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360 miles round trip
Flagstaff is 142 miles north of Phoenix/Mesa, an easy two-hour drive to enjoy the changing landscape from desert to lush forest. At 7,000 feet elevation, Flagstaff is nestled at the base of the beautiful San Francisco Peaks. Enjoy a stroll through charming historic downtown which boasts a variety of unique restaurants, boutiques and art galleries. Flagstaff is home to Northern Arizona University, which offers a variety of cultural events and is the headquarters for High Altitude Sports Training for national and international athletes.
Near historic downtown Flagstaff, Lowell Observatory welcomes visitors of all ages to explore the modern visitor center, hands-on exhibits and scenic campus. Pluto was discovered at Lowell Observatory in 1930. Lowell's century-old Clark telescope is still used for night-sky viewing.
The Museum of Northern Arizona is the ideal introduction to the native peoples and the natural sciences of the Colorado Plateau region. Permanent galleries, nature trails and changing exhibits explore the art and cultures of the Hopi, Navajo, Pai and Zuni people.
The Arboretum at Flagstaff is home to one of the largest collections of high-country wildflowers in America. Experience the 200-acre botanical garden, research station and environmental education center at 7,150 feet above sea level, in the world's largest ponderosa pine forest.
Seven miles east of Flagstaff, Walnut Canyon National Monument encourages visitors to hike and learn about ancient cliff dwellings built in steep canyon walls where the Sinagua Indians lived nearly a thousand years ago.
Fifteen miles north of Flagstaff, visitors can walk through trails of hardened lava produced some 900 years ago at Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument.
Continuing northeast the forest begins to change into high desert leading you to Wupatki National Monument. Here you can visit four of the pueblos that were once home to farmers and traders of the Anasazi and Sinagua people.