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Did you know every astronaut who walked on the moon trained in Flagstaff? Celebrate Flagstaff’s Scientific Role in the Apollo Moon Missions with the Lunar Legacy Lecture Series, astronaut training site tours and exhibits.

Save the Date: September 20, 2019 Flagstaff Festival of Science is hosting Apollo 16 astronaut, Charlie Duke. Free, advance tickets are available starting July1, 2019 at the NAU Central Ticket Office, 928-523-5661 or


99 Things to do in Northern Arizona

er ) ( Octob berfest 5

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99 THINGS TO DO 2019 Flagstaff and the Peaks 1. Downtown Flagstaff 2. Hike Humphreys 3. Arizona Snowbowl 4. Lowell Observatory 5. Museum of Northern Arizona 6. Sunset Crater National Monument 7. Wupatki National Monument 8. Walnut Canyon National Monument 9. The Arboretum at Flagstaff 10. Lava River Cave 11. The Inner Basin 12. Buffalo Park 13. Picture Canyon 14. Riordan Mansion State Historic Park 15. Mormon Lake and Lodge 16. The Arizona Trail 17. Flagstaff Extreme 18. Biking Mount Elden and Dry Lake Hills 19. Rock Climbing 20. Kendrick Watchable Wildlife Trail 21. Arizona Nordic Village 22. Shopping 23. Historic Hotels 24. The Pioneer Museum 25. Public Art 26. Route 66 27. Elden Pueblo 28. Sample Local Cuisine

29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34.

Sample Local Breweries Heritage Square Live Music The Art Scene The Lit Scene Coconino Center for the Arts

Grand Canyon and Williams 35. The South Rim 36. The North Rim 37. Grand Canyon by Boat 38. Grand Canyon by Air 39. Hiking the Canyon 40. Havasu Falls 41. Pollen Trail Dancers 42. Cycle to Hermit’s Rest 43. Grand Canyon by Mule 44. Desert View Watchtower 45. Phantom Ranch 46. Planes of Fame Museum 47. IMAX Experience 48. Grand Canyon Deer Farm 49. Grand Canyon Railway 50. Grand Canyon Skywalk 51. Bearizona 52. Jacob Lake 53. Lees Ferry 54. Eastern Canyon Sedona 55. Sedona by Mountain Bike 56. Crescent Moon Picnic Area 57. Red Rock Country by Jeep

58. 59. 60. 61. 62. 63. 64. 65. 66.

Slide Rock State Park Red Rock State Park Oak Creek Canyon Sedona’s Arches Cathedral Rock Grasshopper Point Palatki and Honanki Ruins Tlaquepaque Village Chapel of the Holy Cross

Native Lands and Lake Powell 67. Lake Powell 68. Rainbow Bridge 69. Horseshoe Bend 70. Slot Canyons 71. Monument Valley 72. Canyon de Chelly 73. Navajo National Monument 74. Hubbell Trading Post 75. The Hopi Mesas 76. Grand Falls Verde Valley, Prescott and Rim Country 77. Mogollon Rim 78. City of Jerome 79. Old Town Cottonwood 80. Verde Canyon Railroad 81. Out of Africa Wildlife Park 82. Dead Horse Ranch State Park 83. Verde River 84. Watson Lake 85. Tonto Natural Bridge State Park

86. 87. 88. 89. 90. 91. 92.

V-Bar-V Heritage Site Mingus Mountain Ancient Ruins Wine Trail Whiskey Row Agua Fria National Monument Arcosanti

Farther East and West 93. Petrified Forest National Park 94. Meteor Crater 95. The Reservoirs 96. Corner Park 97. La Posada 98. Route 66 in Seligman 99. Oatman

ON THE COVER Flagstaff pro endure rider Alex Pavon takes to the trail on Mount Elden. Northern Arizona is known for premier biking territory. Photo © D Scott Clark

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99 Things to do in Northern Arizona

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LYDIA SMITH Many thanks to our photo contributors: D Scott Clark, Monica Saaty, Jake Bacon, Nancy Wiechec, Larry Hendricks, Shutterstock, Coconino National Forest Service (USDA), National Park Service, Flagstaff Convention and Visitors Bureau, Arizona Office of Tourism and the Bureau of Land Management.

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at 1751 S. THOMPSON ST. Flagstaff, AZ 86001 | Phone (928) 774-4545, Fax (928) 773-1934

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Copyright ©2019 Flagstaff Publishing Company. Unsolicited manuscripts, photographs, illustrations and other materials are invited, but will not be returned unless accompanied by a properly addressed envelope bearing sufficient postage. Publisher assumes no responsibility for lost materials or the return of unsolicited materials. Publisher assumes no responsibility for any materials, solicited or unsolicited, after six months from date of publication. Cover and entire contents of this publication are fully protected. Reproduction or use without prior written permission from the editor is strictly prohibited. Any views, opinions or suggestions contained within 99 Things to do in Northern Arizona are not necessarily those of the management or owners.

99 Things to do in Northern Arizona



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hen it comes to northern Arizona, Flagstaff remains the center of it all. The largest city in this part of the state has long served as a gateway to the Grand Canyon and has grown to become one of the most celebrated places in the West. With close proximity to the San Francisco Peaks, the tallest mountains in Arizona, and home to Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff has made a name for itself as a vibrant mountain town.

2. Hike Humphreys. Humphreys Peak is the highest point in Arizona at 12,663 feet. While any avid hiker will find it a refreshing alpine climb, the 10-mile round-trip hike can bring elements of adventure. Alpine hiking at elevation can be a challenge for people of many skill levels, and weather can change quickly on the mountain. The trailhead is located at the lower parking lot of Arizona Snowbowl.

1. Downtown Flagstaff. Historic downtown is a hub for 3. Arizona Snowbowl. For an easier way to get near the top exploration and adventure—and for relaxing when you’re done. Starting at the Flagstaff Visitor Center, located in the train station at 1 E. Route 66, can be a great way to get oriented to all that’s going on. Learn more at For some of the premier places to eat, shop and visit, see the annual Best of Flag listings at


99 Things to do in Northern Arizona

of the San Francisco Peaks opt for the Scenic Chairlift Ride at Arizona Snowbowl. The 20-minute ride to the top of Agassiz is followed by breathtaking views that extend to the edges of the Grand Canyon on a clear day. Summer activities at Snowbowl also include tubing, ropes course, bungee trampoline and more. Call (928) 779-1951 or see for more information.

