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Flagstaff

Travel Guide North America USA Western United States Arizona Flagstaff

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Introduction

Flagstaff is located in the north of Arizona on the Colorado Plateau, at approximately 7,000 feet (2,150 metres) above sea level. On historic Route 66, Flagstaff provides easy access to Sedona and the Grand Canyon. Cooler than the south of the state with a varied ecosystems and terrain, Flagstaff is an excellent base for hikers, campers and mountain bikers.

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Sights and Activities

Walnut Canyon -  Cliff Dwellings

Walnut Canyon - Cliff Dwellings

© All Rights Reserved GregW

The Grand Canyon is what most draws people to Flagstaff. The National Park is approximately 75 miles (120 kilometres) to the north, and Flagstaff is one of the most common places that visitors to the park stay.

Other nearby outdoor attractions include:

  • Walnut Canyon National Monument - Walnut Canyon National Monument is a 350 feet deep canyon (dropping from 6,690 ft to 6,340 ft) that used to be home to the Sinagua people. The Sinagua built their homes along the cliff faces, in small caves that were bricked up to provide shelter from the wind and snow of winter. The trail is very steep and requires climbing many stairs.
  • Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument - Sunset Crater was made by a nearby volcano that first erupted in 1064 and last erupted in 1100. The landscape around the crater is black, volcanic rock, porous but hard. There are easy trails to hike around the crater, including a fully paved trail suitable for wheelchairs, strollers or people with mobility problems.
  • Wupatki National Monument
  • Barringer Crater

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Events and Festivals

  • The Coconino County Fair is held every September at the Fort Tuthill County Fairgrounds, featuring a demolition derby, livestock auction, carnival rides, and other activities.
  • The Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra holds concerts from September through April at Ardrey Auditorium on the campus of Northern Arizona University (NAU).

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Sights and Activities

Flagstaff - Route 66

Flagstaff - Route 66

© All Rights Reserved GregW

Route 66, known as the "Mother Road" was decommissioned years ago, but still remains prominent in the American psyche as an important part of their heritage. Despite the highway no longer officially existing, many areas of the road remain a "historic route", including the stretch that passes through the Flagstaff between Barstow, California, and Albuquerque, New Mexico. In early September, the city hosts an annual event, Route 66 Days, to highlight its connection to the famous highway.

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Weather

As a semi-arid highland desert, Flagstaff has mild weather conditions throughout the year. In the summer, the temperatures are up in the high 20 °C, with temperatures in the low-teens and single digits in the winter. Snow does fall during the winter, but with 283 days without precipitation a year, large accumulations of snow are not common.

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Avg Max5.7 °C7.4 °C9.6 °C14.3 °C19.7 °C25.7 °C27.7 °C26.3 °C22.9 °C17.4 °C10.6 °C6.3 °C
Avg Min-9.3 °C-7.9 °C-5.9 °C-2.9 °C0.7 °C5.2 °C10.3 °C9.4 °C5.1 °C-0.6 °C-5.3 °C-9 °C
Rainfall51.8 mm53.1 mm64.8 mm37.6 mm18.3 mm10.2 mm70.6 mm69.8 mm51.6 mm40.9 mm49.5 mm61 mm
Rain Days6.25.77.54.53.22.18.88.95.63.94.56.1

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Getting There

By Plane

Air travel is available through Flagstaff Pulliam Airport (IATA: FLG, ICAO: KFLG, FAA LID: FLG), located just south of the city. In general, this is a general aviation airport, but there is some scheduled service from nearby locations, including Phoenix by US Airways Express and Los Angeles via Horizon Air.

By Train

The Southwest Chief, operated by Amtrak, travels between Chicago and Los Angeles, stopping en route in Flagstaff.

By Car

Flagstaff is located at the northern end of Interstate 17, which runs down to Phoenix. Interstate 40 runs through the city, travelling westbound to Barstow, California and eastbound to Albuquerque, New Mexico. Route 66 runs parallel to I-40.

By Bus

Bus service is provided by Greyhound, and also by other companies.

