Flagstaff and the Peaks
1. Downtown Flagstaff. The center of the largest city in northern Arizona is a hub for exploration and adventure—and relaxing when you’re done. While this magazine gathers the best ideas for excursions sometimes off the beaten path, a trip downtown can be a great place to start. The Flagstaff Visitors Center, located in the train station at 1 E. Route 66, can help you get oriented to all the goings-on and possible trails, attractions and best bets given the weather and COVID-19 guidelines. Learn more at www.flagstaffarizona.org.
2. Heritage Square. Located in the heart of downtown, Heritage Square has served as a gathering space for years. Covered picnic tables offer a great place for people watching while enjoying a meal from one of the surrounding restaurants or taking a break from shopping.
3. Flagstaff Urban Trail System. The Flagstaff Urban Trails System (FUTS) provides a city-wide network of more than 50 miles—and growing—of non-motorized trails perfect for biking, running and walking. It mostly snakes through the urban and residential areas of the city, but it also connects to trails that can take users high up on the mountain or deep into the valley. www.flagstaff.az.gov/1521/Flagstaff-Urban-Trails-and-Bikeways-Map
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4. Public Art. More than just walls, many buildings in Flagstaff also serve as canvas for works of art. Large-scale murals can be admired throughout the city on the sides of The Orpheum Theater, The Lumberyard, Coconino Center for the Arts, Flagstaff Arts and Leadership Academy, Absolute Bikes and more. Find maps of public art tours at www.tinyurl.com/p6fxuyrc
5. Sample Local Breweries & Cuisine. For a small city, Flagstaff boasts a huge variety on the food and beer scene. From Southwest fusion to innovative sushi, Middle Eastern fare to homegrown hamburgers, Flagstaff’s local restaurants have it all. And the beer scene has only grown by leaps and bounds during recent years. Included in the downtown core are Beaver Street Brewery, Flagstaff Brewing Co., Lumberyard Brewing Co., Historic Brewing, Mother Road Brewery and Dark Sky Brewing Company.
6. Lowell Observatory. Currently in a phased reopening, Lowell Observatory remains an ever-popular place for visitors and locals alike to visit and learn more about the universe. Visitors can gaze through telescopes and get an up-close view of the stars, moons and planets. Guided tours must be reserved in advance and masks are required to be worn at all times. Visit www.lowell.edu.
7. 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 see some of the historic stops in Flagstaff such as The Museum Club, the Grand Canyon Café (now the home of Proper Meats + Provisions, although the historic sign remains for posterity) and straight into the heart of downtown. Galaxy Diner on West Route 66 also keeps the spirit alive.
8. Buffalo Park. For anyone visiting for a night or a few days in Flagstaff, take time to visit Flagstaff’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.
9. 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 several bars, dining rooms and guest rooms. The latter features two bars, a restaurant and multiple guest rooms. You don’t have to stay the night to stop on by for a drink or meal. www.weatherfordhotel.com or www.hotelmontevista.com.
10. Museum of Northern Arizona. The Museum of Northern Arizona boasts an amazing collection of the artifacts and artwork that shaped the land and culture of the Colorado Plateau. Admission is currently by reservation to keep capacity low for socially distancing, but the surrounding grounds also offer a number of educational opportunities. July will also offer four weekends of Indigenous heritage festivals. To learn more, visit www.musnaz.org.
11. 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. After a year of largely being closed to the public, CCA will again welcome art enthusiasts in with its biannual 10x10 Exhibition & Art Sale from June 5-July 10. To learn more, visit www.ccaflagstaff.org.
12. Arizona Snowbowl. During the summer, Arizona Snowbowl opens its ski lift for sky rides to the top of Humphreys Peak. The 15- to 20-minute ride is followed by breath-taking views that extend to the north and the edges of the Grand Canyon on a clear day. Contact the Arizona Snowbowl for more info at (928) 779-1951 or www.snowbowl.ski.
