- Things to Do
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Envied by many, Flagstaff’s backyard overflows with convenient and easy access to national parks and monuments, as well as tribal parks and scenic areas, and a national recreation area with miles of shoreline.
There are eight national parks and monuments within a 2-hour drive or less. Explore the depths of the Grand Canyon, peer through 800 year-old pueblo windows, walk on the wild side and summit some peaks on your next adventure.
There are a total of 17 experiences accessible within 80 miles, and an additional five captivating must-sees within 200 miles.
Because there are so many opportunities to fulfill... this is why Flagstaff is the perfect hub to experience the many parks, monuments, and outdoor life-long memories that will continue to inspire future travel.
Often described as Earth’s greatest geological showcase, the breathtaking ensemble of colorful rock layers, impressive buttes and deep shadowed side canyons sets Grand Canyon apart. Enjoy the views, hike a trail, bike the rim, observe the wildlife, watch a sunset, or immerse yourself in almost two billion years of geology. Visit the East Rim entrance for another Grand Canyon gem in the Desert View Watch Tower and many scenic stops along the way. The South Rim Village features buildings from the early 1900s including the historic El Tovar Hotel, Mary Colter’s Lookout Studio and Hopi House, Verkamp’s Visitor Center and Kolb Studio. South Rim is open year-round. North Rim open mid-May to mid-October.
81 miles north of Flagstaff via Hwys 180 and 64 | Grand Canyon, AZ (1 hour, 20 minutes) | 928.638.7888 | nps.gov/grca
In the multi-hued badlands of the Painted Desert, Petrified Forest National Park offers a full experience, from historic structures, archaeological sites and displays of 225 million-year-old fossils. The park features one of the largest and most colorful concentrations of petrified wood in the world, making it a surprising land of scenic wonders and fascinating science. Open year-round.
116 miles east of Flagstaff via I-40 | Petrified Forest, AZ (1 hour, 40 minutes) | 928.524.6228 | nps.gov/pefo
With its beautiful, steep-walled canyons and numerous Native American ruins nestled below towering cliffs, Canyon de Chelly National Monument offers visitors the chance to learn about Southwestern Native American history from the early Pueblo to the Navajos who still live in the area. Self-guided rim drives and one self-guided hike. Open year-round. Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day.
212 miles northeast of Flagstaff via I-40 | Chinle, AZ (3 hours) | 928.674.5500 | nps.gov/cach
Montezuma Castle National Monument is one of the best-preserved American Indian cliff dwellings in the United States. Only one hour south of Flagstaff, the trail to view this important prehistoric site is flat and easy with no climbing. Federal park passes accepted. Open year-round. Closed Christmas Day.
57 miles south of Flagstaff, I-17 at Exit 289 | 2800 Montezuma Castle Rd. | Camp Verde, AZ (1 hour) | 928.567.3322, Ext. 221 | nps.gov/moca
Montezuma Well is a dramatic limestone sinkhole with prehistoric American Indian dwellings in the interior and along the rim. Located less than an hour south of Flagstaff. The trail is easy to moderate. Open year-round. Closed Christmas Day.
49 miles south of Flagstaff, I-17 at Exit 293 | 5525 Beaver Creek Rd. | Rimrock, AZ (50 minutes) | 928.567.4521 | nps.gov/moca
Navajo National Monument preserves ancestral Puebloan cliff dwellings and interprets both modern and ancient American Indian culture through volunteer demonstrations, Native guides and museum exhibits. Entrance tours and camping are free. Open year-round.
138 miles northeast of Flagstaff via Hwy 89 | Tonalea, AZ (2 hours, 15 minutes) | 928.672.2700 | nps.gov/nava
Born in a dramatic series of eruptions 900 years ago, Sunset Crater is still the youngest volcano on the Colorado Plateau. Visitor Center exhibits explain the powerful geologic forces and their aftermath. See for yourself on the one-mile, self-guided Lava Flow Trail. Open year-round. Closed Christmas Day.