4. Lowell Observatory. Lowell Observatory remains an

ever-popular place for visitors and locals alike to learn about the universe. Gaze through telescopes and get an up-close view of the stars, moons and planets. Find out about Pluto and its discovery by astronomer Clyde W. Tombaugh at Lowell. Visit


5. Museum of Northern Arizona. The Museum of North-

ern Arizona boasts an amazing collection of the artifacts and artwork that shaped the land and culture of the Colorado Plateau. Visit the newly remade exhibit The Native Peoples of the Colorado Plateau, ancient and modern stories centered on the area’s 10 tribes. The museum shops offer books, jewelry, art and other treasures from the Four Corners region. Learn more at

6. Sunset Crater National Monument.

Northern Arizona is a landscape shaped by volcanic activity, one of the most recent being the eruption at Sunset Crater less than 1,000 years ago. The highlights of the monument include a looping and interpretive Lava Flow Trail and a hike up to the nearby Lenox Crater. Visit 99 Things to do in Northern Arizona





11 S Beaver St | Flagstaff, Az 86001 | 928.779.0079

7. Wupatki National Monument. Wupatki boasts some

of the world’s most intact and culturally revealing archaeological sites. The namesake site features a 110-room pueblo, an ancient ball court, and a blowhole, an opening in the rock that blasts cool air during certain atmospheric conditions. Visit


8. Walnut Canyon National Monument. With hundreds of ruins built into the stone alcoves and ledges of a steep canyon, Walnut Canyon National Monument offers a glimpse into the lives of the ancient Sinagua. With Sunset Carter and Wupatki, it’s part of the triumvirate of national monuments surrounding Flagstaff. Learn more at 9. The Arboretum at Flagstaff. A research and environmental education center, the arboretum is home to 2,500 species of plants in greenhouses, gardens and natural habitats—located on 200 acres within the national forest. The arboretum offers guided tours, school programs and other events. The Butterf ly House is a


99 Things to do in Northern Arizona

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10. Lava River Cave. Also known as the Lava Tubes, this is

one of the most unique hikes in northern Arizona because it takes place entirely underground. The mile-long cave was formed by a lava f low about 700,000 years ago. Bring f lashlights and jackets. The cave stays a constant 42 degrees year-round. Lave River Cave is located off U.S. 180 and Forest Roads 245 and 171. For tour information, contact the Peaks Ranger Station at (928) 526-0866.

11. The Inner Basin. Lockett Meadow may very well be one of

the most beautiful campsites in the state. Surrounded by aspen and fir trees, tall grasses and wildf lowers the meadow is the starting point for the trail that leads to the Inner Basin of the San Francisco Peaks mountain range. The Inner Basin Trail is one of the premier spots for viewing golden aspen leaves in the fall. The three-mile unpaved road to the trail can be rough on low-clearance vehicles.

12. Buffalo Park. For anyone visiting for a night or a few days

in Flagstaff, take time to visit the city's most beloved green space. Buffalo Park is an open meadow on the top of McMillan Mesa, the rise in the center of town. It features a two-mile loop trail, the bisecting Arizona Trail and up-close views of Mount Elden and the nearby Dry Lake Hills. Take San Francisco Street north and make a right on Forest Avenue. Head up the hill and make a left on Gemini Road.

13. Picture Canyon. A gem within the city of Flagstaff is

Picture Canyon Natural and Cultural Preserve. The small canyon along the Rio de Flag on the far eastern edge of Flagstaff features ancient rock carvings known as petroglyphs. Head out to Route 66 as it passes by the Flagstaff Mall and turn left at El Paso Flag-

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staff Road, go a half-mile to the trailhead. A 3-mile trail known as the Tom Moody Loop traverses this area.


14. Riordan Mansion State Historic Park. The Riordans were among the early prominent families to settle in Flagstaff when Arizona was still a territory. Their home, Riordan Mansion, was built in 1904 and was aff luent for the time and place. Today, the remarkable 13,000 square-foot house is open to the public and decorated with period furnishings and photographs, making a tour of the mansion a trip back in time.

15. Mormon Lake and Lodge. Lo-

cated about 29 miles southeast of Flagstaff on Lake Mary Road, Mormon Lake is the largest natural lake in the state of Arizona. It is formed from volcanic activity, complete with a natural dam created by a volcanic f low. While it disappears in dry years, it is a haven for birds and wildlife most of the time. Consider a stay at Mormon Lake Lodge and a visit to its old western steakhouse and saloon. Learn more at

16. The Arizona Trail.

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99 Things to do in Northern Arizona




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Arizona Trail has been many years in the making and stretches 817 miles from Utah to Mexico. It has several miles of trail located through northern Arizona. One section lies just to the east of Flagstaff and drops into a side drainage of Walnut Canyon. Another great place to pick up the trail is just north of the San Francisco Peaks near Bismarck Lake. Visit


17. Flagstaff Extreme.

Flagstaff Extreme is a high-in-the-pines series of rope, obstacle and zip line courses that are both fun and challenging. Located in Fort Tuthill County Park about five miles south of Flagstaff, the attraction features adventure courses for adults and kids of varying skill levels. Visit

18. Biking Mount Elden and Dry Lake Hills. Flagstaff boasts incredible

biking, especially in the Mount Elden and Dry Lake Hills area. Many mountain biking masters test their skills on the Rocky Ridge, Sunset, Schultz Creek and Oldham trails. They make for some of the wildest and most challenging mountain biking around. Learn more at

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99 Things to do in Northern Arizona

19. Rock Climbing. The Flagstaff area includes some of the

best rock climbing and bouldering sites in Arizona. All that exposed face calls out to climbers who travel from around the country to take on the challenges here. Some popular destinations include Priest Draw, Canyon Vista (known locally as “The Pit”) and up on Mount Elden. To get advice on where to go, inquire at one of the outdoor gear shops or at one of two downtown locations of the Flagstaff Climbing Center,

20. Kendrick Watchable Wildlife Trail. Kendrick Park Watchable Wildlife loop is a family-friendly feature for its ease of access, and it boasts signs to share the story of the local forests. Located off U.S. 180, across from Chapel of the Holy Dove, and featuring views of Kendrick Peak, this scenic area includes a paved quarter-mile trail that welcomes strollers and wheelchairs. Another, more rustic trail triples the length of the walk. 21. Arizona Nordic Village. Located at the base of the San Francisco Peaks, Arizona Nordic Village is a popular spot for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. In summer, explore the area’s well-marked trails by bike or foot. Tent camping, camper cabins and backcountry yurts are available. Nordic Village is located about 15 miles north of Flagstaff on U.S. 180. Visit www.

outdoorsy folk will favor a browse at Babbitt’s, Aspen Sports and Peace Surplus. For Native American arts and gifts go to Winter Sun Trading Co. or the shops at the Museum of Northern Arizona. Mother Road Brewing carries some great local beer swag. (For art galleries and shops, see number 32.)

