San Francisco to the peaks to honor St. Francis of Assisi, the founder of their order. Three of the summits ring this dormant volcano's now quiet inner caldera. The highest summit in the range, Humphreys Peak (12,633 feet /3,851 meters), is the highest point in the state of Arizona. The San Francisco Volcanic Field, which covers about 1,800 square miles, is part of northern Arizona’s specta...Read More

Sacred San Francisco Peaks

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Attraction | "San Francisco Peaks"

Sacred San Francisco Peaks Photo, Flagstaff, Arizona
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We visited the San Francisco Peaks area several times during our stay in Flagstaff. The San Francisco Peaks (known locally as simply "the Peaks") are the remains of a once-higher group of extinct volcanoes. Three of the summits ring this dormant volcano's now quiet inner caldera (Humphrey's Peak, Agassiz Peak, and Fremont Peak). An aquifer within the caldera supplies much of Flagstaff's water while the mountain itself is located within the Coconino National Forest and is the site of famous outdoor recreation area called Arizona Snowbowl. The peaks have considerable religious significance to thirteen local American Indian tribes (including the Havasupai, Navajo, Hopi, and Zuni). It is asso...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 8, 2009

Sacred San Francisco Peaks
14 miles north of Flagstaff, Highway 180
Flagstaff, Arizona

Flagstaff Annual Events

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An outdoor lovers’ paradise, Flagstaff offers activities year around. They also love to turn a weekend into a colorful event. Almost every summer weekend offers something special. During our visit to Flagstaff in the beginning of September we participated in two major events. First one was the Labor Day Weekend Festival. Flagstaff Art in the Park was our favorite (three days in a row, Sat through Mon). During the event Wheeler Park was filled with vendors selling all kinds of crafts, arts, activities for kids, and food; live music was pretty good. The Coconino County Fair took place at the fairgrounds in Fort Tuthill Park. Highlights of the fair included exhibits, livestock, entertainment,...Read More

Jackson's Grill at The Springs

Restaurant | "Jackson's Grill"

Jackson's Grill at The Springs Photo, Flagstaff, Arizona
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We stopped by at Jackson Grill on our way back from Sedona. The contemporary American restaurant itself is very nice; you can sit inside or at the outdoor patio (chilly September evening did not call for it). Tables near the window look out onto the picturesque forest and meadow. The server was prompt, knowledgeable, and polite. Four of us found that their menu is traditional but quite varied. Regional seafood dishes, rotisserie chicken, choice of meats, and vegetables are the specialties. Our friends ordered Kansas City steak and Cedar Plank salmon, my wife wanted lamb chops, and I chose the duck breast. The food was full of flavor, the portions were plentiful, and the presentation colorf...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 8, 2009

Jackson's Grill at The Springs
7055 South State Route 89A
Flagstaff, Arizona 86001
(928) 213-9332

Wupatki National Monument

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Attraction

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Wupatki National Monument is one of several archaeological sites preserving pueblos (houses) of ancient peoples. The pueblos all have a distinctive red color and were made from the local Moenkopi sandstone. We reache Wupatki by the same loop road that passes the Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument, adjoining the main north-south route US 89. At the visitors center we learned about history of the area. About 800 years ago, Wupatki was the tallest pueblo, and perhaps one of the richest and most influential, in the Southwest. It is believed that people moved here because of volcanic eruptions that took place at Sunset Crater. With a little imagination, one can picture these Ancient Americans fleeing ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 8, 2009

Wupatki National Monument
County Road 395
Flagstaff, Arizona 86004
(928) 679-2365

Sunset Crater Volcano Monument

Attraction | "Sunset Crater Volcano Monument Part 2"

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Strawberry CraterSecond choice for climbers, recommended by a park ranger, is the Strawberry Crater. Foot of the volcano can be reached from the loop road FR545 or from US 89 via short forest road but high clearance vehicles are recommended. Coming directly from Flagstaff, take Highway 89 to just past milepost 434 and turn right onto an unmarked dirt road (Forest Road 546). Continue east on FR-546 for roughly 3.6 miles to Forest Road 779 (continue straight at the fork). Follow FR-779 for another 2 miles to the signed trailhead. There’s an interpretive sign but no facilities. The largest lava flow in the area may be seen around the volcano (it began erupting around the year 1066). Pa...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 8, 2009

