Activities in Flagstaff

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Pluto. The solar system's most mysterious planetary body owes its discovery to the Lowell Observatory. It was here, in 1902, that Percival Lowell first suspected the possible existence of the cold, lonely body. However, Pluto isn't the only feather in the observatory's astronomical cap. Lowell astronomers also noted the the first evidence of the expanding universe, and measured the motions and properties of distant stars. In the 21st century, a staff of nearly 90 continues to look skyward in search of scientific breakthroughs.

Visitors can interact with these achievements at the Steele Visitor Center. Opened during the observatory's centennial year in 1994, the center carries on Percival Lowell's astronomy advocacy by welcoming more than 80,000 guests each year. In addition to tour and lectures, guests can peer through telescopes, visit engrossing exhibits, and take in educational multimedia shows.

in addition to celebrating their heritage, t he astronomers at the Lowell Observatory are also looking towards the future. In 2012, they celebrated the completion of the new Discovery Channel Telescope. The 4.3-meter scope opens an even wider eye into the secrets of the universe and its foundations, and expands the research possibilities for the observatory's team of scientists. The telescope also serve the public good, lending its breathtaking images to programming produced by Discovery Communications.

1400 W Mars Hill Rd
Flagstaff,
AZ
US

Just south of the gateway to the Grand Canyon stands Bearizona, a drive-thru wildlife exhibit that regales creature-seeking carpools with bison, mountain goats, and other animals from the comfort of their own automobile. The 3-mile drive takes guests through sprawling enclosures, where they can peer in on packs of cuddly arctic wolves or ask black bears for directions to the nearest stocked cooler. After traversing the park’s drive-thru section, visitors can stroll through the forested Fort Bearizona enclosure, which houses exhibits of smaller animals and Bearizona Barnyard, an interactive petting zoo.

1500 East Route 66
Williams,
AZ
US

Tucked in the shadows of the evergreen peaks of Bill Williams Mountain, Elephant Rocks Golf Course weaves through scenic terrain at an elevation of 6,000 feet or more. Elephant Rocks' alpine perch provides golfers a cooler destination than the desert or volcano-side courses typically associated with Arizona golf, but the temperate air is hardly the course's only draw. Rows of mature ponderosa pines pinch the fairways throughout the 6,695-yard, par 72 course, and water hazards come into play on seven holes, including two par-threes where tee shots must clear a pond in order to reach the green. The course draws its name from a series of large lava rocks that line the road into to the club that resemble elephants in color, size, and strident anti-mouse attitude.

A driving range and practice green share Elephant Rocks' scenic grounds, letting golfers warm up before starting their rounds. After a day at the links, guests can unwind with a drink or a snack at the club house, which was originally built by railway workers in 1932 and features local stone, a natural rock fireplace, and original timber roof beams.

Course at a Glance:

  • 18-hole, par 72 course
  • Length of 6,695 yards from the farthest tees
  • Course rating of 70.2 from the farthest tees
  • Slope rating of 124 from the farthest tees
  • Three tee options
  • Scorecard
2200 Country Club Dr
Williams,
AZ
US

As the sun sets, cityscapes buzz with neon silhouettes as runners clad in glow-in-the-dark garb race through the GlowBash 5K's metropolitan courses. But the late starting time and futuristically-clad participants are not the only things that set this race apart from other 5K trots. Competing in teams of two or more, runners must follow 10 clues provided at the start of the race that will guide them to a series of predetermined checkpoints and challenges. Depending on the route they take, runners can cover anywhere from 3 to 5 miles in a path that can take roughly 2.5 hours to complete. After the race, each participant receives a medal and access to a post-race party, where they can mingle with fellow runners rather than going home and jogging alone on their human-sized hamster wheel. The race benefits the Wounded Warrior Project.

6 East Aspen Avenue
Flagstaff,
AZ
US

The Colorado Plateau is a sprawling piece of natural history. The 130,000 square-mile area has been home to diverse life?from prehistoric plants and dinosaurs to Native Americans, who have inhabited the area for 12,000 years. Since 1928, The Museum of Northern Arizona has celebrated the region and its beauty with science-based and art exhibits.

  • Size: a 200-acre museum campus with an exhibit building, research labs, and is the primary location for collections from the Colorado Plateau with approximately 250,000 cataloged artifacts.
  • Eye Catchers: 194 reproductions of prehistoric Native American murals from 1300?1700 A.D.
  • Permanent Mainstays: about 20,000 paleontology specimens, from plants to dinosaurs
  • Don't Miss: the museum shop, which has sold Native American jewelry and fine art for more than 50 years
  • The Buildings: The grounds encompass more than 40 buildings, many of which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places
  • Pro Tip: Hike the nature trails that surround the museum, which were once traveled by the most health-conscious dinosaurs
  • Special Programs: children's classes focus on subjects such as art, dinosaurs, and prehistoric foods
3101 N Fort Valley Rd.
Flagstaff,
AZ
US

Flashes of neon light up the night during the Rock N Glow 5K, a glow-in-the-dark race by Hi5F, which donates a portion of the proceeds to Coconino Humane Association. As darkness descends on the host city, racers get into the glowing spirit by strapping on vibrant clothing, oversized sunglasses, wigs, and layers of glow-in-the-dark swag. Once everyone is geared up, the noncompetitive race begins, snaking through 3.1 miles of neon-soaked path soundtracked by energetic, heart-pumping music. And once everyone is across the finish line, racers and supporters cap off the night with a glowing after party complete with live DJs, dancing, food, and a cash bar.

2446 Fort Tuthill
Flagstaff,
AZ
US