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Getting Around

By Car

Route 66 provides the main east-west route through the city, running parallel to the I-40. Historic Flagstaff can be found between Beaver Street and Agassiz Street, running north from the Route 66 up to Elm Ave, and includes the Santa Fe depot, which now serves as the Amtrak train station.
Many international rental companies have a wide selection of rental cars and these include Hertz, Avis, Dollar, Thrifty, Enterprise, Budget and Alamo/National. Most companies will require you are at least 25 years of age, although younger people might be able to rent cars at slightly higher rates and with some insurance differences as well. A national driver's license is usually enough, but an additional international one is recommended. Also note that it usually costs more to include lots of other extra things. For example extra drivers, GPS, the first full tank, SLI (Supplemental Liability Insurance), PAI (Personal Accident Insurance, usually covered already at home), road assistance/service plan, and drop-off costs for one-way rentals.
If you want to book a car, it is recommended that you book your car before arriving in the USA. This is almost always (much) cheaper compared to just showing up. Also, try and book with a so-called 'broker', which usually works together with a few or many car rental companies and can offer the best deal. Some examples include Holidayautos, Holidaycars and Sunny Cars. Some of the cheapest deals to book from Europe, includes Drive-USA, which also has a German version.

For more information and tips about renting cars and campers, additional costs, insurance, traffic rules, scenic routes and getting maps and fuel it is advised to check the USA Getting Around section.

By Public Transport

Local bus service is provided by Mountain Line. Fares are $1.00 per trip, or $3.00 for a daily pass.

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Sleep

Budget

PropertyAddressTypePopularity
Dubeau Hostel19 West Phoenix St Flagstaff, AZ 86001Hostel-
Grand Canyon International Hostel19 So. San Francisco Street Flagstaff AZ 86001Hostel83
Rodeway Inn-Downtown122 W route 66Hotel64
Travelodge NAU Conference Center/Downtown990 W. Route 66Hotel60
Americana Inn-Route 66 Flagstaff2650 E Route 66Hotel-
Econo Lodge University914 S. Milton Rd FlagstaffHotel-
Motel 6 Flagstaff2010 E Butler AvenueHotel-
Americas Best Inn910 S Milton Rd.Guesthouse-
Howard Johnson Inn Flagstaff801 W Route 66HOTEL69
Ramada East - Lucky Lane2350 E. Lucky LaneHOTEL-
Rodeway Inn & Suites Flagstaff2765 S. Woodlands Village BoulevardHOTEL-

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Learn

Northern Arizona University (NAU) is situated in Flagstaff.

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Keep Connected

Internet

There is a very small internet bar/cafe culture in the USA. Even then most of the internet bars/cafes tend be located in major urban centers. Accessible WiFi networks, however, are common. The most generally useful WiFi spots are in coffee shops, fast-food chains, and bookshops, but also restaurants and hotels more and more have a network to connect on. Some of them might require you to buy something and you might need a password too, especially in hotels.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

The general emergency phone number is 911. The USA has a great landline phone system that is easy to use. The country code for the U.S. is +1. The rest of the telephone number consists of 10 digits: a 3-digit area code, and a 7-digit number. Any small grocery store or pharmacy has pre paid domestic or international phone cards. These phone cards are very cheap and offer good rates. The once ubiquitous pay phone is now much harder to find. Likely locations include in or near stores and restaurants, and near bus stops. The cellphone network in the states is slowly getting better but is still not as good when compared to other western countries. Cell phones tend to operate using different frequencies (850 MHz and 1900 MHz) from those used elsewhere in the world (2100 MHz). This used to prevent most foreign phones from working in America. Phones must be tri- or quad-band to work in the U.S. Fortunately, technology has meant that most phones should now be able to pick up one of the U.S. networks. Prepaid phones and top-up cards can be purchased at mobile phone boutiques and at many discount, electronics, office supply and convenience stores. A very basic handset with some credit can be had for under $40.

Post

The US Postal Service is a very good and well priced mail system. There are post offices in every small and large town for sending packages internationally or domestically. Although some might keep longer hours, most are open at least between 9:00am and 5:00pm. If wanting to send a letter or postcard it is best just to leave it in a blue mail box with the proper postage. First-class international airmail postcards and letters (up 28.5 grams) cost $1.10. There are also private postal services like FedEx, UPS, TNT and DHL, which might be better value sometimes and are generally very quick and reliable too.

Quick Facts

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Coordinates
  • Latitude: 35.198177
  • Longitude: -111.65132

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This is version 26. Last edited at 9:43 on Jul 11, 13 by Utrecht. 7 articles link to this page.

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