What is it? Download the map or pick one up at the Visitor Center at the historic train station (still in operation) on Route 66 and begin the self-guided walking tour from there.
Why go? It’s the best way to get to know the city and how it got its start, beginning with a wagon road to California that later became Route 66 – an iconic piece of Americana. The tour, which makes a loop around the railroad in downtown Flagstaff, has just eight stops and takes an hour to complete.
Known for its proximity to the Grand Canyon, Flagstaff is also a college town. Home to Arizona’s third – and smallest – institute of higher learning, Northern Arizona University, its mascot, the Lumberjack, was named for the early logging industry that helped populate the area at the turn of the 20th century. With an elevation that begins at nearly 7,000 feet, it can be a 30-degree or more respite during the day from the heat of Phoenix to the south. The city is surrounded by the Coconino National Forest, a land of pine trees and aspen groves, and the state’s tallest mountain peak, Humphreys Peak, part of the San Francisco Peaks, sacred to Native Americans who live nearby. Hiking, biking, skiing, and visiting national monuments are among the top on the list of best things to do—read on for more of the city’s top hits.
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