The destination for all seasons, Flagstaff is alive with cultural diversity, beauty, history and recreational and scientific opportunities. At a cool 7,000-foot elevation, located in the world’s largest ponderosa pine forest, Flagstaff is a key destination for Canyon Calling Adventures and for enjoying the natural beauty of the American West. Flagstaff is only 80 miles from the Grand Canyon, which of course we will visit and enjoy this national treasure. We’ll also visit the wonder and beauty of Sedona and hike among the red rocks, and see if you feel the energy of the vortex! Northern Arizona is rich in Native American history and culture and we explore many sites and ancient ruins. History buffs will delight in the Route 66 nostalgia and the museums and attractions dedicated to Flagstaff’s Native American culture and old west legacy. Those who like to hit the town will have a hard time choosing between all of the locally-owned shops, restaurants and galleries in historic downtown. where our beautiful hotel is. With a variety of outdoor recreation as well as nightlife, Flagstaff is our hub for experiencing the delights of Northern Arizona.
We will meet in Flagstaff, Arizona at 3pm in the lobby of our hotel. We’ll check into our rooms for five nights and regroup to take a walking tour of historic downtown Flagstaff. We’ll get to know our road sisters as we discover the charm of this western city located right on the Mother Road (Route 66). The city was founded on lumber, railroad and ranching and is located near the southwestern edge of the Colorado Plateau, along the western side of the largest contiguous Ponderosa Pine forest in the continental United States. After we stroll this slice of history and beauty, we’ll enjoy dinner at a local brewery. Craft breweries abound in this mountain town so we’ll experience more than one. Overnight Flagstaff.
After breakfast, we’re off on a scenic hike through Walnut Canyon where we will gaze across the curved canyon walls. Among the remarkable geological cliff formations of the canyon itself, the shapes of the former homes of ancient inhabitants of Walnut Canyon are easily evident. On a hike along the Rim Trail we’ll imagine what life was like along and within Walnut Canyon while visiting actual pueblos and walking in the steps of those who came before us. Back in Flagstaff, we’ll stop for lunch, and then we’re off to Lowell Observatory, established in 1894, it is among the oldest observatories in the United States. The Lowell was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1965, and from the time Pluto was discovered there in 1930, Lowell Observatory continues to be an active research facility while also providing visitors the opportunity to view and learn about our expanding universe. Back at our hotel we’ll have some time for relaxation before dinner at a local favorite restaurant.
After breakfast we’re off to the breathtaking sights of Oak Creek Canyon and Sedona! Before it gets too warm in Sedona (located at approximately 4500 ft elevation) we’ll hike famous Bell Rock where there is a vortex! We’ll continue on to Courthouse Butte to experience this soul stirring area with phenomenal views. This is an out and back hike and the different views are amazing. After hiking, we’ll have a bit of time for shopping in uptown Sedona before heading up the canyon for lunch at Indian Gardens, a local organic dining establishment right in the Canyon. Our next stop is Slide Rock State Park for a short hike down to this natural water slide to enjoy the sights. If you’re brave and want to cool off, go ahead and ‘do the slide’! A natural rock formation for which the park is named after, is a great place to stop and cool our feet. We’ll drive the breathtaking scenic route and stop at the Oak Creek Overview to see across the entire canyon and peruse the local Native American arts and crafts before heading the few miles north to Flagstaff. We’ll be back in time to chill or stroll Flagstaff some more before our delicious dinner.
After and early breakfast, we’re off for a day of exploration! First, we’ll visit Sunset Crater National Monument, which is a cinder cone crater and the youngest in a string of volcanoes that is related to the nearby San Francisco Peaks. We’ll stop at the Kana-A Lava Flow area that is covered with cinders and cooled lava flows from intermittent volcanic eruptions during the last few million years. It’s like a moonscape that also has some strange rhyolite domes that produced folded rocks and steep flows. Next up, we’ll visit Wupatki National Monument, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The many settlement sites scattered throughout the Monument were built by the Ancient Pueblo People. Wupatki, which was first inhabited around 500 AD, means “Tall House” in the Hopi language, and is a multistory Sinagua pueblo dwelling comprising over 100 rooms and a community room and ball court, making it the largest building for nearly 50 miles. We’ll discover together what their life may have been like in the high desert. After a picnic lunch it’s off to the Grandest Canyon of them all – the Grand Canyon! We’ll enjoy the remainder of the day on the South Rim taking it all in from many viewpoints along the Desert View Drive. We’ll stop at the Hopi House with a visit to El Tovar too. The wildlife in the park is amazing and photo opportunities are endless. We’ll enjoy our drive back to Flagstaff as we discuss this amazing day. We’ll choose another fabulous dinner spot downtown to sample some of the local favorites.
After breakfast, we’ll head up to the famous Snowbowl, located on the majestic San Francisco Peaks. The highest summit in the range, Humphreys Peak, is the highest point in the state of Arizona at 12,633 feet in elevation. We won’t hike at that elevation! However we will have incredibly gorgeous vistas all around us. We may hike Kachina Trail or choose another of the many spectacular trails to enjoy this beautiful natural setting in the Coconino National Forest. Gorgeous aspens, ponderosa pines and amazing rock formations make this hiking area especially enjoyable. We head back to Flagstaff for lunch and maybe soak our hiking muscles in the hot tubs. This afternoon, we’ll have some free time to stroll the historic downtown area of Flagstaff, discovering the locally-owned shops, pubs, and galleries. We’ll meet back up as a group for our Farewell Dinner as we recount our time together, laugh at stories from the week, and enjoy our new friendships.
Another wonderful breakfast and the hotel’s amenities are yours before departure; or stay and play in this delightful area of northern Arizona!