23. Historic Hotels. Take a trip back in time by exploring Flagstaff ’s historically preserved hotels, the Hotel Weatherford and the Hotel Monte Vista. The former includes three bars, a restaurant and guest rooms. The latter features multiple guest rooms and two bars, Rendezvous and the Monte Vista Cocktail Lounge, Flagstaff ’s original speakeasy. 24. The Pioneer Museum. Flagstaff owes its foundation and

early roots to several pioneers and their families. A rich history of ranching, logging, transportation and pioneer life are on display at the museum. The Flag Wool and Fiber Festival and the Flagstaff Folk Festival, celebrating local traditions and music, are held here in June. The museum is easy to spot with the locomotive parked outside along U.S. 180.

25. Public Art. Flagstaff is overf lowing with enough public

art to almost make it a mecca. The side of the Orpheum Theater, located at 15 W. Aspen, is an excellent place to start with the Sound of Flight mural. There also is the locally famous Joe Sorren mural 22. Shopping. Many of Flagstaff unique shops can be found The Verdic Gardens of Effie Leroux, which is adjacent to Heritage north of the train tracks downtown. For gifts and trinkets, try Square at Diablo Burger. The Gandy Dancer sculpture by Clyde P.J. Chilcottage, Black Hound Gallerie, Flagstaff General Store “Ross” Morgan is located at the Old Train Depot and depicts a and Babbitts Backcountry Outf itters. Women will enjoy Shoes railroad worker from 1882. A public art map is available at www. and Such, Fool’s Gold, Rainbows End, Sage Brush Trading Co., and Salt and Peak Boutique. Climbers, backpackers and other

99 Things to do in Northern Arizona


sTocked TrouT Pond

Weekend Events Throughout the Summer!! 18

99 Things to do in Northern Arizona

Hiking Trails


26. Route 66. Flagstaff ’s designated Route 66 segment is one of the largest municipal stretches of the remains of the highway. It ribbons east-west through the town. Hop in the car and cruise to some of the historic stops, like the Museum Club and Miz Zip’s, then head straight into the heart of downtown. Galaxy Diner on West Route 66 also keeps the spirit alive. 27. Elden Pueblo.

Remnants of an ancient culture abound throughout the greater Flagstaff area with antiquities tied to the Sinaguan and other cultures. Located about a mile north of the Flagstaff Mall on the west side of U.S. 89, Elden Pueblo is an ancient ruin that shares much history about the ancients.

28. Sample Local Cuisine. For a small city, Flagstaff boasts

a variety of cuisines and many locally owned restaurants. From barbecue to sushi, Indian fare to gourmet burgers, it’s all here. Some hot spots include MartAnne’s, Pizzicletta, Root Public House, Delhi Palace, Proper Meats and Provisions, Annex Cocktail Lounge, Karma Sushi, Diablo Burger, Pato Thai and Satchmo’s Cajun and Barbecue. The local favorite for pizza is Fratelli Pizza with three locations. For house-made donuts and pastries, Tourist Home All Day Café is the stop. Reserve a table at Brix, The Cottage, Shift Kitchen and Bar, Tinderbox or Coppa Café for more elegant dining with enticing seasonal menus. Other local favorites include Josephine’s Modern American Bistro, La Fonda Mexican Restaurant, 1899 Bar & Grill, Criollo Latin Kitchen and Brandy’s Restaurant and Bakery. For an extraordinary wine selection plus 99 Things to do in Northern Arizona



Introducing downtown our do wn location!

18 S. Beaver Street, Flagstaff, AZ (928) 774.8301

pioneer museum Hours change seasonally—call for more information.

928.774.6272 2340 N Fort Valley Rd Flagstaff, AZ 86001

riordan m ansion Guided tours are given daily! CALL FOR RESERVATIONS

928.779.4395 928.779.4395 409 W Riordan Rd 409 W Riordan Rd Flagstaff, AZ 86001 Flagstaff, AZ 86001


99 Things to do in Northern Arizona

creative small plates, head to FLG Terroir Wine Bar and Bistro. Got a sweet tooth or kids in tow? Don’t miss the Sweet Shoppe for house-made chocolates, old-fashioned confectioneries and giant caramel apples.

29. Sample Local Breweries.

The craft beer scene here has grown by leaps and bounds, and it all began 25 years ago when Beaver Street Brewery and Flagstaff Brewing Co. opened their doors. The other local breweries include Lumberyard Brewing Co., Historic Brewing Co., Mother Road Brewery, Dark Sky Brewing Company and Wanderlust Brewing Co. A craft beer tour is in order for anyone who enjoys sipping the suds.

30. Heritage Square. Located in the heart of downtown, Heritage Square is a community gathering spot, especially on summer weekends. The square comes alive each Friday of summer with concerts, dancing and other artistic performances. Each Saturday night thru Labor Day, enjoy free family-friendly films with Movies on the Square. 31. Live Music. Local and national groups from every genre

play regularly at the historic Orpheum Theater downtown on Aspen Avenue. For a modern-eclectic vibe, check out the offerings at the Green Room on Agassiz Street. The outdoor concert venue is Pepsi Amphitheater at Fort Tuthill County Park. In September the amphitheater hosts Pickin’ in the Pines, a bluegrass and acoustic music weekend that rates as one of Flagstaff ’s favorite events. Many bars and restaurants also host live music. Grab a free copy of Flagstaff Live! for weekly hot pics and event calendar.