13. Hike Humphreys. If a challenging adventure is more the name of the game when visiting the San Francisco Peaks, explore Humphreys Peak by foot. Standing as the highest point in Arizona at 12,663 feet, any avid hiker will find the hike a fun and refreshing alpine climb at nine miles round trip. Please note that the nearly 10 miles of alpine hiking at elevation make it a challenge for people of many skill levels. Learn more at www.fs.fed.us/r3/coconino or by calling (928) 526-0866. The trailhead is located at the top of Snowbowl Road.
14. The Arizona Trail. For either a short jaunt or an expansive adventure, the Arizona Trail has been many years in the making and stretches 817 miles from Utah to Mexico, with several miles of trail bisecting northern Arizona. A great section of it lies just to the east of Flagstaff and drops into a side drainage of Walnut Canyon. Visit www.aztrail.org to learn more.
15. The Inner Basin. Surrounded by aspen and fir trees, tall grasses and wildflowers, Lockett Meadow may very well be one of the most beautiful campsites in the state, but it is also the starting point for the popular Inner Basin Trail, which leads up to the Inner Basin of the San Francisco Peaks mountain range. Note that the three-mile unpaved road can be rough on lower-clearance vehicles and visitors may be turned away during peak times in the fall. Call the Flagstaff Ranger Station to learn more at (928) 526-0866.
16. Kendrick Watchable Wildlife Trail. The loop at Kendrick Watchable Wildlife Park is a family-friendly feature for its ease of access and use. With views of Kendrick Peak, this scenic area’s paved quarter-mile trail is great for strollers and wheelchairs. Another, more rustic, trail triples the length of the walk.
17. Chapel of the Holy Dove. A unique landmark along North Highway 180 just past Kendrick Watchable Wildlife Trail, the Chapel of the Holy Dove was built in 1962 by physician Watson M. Lacy, MD, with help from his sons and hired hands. Ponderosa pine logs, local volcanic rock and petrified wood form the A-shaped structure. All are welcome to enter for a brief respite, and the chapel can be reserved for wedding ceremonies. A large window behind the pulpit opens out to majestic forest views.
18. The Arboretum at Flagstaff. A research and environmental education center, The Arboretum at Flagstaff 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, classes and more, and is open to the public from May-October. Visit www.thearb.org.
19. Flagstaff Extreme. Flagstaff Extreme is a high-in-the-pines series of rope and obstacle courses that are both fun and challenging. Located in Fort Tuthill County Park about five miles south of Flagstaff, the attraction features four main adventure courses of varying skill levels, ziplining and an area designed for younger participants. Visit www.flagstaffextreme.com.
20. 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. It’s one part of the triumvirate of national monuments surrounding Flagstaff with Sunset Crater and Wupatki. Learn more at www.nps.gov/waca.
21. Sandys Canyon. A canyon complex south of Flagstaff offers solitude and wildness not far from the city limits. The Sandys Canyon Trail intersects with the Arizona Trail and offers a myriad of exploring options among the limestone cliffs. Take Lake Mary Road six miles and it’s on the left. Get more details at the Peaks Ranger District at (928) 525-0886.
22. Picture Canyon. One doesn’t have to go too far to get away from the hustle and bustle. For a brief in-town hike, try Picture Canyon, a small canyon along the Rio de Flag on the far eastern edge of Flagstaff that features ancient rock art—also known as petroglyphs—on its walls. Head out to Route 66 as it passes by the Flagstaff Mall and turn left at El Paso Flagstaff Road, go a half-mile to the trailhead. A three-mile trail known as the Tom Moody Loop traverses this area.
23. Elden Pueblo Ruins. 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 archaeological site thought to have been part of a major trading system. Call (928) 699-5421 for more information.
24. Biking Mount Elden and Dry Lake Hills. Flagstaff boasts incredible biking in the San Francisco Peaks, namely the Mount Elden and Dry Lake Hills area. Many mountain biking masters test their skills on such trails as the Rocky Ridge Trail, the Sunset Trail, the Schultz Creek Trail and the Oldham Trail, plus the Coconino National Forest’s Flagstaff Ranger District plans to add up to 55 miles of new trails in the near future.