18 miles north of Flagstaff, Hwy 89 at Loop Rd. Exit (30 minutes) | 928.526.0502 | nps.gov/sucr
Tuzigoot National Monument is a prehistoric American Indian pueblo with one of the finest museums in north-central Arizona. The trail is easy to moderate with some elevation gain. Federal passes accepted. Open year-round. Closed Christmas Day.
75 miles south of Flagstaff on Tuzigoot Rd., I-17 at Exit 293 | Camp Verde, AZ (1 hour, 15 minutes) | 928.634.5564 | nps.gov/tuzi
Walk among the cliff dwellings and pueblos where native people lived only 800 years ago. Experience the dramatic geology, varied vegetation and wildlife that made their lives possible. Visitor Center exhibits explain their daily lives. The strenuous one-mile Island Trail descends into Walnut Canyon while the shorter Rim Trail offers overlooks and a pithouse display. Open year-round. Closed Christmas Day.
11 miles east of Flagstaff, I-40 at Exit 204 (20 minutes) | 928.526.3367 | nps.gov/waca
Rock walls of 800-year-old pueblos dot a desert landscape once home to thousands of people. Visitor Center exhibits explain how they survived by farming, hunting and gathering, and trading. Short trails lead to Wupatki, Lomaki and other pueblos. The easy scenic drive to Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument climbs rapidly from desert to mountain landscapes. Open year-round. Closed Christmas Day.
39 miles north of Flagstaff, Hwy 89 at Loop Rd. Exit (50 minutes) | 928.679.2365 | nps.gov/wupa
These world-renowned slot canyons are a treasured experience for any traveler. The Navajo name for Upper Antelope Canyon is Tse’ bighanilini, which means "the place where water runs through rocks." Upper Antelope is about 4,000 feet elevation and the canyon walls rise 120 above the streambed. Lower Antelope Canyon is Hasdestwazi, or "spiral rock arches." Guided tours are available year-round.
130 miles north of Flagstaff via Hwy 89 | Page, AZ (2 hours, 15 minutes) | 928.698.2808 | navajonationparks.org
The park is approximately 92,216 acres and features a 17-mile drive. The Wildcat Trail, a 3.3-mile self-guided hiking trail around one of the mittens, winds through desert country alongside washes and sandy slopes, offering spectacular views of the rock monuments from the valley floor. Open daily. Closed Christmas and New Year’s Day.
171 miles north of Flagstaff via Hwy 89 to the Arizona-Utah border | Monument Valley, AZ (3 hours) | 435.727.5870 | navajonationparks.org
Little Colorado River Gorge Tribal Park encompasses multiple areas, including Grand Falls and Marble Canyon in addition to two viewpoints along Highway 64 on the way to the Grand Canyon. No two canyons could be less alike than the Little Colorado and Grand Canyon. The narrow gorge of the Little Colorado conceals an astonishing depth. The walls are almost colorless, gray, grim and forbidding, but which hold a beauty of their own.
78 miles north of Flagstaff via Hwy 89 | Cameron, AZ (1 hour, 35 minutes) | 928.679.2303 | navajonationparks.org
The spectacular Grand Falls, also known as Chocolate Falls, is more than 181 feet tall and occurs throughout the monsoon season and during snow melt in March and April. During the rest of the year, the falls are a mere trickle of water. There is no fee to visit, but facilities are limited and there is no cell service. Bring water and take your trash with you. The falls are located on Navajo Nation land –please respect private property and livestock. Camping and alcohol is prohibited.
41 miles east of Flagstaff via I-40 | Leupp, AZ (1 hour) | Current Grand Falls and road conditions: 928.686.3227 | discovernavajo.com
If you're visiting Northern Arizona, don't miss Marble Canyon. It's well worth traveling off the beaten path, and a great reminder of the amazing natural beauty that exists in this part of the country! Marble Canyon marks the western boundary of the Navajo Nation and the beginning of the Grand Canyon. With experience and a good vehicle, you can drive the unpaved House Rock Valley Road all the way up to 89. Staying on 89A, the route passes the Vermillion Cliffs and climbs up the Grand Staircase.