32. The Art Scene. The Artists’ Gallery is Flagstaff ’s largest

Catering meetings events Parties Weddings

artistic co-op, with work on display by more than 40 local artists. It’s joined by West of the Moon Gallery, Arizona Handmade and the HeArt Box gallery on the 100 block of North San Francisco Street. Find more local artwork at the Artists’ Coalition of Flagstaff gallery in the Flagstaff Mall. Regional and local art is exhibited regularly at the Museum of Northern Arizona, the Coconino Center for the Arts and at galleries at Northern Arizona University. Find rotating exhibits at local establishments like Brix, Criollo Latin Kitchen, Firecreek Coffee, Rendezvous and Brandy’s Restaurant.

33. The Lit Scene. Flagstaff has become a literary hub with

weekly events. Mondays, catch the Narrow Chimney Reading Series at Uptown Pubhouse. Tuesday’s Juniper House Reading Series at Root Public House debuts brand new work from writers, and Firecreek Coffee Company draws passionate crowds each Wednesday evening for the Flagstaff Poetry Slam. Also Wednesday nights, catch live jazz improvisation and spoken word poetry at Flagstaff Brewing Company. There’s plenty of book browsing to be had at locally-owned Bright Side Bookshop and Starrlight Books downtown and at Arizona-founded Bookmans off Milton Road.

34. Coconino Center for the Arts. Located off of Fort Valley Road behind the Pioneer Museum, the Coconino Center for the Arts is a beautiful, spacious gallery serving as a hub for the arts in Flagstaff. It has fine art and contemporary and thematic exhibits that feature artists from local to international. The center regularly hosts concerts and workshops. For current events, visit

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BIG POINT ALONG ANCIENT TIMELINE Grand Canyon National Park Marks 100 Years By Nancy Wiechec


ne hundred years is a tiny speck along the ancient timeline of the Grand Canyon. Yet 2019 marks a significant point for the natural wonder — the Grand Canyon National Park Centennial. The canyon was often referred to as “the great unknown” up until the mid-1800s. Before then, it was mainly known by Native people and a few adventurous explorers. The Grand Canyon only began to draw visitors in earnest at the start of the 20th century, and the completion of the Grand Canyon Railway in 1901 had much to do with making the canyon accessible to many. When the Grand Canyon was made a national park in 1919, it was well on its way to becoming a much-loved destination. That year on Feb. 26 our nation’s leaders set aside the great chasm “for the benefit and enjoyment of the people.”


The canyon’s wondrous layers are the result of geological events that began nearly 2 billion years ago. Volcanic activity, plate tectonics and erosion are responsible for the


99 Things to do in Northern Arizona

canyon’s formation, and the Colorado River and its tributaries have been carving the landscape for about 6 million years. The waters have had the most recent influence on the canyon’s depth and width, creating a spectacle of carved rock with striking colors and shapes. With an average depth of about a mile, the canyon is 18 miles across at its widest and 277 river miles long. It represents the earth’s best exposed example of geological history. But geology is only one piece of the canyon’s venerable story.


People have been part of the Grand Canyon for 12,000 or more years. Archeological evidence points to hunter-gatherers passing through, and Puebloan people have lived in and around the canyon for several thousand years. Up until the 1800s, the Grand Canyon was known mainly to Native tribes that lived in and around its rim. Havasupai, Hopi, Hualapai, Diné (Navajo), Zuni, Paiute and Apache-Yavapai people have connections to the canyon. Havasupai members continue to live in the inner

gorge in Supai, a village only accessible by foot, mule or helicopter. Trail or vice versa. Either way, a rim-to-rim hike takes planning, effort, Spanish explorers are said to have been the first Europeans to see endurance and time. There is a club online at that the canyon during a 1540 expedition. The group was reportedly seek- recognizes and informs rim-to-rim hikers. ing a water source and moved on after finding the river in the canyon’s Although the Grand Canyon is a destination for people worldwide, depths to be unattainable. it’s not the most visited national park. That mark belongs to Great Joseph Christmas Ives and John Wesley Powell brought the Grand Smoky Mountains National Park, which has more than 11 million anCanyon into greater public view after their river expeditions – Ives in nual visitors and much more easily accessible terrain. Grand Canyon 1857-1858 and Powell in 1869 and 1872. Following the explorers, min- National Park is the second-most visited, with Zion, Rocky Mountain, ers and entrepreneurs arrived at the canyon. Some of these included Dan Yosemite and Yellowstone national parks following, each having around Hogan, Louis Boucher, Pete Berry, Ralph and Niles Cameron, Emery 4 million visitors a year. and Ellsworth Kolb and John Verkamp. The Fred Harvey Company Grand Canyon National Park and its partners are celebrating the and architect Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter have had a lasting impact on centennial year with special programs and events throughout 2019. For South Rim visitor services and buildings. a list of events by month, see It’s a grand moment to visit and learn more about the Grand Canyon.


The first year it was a national park, the Grand Canyon had 37,745 recorded visitors. Nearly a century later in 2018, Grand Canyon National Park saw more than 6.38 million visitors, the largest annual number recorded. The vast majority of visitors linger at viewpoints along the South Rim. In fact, most visitors spend less than a day at the canyon. The same features that make the canyon awe-inspiring make a more adventurous trip unfeasible for many; backcountry trips and river expeditions require more planning, can be expensive and are regulated by the park service. In 2017, just less than 313,000 people camped in the backcountry of the Grand Canyon and even fewer — 25,000 — toured the Grand Canyon on the Colorado River by either commercial or private boat trips. Enthusiasm for outdoor activities and proximity to the canyon seem to put people at an advantage for a Grand Canyon adventure. According to park statistics, the majority of people hiking or boating the wilds of the canyon are from Arizona, California or Colorado. The canyon’s North Rim is less a destination point. It’s a much farther drive and is only open from mid-May to mid-October. Still, it attracts about 500,000 people a year. Traveling from the South Rim to the North Rim is 220 miles by road. On foot, one can hike 21 miles rim to rim via the Kaibab trails, or take a longer trek from the Bright Angel Trail to the North Kaibab

99 Things to do in Northern Arizona






35. The South Rim. Grand Canyon National Park sees more than

6 million visitors each year. Because of its easy access, most visitors seek the grandeur of the canyon at the South Rim. They catch sunrises and sunsets or have a moment in time at the canyon’s edge. The South Rim has lodging and camping available, but you’ll need to reserve your spot months in advance. Accomodations are also available in Tusayan, a short distance outside the park.