25. Old Caves Crater. This hike is a must for history buffs. A series of caves can be explored at the summit of this extinct cinder cone volcano, where pottery fragments can still be found, remnants from when the Sinagua people lived in the area around 1250 to 1300 A.D. Visitors can look, but don’t touch; it’s illegal to disturb or remove archaeological artifacts. Drive 3 miles north on U.S. 89 from the Flagstaff Ranger Station (across from the Flagstaff Mall) to Silver Saddle Road. Drive 0.5 miles east to the trailhead on the north side of the road.
26. 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. Five hiking trails within the monument offer sweeping views of surrounding volcanoes. Face coverings are required on NPS lands when distancing is not possible and in all buildings. Free admission days in 2021 for all national parks include Aug. 4, the one-year anniversary of the Great American Outdoors Act; Aug. 25, National Park Service’s Birthday; Sept. 25, National Public Lands Day and Nov. 11, Veterans Day. For more info, visit www.nps.gov/sucr.
27. Wupatki National Monument. Wupatki is home to 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 something known as the Blow Hole, an opening in the rock that, during certain atmospheric conditions, blasts cool air. Visit www.nps.gov/wupa.
28. Mormon Lake and Lodge. Located about 25 miles south 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 flow. The visit to Mormon Lake can be accentuated with a stay at Mormon Lake Lodge, where cozy cabins, a steakhouse, horsebacking riding and more await. Learn more at www.mormonlakelodge.com.
29. Rock Climbing. The Flagstaff area boasts 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. Popular destinations include Priest Draw, Canyon Vista (known locally as “The Pit”) and up on Mount Elden.
30. RV Camping. For a getaway without leaving all the comforts of home behind, RV camping has become a go-to for many the past year. In Flagstaff, full hook-ups and world-class forest views can be found at sites like Woody Mountain Campground and Flagstaff KOA. Or try Black Bart’s RV Park—next door is the steakhouse where singing waiters perform a musical revue with selections from Broadway, Disney and more.
31. Sycamore Canyon. Arizona’s Sycamore Canyon Wilderness was designated such in 1972, making it the state’s first Wilderness Area. Hikers here enjoy solitude among miles of natural beauty, with trails passing through forests of ponderosa pine, Gambel oak and juniper. The area is located about 40 miles southwest of Flagstaff, and is accessible via a number of highways and Forest Roads. fs.usda.gov/recarea/coconino.
Grand Canyon and Williams
33. The South Rim. Every year, people arrive to be wowed by the Grand Canyon. They catch sunrises and sunsets, or just have a moment in time at the canyon’s edge. The South Rim offers the easiest access, as it is the closer of the two rims to an interstate and it has the most extensive lodging available. Learn more at www.nps.gov/grca or www.grandcanyonlodges.com.
34. Hopi House. Hopi House—modeled after 10,000-year-old pueblo dwellings in the Hopi village in Old Oraibi by famed Southwest architect Mary Colter—offers visitors a glimpse back in time. The gift shop carries Native American arts and crafts as well as museum quality artifact viewing. www.grandcanyonlodges.com/plan/shopping.
35. Bright Angel Lodge. The iconic Bright Angel Lodge and Cabins are full of cultural history. Another building designed by Colter, she was tasked with designing a fresh look for the lodge, including a geologic fireplace in the History Room that features all the rock layers of the Grand Canyon. www.grandcanyonlodges.com.
36. Yavapai Lodge Tavern. After adventuring along the canyon’s South Rim, visitors can relax at the Yavapai Tavern with drinks and dinner on the outdoor patio. www.visitgrandcanyon.com.
37. Cycle to Hermit’s Rest. At the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, the Hermit’s Rest Road heads west for eight miles to the gift shop and snack bar at Hermit’s Rest. Along the way are incredible viewpoints and a quieter Canyon experience, which makes for a perfect bicycle ride. A rental service is offered through Bright Angel Bicycles. Visit www.bikegrandcanyon.com.
