Enjoy the Dark Skies and Vibrant Community of Flagstaff, Arizona

Discover the rich Indigenous history, modern day adventures and the explorations beyond our planet when you visit Flagstaff, Arizona. The plethora of activities to do will make you excited to visit and the welcoming community will make you want to extend your stay. Come see for yourself!
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Flagstaff is a unique mountain town in northeast Arizona with many big claims to its name! Whether you’re interested in digging deep into the past through Indigenous history, testing your skills in extreme sports, or looking into the new frontiers of space, this town has all that and more! Known as the first International Dark Sky Community, the city of Flagstaff prides itself on caring for its surrounding environment and all who stay there, whether you’re a resident, a student at the local university, or a visitor stopping through.

This story was made in partnership with Discover Flagstaff

Preserving the Past

Travelers looks at pueblo in Flagstaff, Arizona

Long before the wagon trains of western expansion rolled into Flagstaff, this area was, and still is, the homeland of several Indigenous tribes, such as the Puebloans, Cohonina, and Sinagua. One place to step into that history and see how these groups lived is at Wupatki National Monument. The informative self-guided tour through the remains of a 900-year-old Puebloan dwelling gives you a glimpse of life in the high desert of Northern Arizona. Six standing dwellings within the monument are worth the time to explore and appreciate the craftsmanship of these ancient structures. 

Travelers and a guide in Riordan Mansion in Flagstaff, Arizona

Another well-preserved dwelling from a more recent past is the Riordan Mansion State Historic Park. This stone and timber two-family mansion was built in 1904 and was home to the Riordan brothers and their families. They helped to build up Flagstaff through their timber mill and philanthropic efforts, including establishing what is now Northern Arizona University. Whether you’re interested in the Arts and Crafts style design or looking at preserved artifacts from the early 1900s, there is much to see at the Riordan Mansion. 

Reaching New Heights

Collage of images of skiing and doing ropes course in Flagstaff, Arizona

Next to its history of being an uplifting community, Flagstaff also draws in those with an adventurous spirit. Biking, hiking, climbing, and skiing can all be enjoyed in and around this mountain town. If you’re looking to spend some time on the slopes, head up to Arizona Snowbowl, the largest ski resort in the state and often open through May! With eight lifts, 55 runs, and stunning views over the Colorado Plateau, Arizona Snowbowl is an easy place to spend the day. There are very few places you could start your day in snow pants and end it in shorts and a t-shirt. 

If you’re planning to visit out of the ski season or want to try a different kind of adventure, look no further than Flagstaff Extreme! This comprehensive, multi-leveled high ropes course will test your limits and allow you to get out of your comfort zone. Of course, there is always the option to choose your own adventure and end the route when you want, but it’s also a great and safe space to challenge yourself to new heights! With many different obstacles, bridges, and ziplines, Flagstaff Extreme is an awesome place to take your family and friends for an afternoon of adventure! 

To Pluto and Beyond

Brewer talking about beers at Mother Road Brewery in Flagstaff, AZ

Evenings in this Dark Sky city bring another layer of opportunity. After your afternoon’s exploration, look to one of the many breweries to unwind and share your highlights from the day. The Mother Road Brewing Company is one of several great options. Between their signature microbrews, delicious farm-to-table food truck, and friendly hosts, you’ll feel at home walking through their doors. The Mother Road brews one-of-a-kind beers and pours a lot of energy back into the Flagstaff community. They’ve even created the signature beer for the I Heart Pluto Festival, which takes place every year! If you’re wondering what Pluto has to do with Flagstaff, read on to discover one more adventure that is out of this world! 

Woman looking at display at Lowell Observatory

Did you know that Pluto was discovered in Flagstaff? That’s right! After the sun has set and you’ve wrapped up a filling meal in town, head up Mars Hill (yes, like the planet) to the Lowell Observatory for an exciting night of star gazing and learning about the vast universe beyond the telescope lens! You can walk along glowing pathways to different observation decks and domes to see the many telescopes and equipment that real working astronomers actively use to uncover the mysteries of space. Founded in 1894 by Percival Lowell, this institution has hosted many passionate astronomers, scientists, and mathematicians, including the founder of Pluto, Clyde Tombaugh. The Lowell Observatory is still an active institution, so you never know what you might discover during your visit!

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