36. The North Rim. The North Rim of the Grand Canyon provides

a chance to bask in daydream country. The aspen trees and alpine meadows of the north side—1,000 feet in elevation higher than the South Rim—create a cool and inviting forest setting from which to view the Grand Canyon. The drive from Flagstaff is nearly four hours, but it is well worth every mile. Make lodging and camping reservations well in advance. The North Rim is closed for winter mid-October to mid-May.

37. Grand Canyon by Boat. Grand Canyon river trips often

become life-changing. Moving through the gorge, running its monster rapids and being disconnected from the civilized world for as much as three weeks is bound to alter a person. Some people opt for a taste of


99 Things to do in Northern Arizona

the river with a three-day motor trip from Lees Ferry, the launching point, to Phantom Ranch around 90 miles downriver. Others go for the longer row trips that cover a good deal of the canyon’s 277 river miles. Go to to get started.

38. Grand Canyon by Air. Like whitewater rafting, there are

multiple ways to experience the Grand Canyon by air. Most people take helicopter tours, but there also are fixed-wing plane offerings. Whatever the aircraft, seeing the Grand Canyon from higher altitudes is sure to impress and inspire. Learn more at, which has a list of all of the flight tour companies, some of which operate out of Phoenix and Las Vegas. Several sightseeing flights originate out of the Grand Canyon Airport at Tusayan.

39. Hiking the Canyon. While the Grand Canyon looks sparse

below the rim, it is a place well-populated with trails. More than 300 developed miles of routes and six primary entry points located near or at the South Rim offer the chance to find adventure. The Bright Angel, North Kaibab, South Kaibab and River trails, which connect the North Rim with the South Rim, are the most well-known. There are also the Hermit and Grandview trails on the South Rim. There are no easygoing trails in the Grand Canyon, hikers should know their

99 Things to do in Northern Arizona



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99 Things to do in Northern Arizona

abilities, be prepared and hike smart. Camping below the rim requires a backcountry permit. Go to for more detailed information.

40. Havasu Falls. For more than 40,000 visitors a year, the famed

Havasu Falls are a major draw. Located in a side canyon, Havasu Creek drops along four waterfalls, the most popular and scenic being Havasu Falls. A campground downstream from the falls offers the perfect oasis getaway. This area is the home of the Havasupai Tribe, and the tribe handles all permits and reservations. Because the hike is 10 miles one way, it is recommended only for more experienced backpackers. Learn more about required reservations at

41. Pollen Trail Dancers. On the South Rim, be sure to time your

tour to catch the Pollen Trail Dancers in front of Hopi House. An emcee introduces visitors to culture, music and dance. The dancers are there much of the summer but not every day. Performances begin at 1 p.m. and 2:15 p.m. Before or after the dancing, duck into the Hopi House to see and shop gifts, crafts and artwork made by Native Americans of the region. Museum-quality artifacts are on display on the second level.

42. Cycle to Hermit’s Rest. At the South Rim of the Grand

Canyon, the Hermit’s Rest Road heads west for 8 miles to the gift shop and snack bar at Hermit’s Rest. Along the way are incredible viewpoints and a somewhat quieter canyon experience. Because the road is closed to traffic most of the year and only shuttle accessible, it makes for a perfect bicycle ride. The available rental service is Bright Angel Bicycles. Visit

43. Grand Canyon by Mule.

Nothing is as classic or iconic as riding a mule into and out of the Grand Canyon. A real Western experience, the mule rides head down Bright Angel Trail to Phantom



with the

Flagstaff Aquaplex! Ranch for an overnight visit to the inner canyon. Shorter rim and inner canyon mule rides are available at the North Rim. Learn more about trips, prices and weight restrictions at

44. Desert View Watchtower. The Desert View Watchtower on the east side of the South Rim celebrates tribal heritages and is an excellent introduction to the work of architect Mary Elizbeth Jane Colter. The tower rises 70 feet along the edge of the rim. Inside, see the captivating work of Hopi artist Fred Kabotie, friend and contemporary of Colter. Take U.S. 89 north from Flagstaff to Cameron and then follow Route 64 west to the South Rim.

45. Phantom Ranch. No lineup of Grand Canyon things to do

is complete without adding Phantom Ranch. The ranch is a rugged getaway at the very bottom of the Grand Canyon. It features cabins and bunkhouses and nightly steak and stew dinners. The journey to Phantom Ranch is an amazing one, following the trails by foot or on a mule. Reservations are by lottery system. Go to www.grandcanyonlodges. com.

46. Planes of Fame Museum. Airplane buffs will want to take

a break at the Planes of Fame Museum, located halfway to the Grand Canyon from either Flagstaff or Williams on Route 64 at Valle. The air museum is home to many craft from the World War II era. It’s a nice stop on the way to or from the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. Learn more at

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47. IMAX Experience.

The Grand Canyon IMAX film at the theater, located in Tusayan on the way to the South Rim, provides a thrilling way to see the Grand Canyon on a six-story, 80-foot-plus wide screen. It remains a great place to stop and take the family, as it is sure to get the kids to get more excited about the Grand Canyon


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with one of the world’s most watched films. Learn more at www.