38. Desert View Watchtower. The Desert View Watchtower rises 70 feet along the edge of the rim. The visitor contact station and bookstore are closed as of publication, but the tower, another part of Colter’s legacy, is still worth the view. Take U.S. 89 north from Flagstaff to Cameron and then follow Route 64 west to the South Rim. www.nps.gov/grca.
39. El Tovar Hotel. A National Historic Landmark, El Tovar Hotel first opened its doors in 1905. Designed as a cross between a Swiss chalet and Norwegian villa, it is located right on the canyon’s South Rim and offers fine dining, a gift shop, lounge and 78 rooms for overnight stays. www.grandcanyonlodges.com.
40. IMAX Experience. Regular screenings of Grand Canyon: The Hidden Secrets at the IMAX 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’s a great place to stop and take the family, as it is sure to get the kids to get more excited about what the Canyon has to offer with one of the world’s most watched films. Learn more at www.explorethecanyon.com.
41. Grand Canyon by Air/Boat/Mule. The ways people can experience the wonders of the Grand Canyon are varied. River trips often become life-changing as groups are guided through the gorge’s rapids completely disconnected from the outside world for as long as three weeks. Go to www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/whitewater-rafting.htm to get started. Helicopter and plane tours also offer unique perspectives of the canyon. Visit www.grandcanyoncvb.org for more information. Then there are the classic mule rides down the Bright Angel Trail to Phantom Ranch. Learn more about the trips, prices and the weight restrictions at www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/mule_trips.htm.
42. Hiking the Canyon. In excess of 300 developed miles of routes and six major entry points located near or at the developed South Rim offer the chance to find adventure within the canyon. Find one fit for your ability at www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/backcountry.htm.
43. 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. Reservations book fast but lucky folks can grab a room or bunkhouse bed on standby. www.grandcanyonlodges.com.
44. 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 North Rim can be done with or without reservations, but a day trip offers little time. The drive from Flagstaff is nearly four hours, but it is well worth every mile. Learn more at www.nps.gov/grca.
45. Jacob Lake. Like Phantom Ranch, sometimes the North Rim is a tough place to get an 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 and a great stopping spot during the journey. www.jacoblake.com.
46. Eastern Canyon. The east rim of the Grand Canyon is the most difficult to access and is located within the Navajo Nation. Visitors are rewarded with smaller crowds and similar awe-inspiring views of the canyon they’d experience in more active sections. As with any natural wonder, respect the land and pack out any waste you pack in.
47. Grand Canyon Skywalk. For a wholly unique view of the canyon, the Skywalk extends 70 feet out over the rim. Note that the glass-bottom cantilever bridge, although a marveled attraction for many, is located a several hours’ drive west of the main Grand Canyon National Park and is situated on tribal land. Admission and parking fees apply. Learn more at www.grandcanyonwest.com.
48. Bearizona. A great way to get close to wildlife is Bearizona, a drive-through wildlife park that features all kinds of great Western animals. Black bear, bison, big horn sheep, artic wolves and gray wolves are among the animals on the tour. This is a great stop for any family given all the animal fun and educational opportunities. Learn more at www.bearizona.com.
49. Grand Canyon Deer Farm. For another fun family-friendly break from the long drives, try the Grand Canyon Deer Farm. Don’t be fooled by the name—while visitors will see plenty of deer and even get to feed them, the deer farm also includes bison, Coatimundi, Marmosets, parrots and other animals. Entrance fees apply. Visit www.deerfarm.com.
50. Grand Canyon Railway. The Grand Canyon Railway runs from Williams to the rim, offering scenery and a chance to ride an old locomotive. Daily entertainment includes a square off at the Williams Depot and occasional staged train robbery by cowboys. Guests are required to wear face coverings while aboard the train. Learn more at www.thetrain.com.
51. Oak Creek Overlook Vista Native American Artisan Market. Organized by Native Americans for Community Action, Inc. in partnership with the Coconino National Forest, Indigenous artist vendors are set up daily at the overlook to sell their crafts and jewelry. Browse the one-of-a-kind wares and gaze out on Oak Creek Canyon below before heading down to Sedona. For more information, contact Dorothy Gishie at (928) 526-2968 ext. 126 or email at email@example.com.