Sunset Crater Volcano Monument
Route 3
Flagstaff, Arizona 86004
(928) 526-0502

Sunset Crater Volcano Monument

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Attraction | "Sunset Crater Volcano and Wupatki National Monument Part 1"

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Sunset Crater Volcano National MonumentAlmost all hills and mountains between Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon are geologically young but extinct volcanoes of the San Francisco Volcanic Field. We visited the Sunset Crater area after driving around the San Francisco Peaks (forest road FR 418 meets FR 545 near US 89). You can go directly from Flagstaff taking US 89 (12 miles) then turn right (east) on FR545. This road passes Bonito Campground (on your left) and brings you to the Visitor Center. Nearby you can see several colorful cinder cones formed by extinct volcanoes, and large expanses of lava and ash. The 36 miles park road eventually passes through the Wuaptki National Monument before re...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 8, 2009

Sunset Crater Volcano Monument
Route 3
Flagstaff, Arizona 86004
(928) 526-0502

Walnut Canyon Cliff Dwellings

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Attraction | "Walnut Canyon "

Walnut Canyon Cliff Dwellings Photo, Grand Canyon, Arizona
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A ranger told us "If I had to choose one thing to see near Flagstaff, it would have to be Walnut Canyon". So we added the national monument to our "must see" list and one September morning hit the road. The canyon was only 15 min. drive from the Wyndham Flagstaff resort where we stayed. From Country Club Drive we turned right (eastbound) on I-40, then 2 miles later took exit 204, and drove south 3 miles to the canyon rim. Park open year around except December 25; hours: November - April 9:00 - 5:00; May - October 8:00 - 5:00. Admission $5.00 per person for 7 Days (or use your family National Pass). The Visitor Center perched on the cliff edge with panoramic views east and west. Below the build...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 8, 2009

Walnut Canyon Cliff Dwellings

Grand Canyon, Arizona 86004
928-526-3367

Wyndham Vacation Resort

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Hotel | "Wyndham Flagstaff Resort - Timeshare Where We Stayed"

Wyndham Vacation Resort Photo, Flagstaff, Arizona
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In February 07 we booked our vacation swapping our timeshare week trough RCI. Our plan was to explore Grand Canyon and its vicinity in September. Choice of the resort was obvious - Fairfield Flagstaff Resort in Northern Arizona. This is truly a five-star resort. An RCI Gold Crown Resort, Wyndham Flagstaff (it changed owner and name by the time we came here to stay during Labor Day week) offered a full range of resort amenities and activities right on site. Only 80 miles from the Grand Canyon, the resort is a complete recreational community with an 18-hole golf course; eight tennis courts, four lighted; and two outdoor pools-all open seasonally. Seven national parks and monuments are located with a 10...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 8, 2009

Wyndham Vacation Resort
1900 N. Country Club Drive
Flagstaff, Arizona 86004
(800) 456-2587

Lowell Observatory

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Attraction | "Lowell Observatory - A Must See in Flagstraff"

Lowell Observatory Photo, Flagstaff, Arizona
Quote:
Lowell Observatory is definitely the most famous place in Flagstaff. It is located on the west edge of Flagstaff, on the top of West Mars Hill Road. It is open daily from 9:00 AM until 5:00 PM, and evenings Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday from 5:30 PM to 10:00 PM. Admission $6.00; check the weather forecast before you go because the observatory does not issue rain checks if the sky is clouded. Upon arrival the Observatory guides will invite you to spend some time under the glorious Arizona night sky for some stargazing. After dark, visitors stand in line, sometimes for more than hour, to peer through the 1896 Clark Telescope, located under the observatory's soaring wooden dome. A more contemporary p...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 8, 2009

Lowell Observatory
1400 Mars Hill Road
Flagstaff, Arizona 86001
(928) 774-3358