48. Grand Canyon Deer Farm. For another fun family-friendly

break from the long drives, try the Grand Canyon Deer Farm in Williams. Don’t be fooled by the name. The deer farm is expansive and includes bison, coatimundi, marmosets, parrots and other animals. Entrance fees apply. The farm allows visitors to feed the deer and pet some of the animals. Visit

49. Grand Canyon Railway. The Grand Canyon Railway runs

from Williams to the South Rim, offering scenery and a chance to ride an old locomotive. Children of all ages love the Old West entertainment and music. Grand Canyon Railway is home to a unique collection of old railway cars, each with its own story. The railway works to maintain the original look of the railcars, showcasing rail travel’s rich and diverse history. Learn more at

50. Grand Canyon Skywalk. The Hualapai Tribe constructed a

glass-bottom cantilever bridge that forms an arc over the Grand Canyon. Under the feet of visitors is the Colorado River, 4,000 feet below. It is important to note that the Skywalk, although a marveled attraction for many, is located several hours’ drive west of Grand Canyon National Park and is situated on tribal land. Admission and parking fees apply. Learn more at

51. Bearizona. A great way to get close to wildlife is Bearizona, a drive-through wildlife park that features all kinds of Western animals. Black bear, bison, bighorn sheep, arctic wolves and gray wolves are 28

99 Things to do in Northern Arizona


among the animals on the tour. The park is an excellent stop for any family given all the fun and educational opportunities. Learn more at

52. Jacob Lake. Like Phantom Ranch, sometimes the North Rim is a tough place to get accommodation. But 50 miles up the road on the Kaibab Plateau is Jacob Lake, the turnoff for the North Rim off of U.S. 89A. Camping, lodging and dining are available at the lake. The restaurant is a local favorite, and the bakery is known for its homemade cookies. 53. Lees Ferry. One of northern Arizona’s most overlooked gems

is Lees Ferry. Located within the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Lees Ferry is the launching point for Grand Canyon river trips, but it is so much more. The locale offers the chance to walk along the banks of the Colorado River, to explore the Mormon pioneer homestead of Lonely Dell Ranch and to hike many great trails. Learn more at

54. Eastern Canyon. The Colorado River flows south from Lees Ferry before meeting the Little Colorado and making its wide turn west through the Grand Canyon. The area north of the confluence is Marble Canyon, and its eastern rim is the western boundary of the Navajo Nation. It is here that a Navajo family has begun Sacred Edge Tours to share their treasured way of life and grand vistas they know well. Choose from half-day, full-day or overnight guided journeys to this remote land and its peaceful overlooks. Call (928) 614-4233 or visit for more information and reservations.

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SEDONA Start your Sedona adventure at the Red Rock Ranger District Visitor Center off Highway 179 just before the Village of Oak Creek. Maps, guides and park rangers are available to give detailed information, and Red Rock Passes can be purchased there. Open daily from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

55. Sedona by Mountain Bike. Sedona’s trail system is one

of the best for mountain biking. While not all trails are bike accessible, many technically challenging ones are open for use. Most bikers f lock to the area known as Broken Arrow, and Bell Rock Pathway also is a big hit. Try the new Sedona Bike Skills Park off Posse Ground Road. Over the Edge Sedona bike shop on Highway 89A has maps, expert guidance and rentals.

56. Crescent Moon Picnic Area. Looking for the picture-

perfect picnic spot? Few places can match the scenery of Crescent Moon Picnic Area for a day of relaxing under the sycamore trees and listening to the babble of Oak Creek. The relatively shallow depths and steady f low make it great for kids to play in. Visit in the late afternoon to capture the best photograph of Cathedral Rock. Get there by driving west from Sedona on Highway 89A. Just outside town, turn left onto Upper Red Rock Loop Road and follow the signs to Crescent Moon and Red Rock Crossing. Fee: $10 per vehicle.

57. Red Rock Country by Jeep. Sedona is famous for its Jeep tours that take visitors off-road for premier views of the red


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99 Things to do in Northern Arizona

Friday, June 21: 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm Preview Night and Opening Reception Live music Judging Silent Auction begins Saturday, June 22: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm All Day Events: Open Art show Classic car show Live music Free water and snow cones; Jumper for children Refreshments for purchase, including fry bread ’57 Thunderbird Car raffle ( Saturday Vigil Mass @ 5:15 pm: Mass and Eucharistic Procession w/ artists Sunday, June 23: 10:00 am – 1:00 pm Final Show Day Open Art Show Silent Auction Closes

rock formations. Riders sit back while drivers do all of the rest. Pink Adventure Tours has been operating its iconic Pink Jeep excursions in Sedona since 1960. Learn more about what’s out there at


58. Slide Rock State Park. Located in Oak Creek Canyon,

Slide Rock State Park is the ultimate Sedona summer attraction. The park features a natural water chute in Oak Creek as it cuts through a channel of red rock. Visitors line up and take turns riding the creek through the chute. Plan to arrive early, especially on weekends. There is a fee per vehicle to enter the park ranging from $10 to $30 depending on the time of year.

59. Red Rock State Park. Located due south of Sedona, Red Rock State Park is the place to explore and experience Sedona’s Red Rock Country without the bustle of Jeeps, mountain bikers and crowds. The park is designed around interacting with and understanding the natural world. Regularly scheduled bird walks and exhibits offer opportunities to learn about the life along Oak Creek. Entrance fees: $7 per adult, $4 per child, free for children 6 and younger. 60. Oak Creek Canyon. One of the most scenic stretches of

highway in the Southwest falls between Flagstaff and Sedona, where U.S. 89A winds its way through the lush and stunning Oak Creek Canyon. But the drive is just the beginning, as the canyon features several premier hiking destinations. The most popular hike is the canyon’s West Fork Trail. The trailhead is located between mileposts 385 and 384. If you continue up the switchbacks of 89A toward Flagstaff be sure to stop at the Oak Creek Vista overlook. Beside the gorgeous view is a Native American outdoor market.


Enjoy Sam and Henry’s fresh homemade soups and breads, southwestern cuisine, great steaks and the best Navajo Taco in the Southwest. Charly’s Pub & Grill serves breakfast (weekends), lunch, and dinner (daily).



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61. Sedona’s Arches. Geology and rock lovers will not want


to miss the chance to visit the Fay Canyon Arch or Devil’s Bridge. To find Fay Canyon Arch, locate the correct unmaintained trail to the right of the Fay Canyon Trail, about a half-mile along. Devil’s Bridge is located on a trail with its namesake or accessed via the Chuck Wagon Trail.

62. Cathedral Rock. The monument of sandstone known as

Cathedral Rock rises from the unfurled land south of Sedona. And it deserves its name. The six-tenths-of-a-mile trail begins easily enough as it snakes its way through juniper trees and patches of prickly pear. But beyond the Templeton Trail intersection, the way up to Cathedral Rock becomes a scramble. The hike is located off of Route 179 on Back O’ Beyond Road.