52. 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.
53. Slide Rock State Park. Originally a homestead apple farm, 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. Plan to arrive early, especially on weekends. Parking lot capacity has been reduced this year, and walk-ins and drop-offs are not allowed. There is a fee per vehicle to enter the park, ranging from $10 to $30 depending on the time of year. www.azstateparks.com/slide-rock.
54. 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 flock to the area known as Broken Arrow, and Bell Rock Pathway is also a big hit. The newly opened Thunder Mountain Bikes on Highway 89A has expert guidance, repairs, rentals and more.
55. Grasshopper Point. Along with great swimming opportunities, several hiking trails can be accessed from Grasshopper Point. The day-use are is located just a few miles north of Sedona along Oak Creek Canyon and there is a $9 per vehicle fee to access this area, or $2 for walk-ins and cyclists, cash only.
56. Tlaquepaque Village. Tlaquepaque, meaning the “best of everything,” has been a Sedona destination since the 1970s. Located a stone’s throw from Oak Creek under the curving limbs of sycamore trees, the Spanish-style villa shops include high-end art galleries, live music, fine dining, local craft beer and more. www.tlaq.com.
57. Chapel of the Holy Cross. An architectural landmark, the Chapel of the Holy Cross juts out from the red rocks along Highway 179. It was commissioned by local rancher and sculptor 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. Visitors are asked to wear a face mask and practice social distancing.
58. 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 flow make it great for kids to play in. Visit in the late afternoon to capture the best photograph of Cathedral Rock. Admission is $10 per vehicle.
59. 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.
60. Red Rock Country by Jeep. Sedona is famous for its Jeep tours that take visitors off-road for premier views of the red rock formations. Riders sit back while drivers do all of the rest—but be prepared for a bumpy ride. Pink Adventure Tours has been operating its iconic Pink Jeep excursions in Sedona since 1960. www.pinkadventuretours.com.
61. 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 286-acre park is designed around interacting with and understanding the natural world. Blackhawk and Sentinel Crossings are closed until further notice. Entrance fees: $7 per adult, $4 per child ages 7-13, free for children 6 and younger.
62. Sedona’s Arches. Geology and rock lovers will not want to miss the chance to visit 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.
63. Lees Ferry. One of northern Arizona’s most overlooked gems is Lees Ferry. 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 a number of great trails. Learn more at www.nps.gov/glca.
64. Horseshoe Bend. Overlooking a segment of the Colorado River, Horseshow Bend has quickly become one of the most recognized places in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. It’s a brief hike from the parking lot to the overlook, and don’t forget to bring water and sunblock. Entrance fees start at $5 for motorcycles and $10 for passenger vehicles. www.horseshoebend.com.
65. Lake Powell. Spread across northern Arizona and southern Utah, Lake Powell offers a number of recreation opportunities, including renting a house boat, camping on the beach, going on a guided tour and more, perfect for a socially distanced outdoor getaway. www.lakepowell.com.
66. Rainbow Bridge National Monument. Rainbow Bridge is one of the world’s largest known natural bridges. Made from Kayenta Sandstone and Navajo Sandstone, Rainbow Bridge was formed over hundreds of millions of years. The formation is considered sacred to neighboring Indigenous tribes; visitors are asked to visit the monument with respect to those cultures. www.nps.gov/rabr.
67. Vermillion Cliffs Scenic Highway. Considered one of the most beautiful drives in the world, Vermillion Cliffs Scenic Highway offers breathtaking views on the way to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. The route also crosses Navajo Bridge, one of only seven land crossings of the Colorado River for 750 miles.
Verde Valley, Prescott and Rim Country
68. Verde River. One of Arizona’s only two Wild and Scenic Rivers, the Verde River winds through the Verde Valley and is a destination for fishing, boating, canoeing. Recreation sites like White Bridge Picnic Area and Sycamore Canyon Road lead visitors to the water.
69. Mogollon Rim. One of northern Arizona’s hidden treasures is the Mogollon Rim Scenic 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 near Pine.
