The Coolest Things To See & Do In Flagstaff, Arizona

Picture of Ross Walker
Updated: 9 February 2017
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Flagstaff, Arizona is a hotbed for cultural and natural discovery. You will be awed by the ancient pueblos at the Wupatki National Monument, and the Riordan Mansion will give you a glimpse into Arizona’s early days as a U.S. territory. Though Flagstaff is small, its attractions are huge, so bring your hiking boots and sense of wonder.
A Creative Commons Image: Ruins at Wupatki National Monument

Wupatki National Monument

Outside of the small city of Flagstaff you’ll find the Wutpatki National Monument. This National Monument is rich with Native American history. Explore the ancient pueblos which still stand despite only being held together by sandstone blocks and primitive mortar. There is a ball court, and a few religious and ceremonial buildings amidst ancient homes. The Wuptatki National Monument is a great place to hike and to discover Native American history.

Opening hours: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Address: 25137 N Wupatki Loop Rd, Flagstaff, AZ 86004

A Creative Commons Image: Walnut Canyon National Monument

Walnut Canyon National Monument

The Walnut Canyon National Monument was the ancient home of the Sinagua people, whose dwelling areas you can still explore. These ruins are not nearly as sophisticated as what you will what at Wupatki, but it is still a marvel of the human spirit that anyone lived in such a dry area. In fact, Sinagua means “without water” in Spanish. If you didn’t get the hint, carry a few water bottles with you if you hike through Walnut Canyon.

Opening hours: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Address and Phone Number: 3 Walnut Canyon Rd, Flagstaff, AZ 86004 (928) 526-3367

A Creative Commons Image: Riordan Mansion State Historic Park

Riordan Mansion State Historic Park

Explore more recent history at the Riordan Mansion, home of Lumber Barons Timothy and Michael Riordan. The Riordan brothers built the mansion in 1904, and for a time it housed both of their immediate families, which was no problem because the Brothers married two sisters, Caroline and Elizabeth Metz. The house is left as it was when the Riordan brothers lived there, so there is plenty of antique and handcrafted furniture to explore inside.

Opening hours: 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Address and Phone Number: 409 W Riordan Rd, Flagstaff, AZ 86001 (928) 779-4395

A Creative Commons Image: Cathedral Rock in Coconino National Forest

Coconino National Forest

Coconino National Forest is huge, so don’t expect to explore the entirety of its land, but do take care to get to the unique sites within its borders. There are two sites of Native American Ruins, one of the Sinagau and the other of the Palatki, the original cliff dwellers in Red Rock county. Also in Coconino is a large petroglyph site, so if you are an archaeology buff you’ll a fun and full day at Coconino.

Opening hours: 8 a.m. – 4 p.m., closed on weekends

Address and Phone Number: 1824 S Thompson St, Flagstaff, AZ 86001(928) 527-3600

The Arboretum at Flagstaff

The Arboretum at Flagstaff is a truly unique experience, featuring the flora and sometimes fauna that is natural to the high desert biome. Numerous research projects are ongoing at any one time, and you can find out more by joining one of the tours, offered twice daily. The price of admission also gets you into hundreds of gardens in the United States, as well as numerous other countries

Opening hours: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Wednesday to Monday

Address and Phone Number: 4001 S Woody Mountain Rd, Flagstaff, AZ 86005 (928) 774-1442

Courtesy of The Arboretum at Flagstaff

Courtesy of The Arboretum at Flagstaff

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