63. Grasshopper Point. Located just a few miles north

of Sedona, this day-use area has one great swimming hole at the point Oak Creek takes a bend. A small ledge of rock on the east bank makes for a nice natural diving board. Along with the great swimming are some trails to explore. There is an $8 per vehicle fee to access this area.

64. Palatki and Honanki Ruins. Located south of Sedona, the Palatki and Honanki ruins offer a glimpse into the ancient culture that resided in red rock country. Both are beautiful spots in their own right. Before visiting, call (928) 282-3854 to reserve a tour time slot.

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99 Things to do in Northern Arizona

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65. Tlaquepaque Village. For a unique shopping and din-

ing experience, Tlaquepaque offers some of the best in Sedona. Located a stone’s throw from Oak Creek under the curving limbs of sycamore trees, the Spanish-style villa shops include high-end galleries, curios, fine dining and local craft beer. For a directory and events calendar, visit

66. Chapel of the Holy Cross. An architectural landmark, the Chapel of the Holy Cross juts out from the red rocks beckoning drivers along Highway 179 to stop. It was conceived by artist and Sedona resident Marguerite Brunswig Staude as a memorial to her deceased parents and was completed in 1956. The chapel is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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67. Lake Powell. Lake Powell is a cerulean blue lake halfway filling 69. Horseshoe Bend. Located a few miles south of Page on U.S.

the walls of Glen Canyon. Some people might dismiss a visit to Lake Powell because they do not have a boat. However, the lake’s concessionaires offer rentals, sunset dinner cruises and even chances to explore the lake by kayak or paddleboard. Lodging and other amenities—both on the water and in the nearby town of Page—abound. Learn more at

68. Rainbow Bridge. Rainbow Bridge National Monument fea-

tures the world’s largest natural bridge. It’s located near Lake Powell about 50 miles up from the main marinas. Day cruises to Rainbow Bridge are available through the Lake Powell concessionaire. www. nps/rabr. 34

99 Things to do in Northern Arizona

89, the Horseshoe Bend observation area looks down on the 270-degree bend in Glen Canyon along the Colorado River. It’s a quarter-mile hike to the rim. Bring your camera and a wide-angle lens. There is a fee for parking starting at $5 per motorcycle and $10 per vehicle.

70. Slot Canyons. A surreal fantasy world waits in the wonder of

Upper and Lower Antelope canyons. These slot canyons are narrow with smooth and curved red-sandstone walls that reach up in some places nearly 50 feet. The Antelope canyons are the two most popular slot canyons in the world and receive thousands of visitors a year. Tour information is available at the Page visitor center, 6 N. Lake Powell Blvd., at, or call (928) 645-9496.

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Photo by Lear Miller

Join Grand Canyon Conservancy, the official nonprofit partner of Grand Canyon National Park, in celebrating 100 years of wonder, adventure, and stewardship. It’s our duty to protect this spectacular place, and Grand Canyon Conservancy supporters provide crucial funds to help protect and enhance the canyon, ensuring it remains grand for another 100 years! 99 Things to do in Northern Arizona




71. Monument Valley. Visitors are drawn to the monolithic Monument Valley by the way the monuments, buttes, mesas and flat stretches between them play with the clouds and the sun. Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park is about 180 miles north of Flagstaff. Take U.S. 89 to Route 264 toward Tuba City. Then, go to Kayenta and take U.S. 163 north.

72. Canyon de Chelly. For a chance to blend Navajo culture, startling

views and wild adventure, head to Canyon de Chelly National Monument. About a three-and-a-half-hour drive from Flagstaff, the canyon features towering red walls, ancient ruins, rock art and a star attraction known as Spider Woman Rock—an 800-foot red-rock spire.

73. Navajo National Monument. A sometimes overlooked but wellworth-it stop in northern Arizona is Navajo National Monument. Located between Tuba City and Kayenta on the Navajo Nation, it features some of the most intact ancient sites in the Southwest.

74. Hubbell Trading Post. Learn all about the trading days on the

Navajo Nation and tour the home of John Lorenzo Hubbell and his family at this historic site. Near Ganado, about three hours east of Flagstaff. www.

75. The Hopi Mesas. To experience first-hand one of the most studied

and revered Native American cultures in the country, visit the Hopi Nation. Its villages spread across three mesas where the arts and ceremonies are still alive. An excellent place to start a tour is at the Hopi Cultural Center. Directions and other details at

76. Grand Falls. Nearly 200 feet tall and five times as wide, Grand Falls

on the Navajo Nation is often referred to as the Niagara of Arizona. The falls are fed by snowmelt and rain, and the water flows into the Little Colorado River. To get there, take U.S. 89 north from Flagstaff to Townsend-Winona Road. Make a right and go 8 miles to Leupp Road. Go 15 miles and turn left onto Navajo Road 70 (dirt road) and go 8.6 miles to the river. Spring is the best time to visit.


99 Things to do in Northern Arizona


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99 Things to do in Northern Arizona



77. Mogollon Rim. One of northern Arizona’s hidden treasures is 79. Old Town Cottonwood. In the last decade, Old Town Cotthe Mogollon Rim drive, a passable dirt road through the forest along 2,000-foot cliffs with stunning views all along the way and some great trails to go with it. Located about 60 miles southeast of Flagstaff.

78. City of Jerome. Located along a steep and winding section of U.S. 89A that heads out of Verde Valley, Jerome is a former mining town turned ghost town turned tourist attraction that now finds its richness in character. A trip to Jerome is beloved by motorcycle enthusiasts.

tonwood has evolved into a dining, sipping, shopping and strolling hotspot. Bolstered by the growth of the area’s wine industry, this historic district in Cottonwood has added tasting rooms and haute cuisine to its map.

80. Verde Canyon Railroad. Train enthusiasts and anyone looking for a relaxing day in a beautiful canyon will enjoy a ride on the Verde Canyon Railroad. The train’s 40-mile round trip takes about four hours, as it heads into one of Arizona’s hidden canyons.



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81. Out of Africa Wildlife Park. A major attraction in the Verde Valley, Out of Africa is big on interaction, and visitors have the chance to feed giraffes and see ostriches and other animals up close. The Tiger Splash aquatic playland is a big draw. This park is sure to be a family hit. 82. Dead Horse Ranch State Park.

For a chance to find peace and solitude among the flora and fauna of the Verde River and three adjacent lagoons, visit Dead Horse Ranch State Park just north of Cottonwood. The park also features rental cabins, camping and horse riding.