70. Montezuma Castle & Montezuma Well. Montezuma Castle was established Dec. 8, 1906, to preserve the Native American culture in the area. The national monument features a four-story, 20-room ruin trussed into an alcove. The nearby Montezuma Well, a prehistoric irrigation canal, offers a tranquil setting for picnicking and hiking along the water. www.nps.gov/moca.
71. Folded Hills Orchard. Bring the family out for a fun afternoon of picking fresh peaches, apples, plums and blackberries at Folded Hills Orchard in Cornville. Visitors are encouraged to wear long pants, long sleeves, gloves and closed-toe shoes. Call (928) 634-4649 for hours and availability.
72. Old Town Cottonwood. In the last decade, Old Town Cottonwood 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. www.oldtown.org.
73. 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. The park also features rental cabins, and wildlife viewing opportunities. River otters, gray foxes, Coues whitetail deer and more are regular visitors to the area. www.azstateparks.com/dead-horse.
74. Wine Trail. For more refined tastes, be sure to check out some of the vineyards that have grown out of the Verde Valley. The terroir of the region lends itself well to perfectly ripening wine grapes. We suggest beginning at Page Springs Cellars, www.pagespringscellars.com.
75. Tuzigoot National Monument. From the Tuzigoot pueblo on the top of this hill in the Verde Valley, visitors can view an ancient 110-room village built by the Sinagua people about a thousand years ago. Admission is $10 for adults and free for children 15 and under. www.nps.gov/tuzi.
76. 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. Live music also returns this summer with Rhythm on the Rails presenting entertainment from a variety of musical groups May 29, June 26, July 24, Aug. 21 and Sept. 18. www.verdecanyonrr.com.
77. City of Jerome. Located along a steep and winding section of U.S. 89A that heads out of Verde Valley, Jerome—dubbed the “Wickedest town in the West” in the early 1900s—is a former mining town turned tourist attraction that now finds its richness in character. www.jeromearizona.org.
78. Out of Africa Wildlife Park. Out of Africa Wildlife Park has grown into a major attraction in the Verde Valley. Interactive opportunities abound, and visitors have the chance to feed tigers and other animals, zipline over the park, camp overnight and more. A visit to this park is sure to be a family hit. www.outofafricapark.com.
79. Mingus Mountain. Mingus Mountain stands as a 7,818-foot peak and is the highest point in the range. Recreational opportunities include hiking, horseback riding, picknicking, mountain biking, hang gliding and more. www.fs.usda.gov/prescott.
80. Watson Lake. Watson Lake is a wonderful gem just a few miles west of Prescott easily accessible from Highway 89. The lake covers 70 acres and offers opportunities for hiking, camping, fishing, boating, kayaking and Canoeing. Learn more at www.prescott-az.gov.
81. Whiskey Row. The most popular part of downtown Prescott is “Whiskey Row,” a line of restored saloons that feature bars and eateries. They join the more than 500 nationally registered buildings in Prescott. New and highly acclaimed restaurant additions this past year include La Planchada Taqueria and The County Seat. www.visit-prescott.com.
82. Wet Beaver Creek. Sometimes referred to by locals as the “other Oak Creek,” Wet Beaver Creek is a perennial stream flanked by red rock faces and surrounded by towering sycamore trees. It’s a popular destination among tourists and locals alike, so try to plan your visit during weekday off-peak hours rather than a busy weekend. www.fs.usda.gov/Coconino.
83. 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. The park is open daily from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. www.azstateparks.com/tonto.
84. Arcosanti. The late architect Paolo Soleri invented sustainable building practices known as arcology. His most ambitious project, Arcosanti, is located halfway between Flagstaff and Phoenix on Interstate 17 and is open for tours, shopping, overnight stays and more. Note that Arcosanti is only accepting cashless transactions at the time of publication. www.arcosanti.org.
Farther East and West
85. Chloride. A former silver mining camp 23 miles north of Kingman, Chloride is the oldest continuously inhabited mining town in the state. It once boasted 75 active mines, but now residents and visitors enjoy the quiet setting which offers unmatched views of vibrant sunsets and the starry night sky. Public art installations abound. www.chloridechamber.com.
