The Mountain Town of Flagstaff, AZ is the closest major city to the Grand Canyon's South Rim and the largest in Northern Arizona. Home to Northern Arizona University this laidback college town is a great destination in its own right, and the best base camp to explore the Grand Canyon and surrounding areas. Flagstaff got its start from the Logging and the Railroad industries, but modern day flagstaff runs off tourism and the University. With the San Francisco Peaks as its backdrop, a lively downtown scene, great cultural activities, and a huge outdoor scene, this is the sort of destination many visitors would love to call home.
Flagstaff rests at 7,000 feet in elevation and enjoys 4 seasons. A 2.5 hour drive, and 3 worlds away from Phoenix, Flag sits in the heart of Northern AZ. Surrounded by Coconino National Forest, and a smorgasbord of outdoor adventure, there are many great activities in and out of town. Flagstaff offers an arboretum, museum, amphitheater, observatory, playhouse, several parks, many great restaurants and bars, and all the cultural and educational activities offered by NAU. Snowbowl is the local mountain for skiers and snowboarders, and has some of the best powder around during a good snow year. The San Francisco Peaks, and the Mogollon Rim offer some great hiking right outside of town, and there are several small lakes including Lake Mary for fishing and boating. Climbing and Bouldering are popular sports in Flagstaff as well, and the local crags are world class. There is also a climbing gym in town for people who still want to get out during one of the rare days in Flagstaff without sunshine.
The Grand Canyon's South Rim is only an hour and fifteen minutes from Flagstaff, while the North Rim is close to 4 hours. Apart from its best and most well known destination, there are several other places to check out close to Flagstaff besides the Grand Canyon. Lake Powell, Horseshoe Bend, Antelope Canyon and Glen Canyon National Recreation Area are located near Page, AZ a little over 2 hours from Flagstaff. En route to Lake Powell, and about 30 minutes from town are Wupatki and Sunset Crater National Monuments, which offer spectacular ruins, and a great example of Volcanoes that were still active only 1,000 years ago. East of town is Meteor Crater, Walnut Canyon Ruins, and Petrified Forest National Park. Only 45 minutes South of Flag is another world-renowned wonder, Sedona Arizona. Known for its beautiful redrock formations, a drive through Oak Creek Canyon to this wonderland is a must for any visitors that have the extra day.