83. Verde River. Spending a few hours on the Verde River can be

adventurous and educational. It’s one of the few perennial waterways in Arizona and exhibits a unique riparian habitat. There are plenty of outfitters that will rent equipment and lead the way. The Verde Adventures Water to Wine Tour takes you out in kayaks and ends at Alcantara Vineyards, where you can sample tastings and relax in its gorgeous gardens. 40

99 Things to do in Northern Arizona

84. Watson Lake. Located near Prescott, Watson Lake is a beautiful gem just a few miles west of Prescott. The lake covers 70 acres and also is popular for fishing largemouth bass and catfish. 85. Tonto Natural Bridge State Park. One of the most beautiful yet sometimes overlooked state parks is Tonto Natural Bridge. The bridge itself is more like a natural rock tunnel, formed of travertine and more than 400 feet long and 150 tall. A perennial creek, Pine Creek, courses through it. 86. V-Bar-V Heritage Site. This is the largest known petroglyph

site in the Verde Valley. Acquired by the Coconino National Forest in 1994, the site includes dozens upon dozens of individual rock art depictions, some of them done in pairs. The site is located 2.8 miles east of the junction of I-17 and SR179 (FR 618). It is open Monday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m.

87. Mingus Mountain. Mingus Mountain stands as a 7,818-foot

peak and is the highest point in the range. Mingus offers a handful of



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99 Things to do in Northern Arizona

great hikes, but the bonus is to catch para-gliders and hang-gliders who launch from the top of the mountain.

88. Ancient Ruins. The Verde Valley is home to a triumvirate of ancient sites that are national monuments. Montezuma’s Castle features a four-story, multi-room ruin trussed into an alcove. Montezuma Well features a sink surging with fresh water. Tusigoot is a three-story pueblo on the summit of a limestone and sandstone ridge. Find out more about each of them at

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89. Wine Trail. For more refined tastes, be sure to check out some of the vineyards and wineries that have grown out of the Verde Valley. Page Springs Cellars and Granite Creek Vineyards are among more than 20 locations offering tastings and tours. For a trail map and other details, visit 90. Whiskey Row. The biggest draw of downtown Prescott is Whis-

key Row, a line of restored saloons that feature bars, eateries and shops. An Old West reenactment group holds its annual Whiskey Row Shootout in late July.

91. Agua Fria National Monument. One of the newer national

monuments in Arizona features cool-water springs, ancient sites and desert beauty—all within minutes of Interstate 17. Look for the sign about 40 miles north of Phoenix.

92. Arcosanti. Arizona was home to one of the most innovative ar-

chitects, Paolo Soleri, who invented sustainable building practices known as arcology. His most ambitious project, Arcosanti, is halfway between Flagstaff and Phoenix, Exit 263 on Interstate 17.

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TAKE A HIKE! GEAR, GADGETS & MORE! 12 E. Aspen Ave, Flagstaff | 928-774-4775 | surprisingly different           99 Things to do in Northern Arizona






93. Petrified Forest National Park. Petrified Forest Na- 95. The Reservoirs. For anyone interested in fishing, boating,

tional Park was one of the first places in the country to earn protection as a national monument and for good reason. The petrified wood that fills the park is beautifully formed with orange, red, white and purple hues. The wood is no longer wood but a mineral called silica turned to quartz—which replaced the wood fiber. Impurities give the silica its broad and vibrant range of colors. Learn more at

swimming or just spending a lazy day by a beautiful lake, Clear Creek and Blue Ridge reservoirs offer the perfect getaways. Clear Creek is only 5 miles outside of Winslow. Blue Ridge Reservoir, also known as Cragin Reservoir, is farther south from there.

96. Corner Park. Celebrate Winslow’s claim to fame by grabbing

a selfie at Standin’ on the Corner Park, Route 66 and North Kinsley Avenue. The Eagles put the town on the map with their 1972 hit “Take science will make a point to stop at Meteor Crater. Located halfway it Easy.” The bronze statue of the cowboy balladeer in front of a mural of between Flagstaff and Winslow, the crater was formed by an impact a girl in a flat-bed Ford is the perfect place to stop for a sing-along: “I’m of a meteorite that hit the Earth about 50,000 years ago. www.mete- a standin’ on a corner in Winslow, Arizona. Such a fine sight to see…”

94. Meteor Crater. Space junkies and anyone fascinated with


99 Things to do in Northern Arizona

99 Things to do in Northern Arizona





97. La Posada. Located in Winslow, the historic La Posada Hotel

is considered one of architect Mary Jane Elizabeth Colter’s masterpieces. Painstakingly restored to its original splendor, La Posada has first-class lodging and dining.

98. Route 66 in Seligman. Need more Route 66? Drive west

to Seligman, a funky little town that celebrates the fun of the Mother Road. Kids and adults will delight in the offerings at Delgadillo’s Snow Cap Drive-in. Enjoy a step back in time. Get more ideas about Route 66 road trips at

99. Oatman. The farthest west entry of 99 Things is a mining town on a scenic stretch of West Route 66 that went defunct but then rose again as a fun and curious tourist town. The big highlight is the wild burros that wander around and eat carrots from visitors. 46

99 Things to do in Northern Arizona



Adventure Course: $52 Zip Line Course: $62 + Tax and fees. Includes all courses

Kid's Course: $27 + Tax and fees.











7,000 FEET!





Fort Tuthill County Park, Flagstaff, AZ. 3 miles South of Flagstaff on 89A & I-17. Exit 337.



r! Open All Yea

Check the website for the latest promos, weather updates, open days and starting times.












(888) 259-0125 info@




visit to book your reservation! Partners:


99 Things to do in Northern Arizona


SCRATCH COOKING.. BIG PORTIONS. Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner & Kids’ Menu

Daily ! s Sp eci a l

L a r ge


Crow Rail n road



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r ib s , s t e a ks, chop s 3300 East Route 66, Flagstaff, AZ 3300 E Route 66, Flagstaff, AZ • Next to the Museum Club

Open 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Daily (928) 522-9237 • visit us on Facebook! cebook!

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99 Things to do in Northern Arizona | 2019  

99 Things to do in Northern Arizona | 2019  

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