86. Blue Ridge Reservoir. C.C. Cragin (Blue Ridge) Reservoir offers the perfect getaway for outdoor enthusiasts. Just south of Flagstaff, the winding body of water is surrounding by tall canyon walls and regularly stocked by rainbow, brown and brook trout by the Arizona Game and Fish Department for fishers. Note that as of publication the boat ramp is closed, but canoes and kayaks can still be carried down to the water.
87. Meteor Crater. Space junkies and anyone fascinated with science should make a point to stop at Meteor Crater. Located halfway between Flagstaff and Winslow, the crater was formed by an impact of a meteorite that hit the Earth about 50,000 years ago. Visitors can take the educational Rim Tour, stop in the Discovery Center & Space Museum or take some memories home at the Gift & Mineral Shop. www.meteorcrater.com.
88. 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—The Turquoise Room is a must-visit for chic Southwestern eating. www.laposada.org.
89. Homolovi State Park. Located a short distance east of Winslow, Homovoli State Park features the remains of a 14th Century village, a place where the ancestors of the Hopi lived. “Homolovi” is Hopi for “Place of the Little Hills,” the traditional name for Winslow. Visitors can hike, camp and learn more about the culture of the area through exhibits at the visitor center. www.azstateparks.com/homolovi.
90. East Clear Creek. This reservoir just five miles outside of Winslow boasts tall cliffs surrounding cool water. Many people who visit bring a canoe, kayak, standup paddleboard or simply relax in a pool float. Petroglyphs along the base of the cliffs encourage exploration. www.winslowarizona.org.
91. Petrified Forest National Park. Petrified Forest National 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 www.nps.gov/pefo.
92. Standin’ on the 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 their map with their 1972 hit “Take it Easy.” The bronze statue of the cowboy balladeer in front of a mural of a girl in a flat-bed Ford is the perfect place for a sing-along: “I’m a standin’ on a corner in Winslow, Arizona. Such a fine sight to see…” (Fun fact: The corner on which the girl caught Glenn Frey’s eye was actually supposedly in Flagstaff on Route 66, where the Dog Haus currently stands.)
93. Earl’s Route 66 Motor Court. Located a few short blocks from Standin’ on the Corner, Earl's Route 66 Motor Court offers old fashioned rooms along with old-fashioned friendliness and hospitality. Visitors who stay here are welcomed back in time as they relax in the comfortable motel that reflects the historic route's heyday. www.earlsmotorcourt.com.
94. Jack Rabbit Trading Post. Home of the famous Here It Is sign, Jack Rabbit Trading Post has served tourists along Route 66 since 1949. Memorabilia can also be purchased online at www.jackrabbittradingpost.com.
95. Wigwam Motel. Drivers passing this landmark motel in Holbrook may recognize it as the inspiration behind the Cozy Cone Motel from Pixar’s animated Cars franchise. The Wigwam Motel was built in 1950, and includes 15 wigwams which can sleep up to four guests. Call (928) 524-3048 for reservations.
96. Seligman. Seligman, located just 70 miles west of Flagstaff and considered the “Birthplace of Historic Route 66,” celebrates the fun of the Mother Road. Classic cars and retro neon signs abound for an afternoon of nostalgia.
97. Hackberry General Store. Another must-see for nostalgia buffs is the Hackberry General Store near Kingman. Historic Pegasus gas pumps and rusted-over Model As from the early 20th century welcome visits out front, while the inside boasts a wide variety of Route 66 memorabilia. Visit the general store on Facebook for more information.
98. Giganticus Headicus. Inspired by The Andy Warhol Diaries, welder Gregg Arnold built this 14-foot-tall statue—resembling a mix between an Easter Island head and a Tiki God—at the old Kozy Korner trailer park complex in Kingman. The curiosity offers a fun photo opportunity for travelers passing through.
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. Oatman’s population of wild burros is larger than that of people, but visitors are asked not to feed them. In all, this small town makes a unique stop for hiking, photography and more. www.oatmangoldroad.org.