112 miles north east of Flagstaff via Hwy 89-A | 1000 US-89A, Marble Canyon, AZ (2 hours) | 928.640.3900| https://www.arizona-leisure.com/marble-canyon.html
Glen Canyon National Recreation Area lies in the midst of the nation’s most rugged canyon country. Formed by one of the world’s highest dams, Lake Powell stretches for 186 miles along the Colorado River channel with a massive shoreline of 1,960 miles, perfect for boating, camping, fishing and sightseeing. Open year-round. Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.
133 miles north of Flagstaff via Hwy 89 | 691 Scenic View Dr. | Page, AZ (2 hours, 10 minutes) | 928.608.6200 | nps.gov/glca
Dead Horse Ranch State Park sits on the Verde River Greenway, which is a Cottonwood-Willow riparian forest. The forest is one of less than 20 such riparian zones in the world and numerous wildlife species make the park their home. The 3,300-foot elevation accounts for mild temperatures ideal for camping, mountain biking, hiking, canoeing and fishing.
67 miles southwest of Flagstaff, I-17 to Exit 293 | 675 Dead Horse Ranch Rd. | Cottonwood, AZ (1 hour, 10 minutes) | 928.634.5283 | azstateparks.com/dead-horse
To protect the land and ancient ancestral sites, the Hopi people supported the establishment of Homolovi State Park. The park now serves as a center of research for the late migration period of the Hopi from AD 1200s to the late 1300s. Arizona State Parks provides visitors with the opportunity to visit the sites and use park facilities including a visitor center, museum, trails and a campground.
65 miles east of Flagstaff, I-40 to Exit 257 | Winslow, AZ (1 hour) | 928.289.4106 | azstateparks.com/homolovi
Red Rock State Park is a nature/wildlife preserve located five miles west of Sedona with opportunities for hiking, picnics and guided tours. The visitor center features exhibits and a theater. The park offers guided walks, five miles of nature trails, first-Sunday programs, moonlight hikes and astronomy star parties.
28 miles south of Flagstaff via Hwy 89A | 4050 Red Rock Loop Rd. | Sedona, AZ (1 hour) | 928.282.6907 | azstateparks.com/red-rock
For your convenience, Red Rock State Park Passes are available for purchase at the Flagstaff Visitor Center.
Located in the heart of Oak Creek Canyon 18 miles south of Flagstaff, Slide Rock State Park is best known for the natural waterslide in the creek and is the site of the historic Pendley homestead and apple orchard. It is one of the few homesteads left intact in the canyon today.
25 miles south of Flagstaff via Hwy 89A | 6871 N. Hwy 89A | Sedona, AZ (35 minutes) | 928.282.3034 | azstateparks.com/slide-rock
Fort Verde State Historic Park is the best-preserved example of an Indian Wars fort in Arizona. Fort Verde was the primary base for General George Crook’s U.S. Army scouts and soldiers. Today, Fort Verde’s Commanding Officer’s, Bachelors' and Doctor’s Quarters, furnished in the 1880s period, are historic house museums. Interpretive exhibits on military life, Indian Scouts and Indian Wars history are also on display.
58 miles south of Flagstaff, I-17 to Exit 289 | 125 E. Hollamon St. | Camp Verde, AZ (1 hour) | 928.567.3275 | azstateparks.com/fort-verde
On the grounds of Jerome State Historic Park sits the Douglas Mansion which is now a museum devoted to the history of the Jerome area, mining and the Douglas family. The mansion has been an eye-catching landmark in Jerome since 1916 when James S. Douglas built his home on the hill above the Little Daisy Mine. The mansion was constructed of adobe bricks made on site.
78 miles southwest of Flagstaff, I-17 to Exit 287 | 100 Douglas Rd. | Jerome, AZ (1 hour, 25 minutes) | 928.634.5381 | azstateparks.com/jerome
Built in 1904 for two Riordan families instrumental in establishing Flagstaff's early lumber industry, Riordan Mansion is an impressive reminder of gracious living in a small, territorial logging town. The historic building is a remarkable example of American Arts & Crafts style architecture featuring a rustic exterior of logslab siding, volcanic stone arches and hand-split wooden shingles. The mansion's interior is seen by guided tour only. Reservations are recommended.
409 W. Riordan Rd. | 928.779.4395 | azstateparks.com/riordan-mansion