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Flagstaff, AZ

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The Museum Club

The Museum Club

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Downtown Flagstaff

Downtown Flagstaff

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Flagstaff

Flagstaff Building

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Few travelers slow down long enough to explore Flagstaff, a town of 54,000 known locally as "Flag"; most stop only to spend the night at one of the town's many motels before making the last leg of the trip to the Grand Canyon, 80 miles north. Flag makes a good base for day trips to ancient Native American sites and the Navajo and Hopi reservations, as well as to the Petrified Forest National Park and the Painted Desert, but the city is a worthwhile destination in its own right. Set against a lovely backdrop of pine forests and the snowcapped San Francisco Peaks, downtown Flagstaff retains a frontier flavor.In summer, Phoenix residents head here seeking relief from the desert heat, since at any time of the year temperatures in Flagstaff are about 20°F cooler than in Phoenix. They also come to Flagstaff in winter to ski at the small Arizona Snowbowl, about 15 miles northeast of town among the San Francisco Peaks.

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Start at the Museum of Northern Arizona
Start at the Museum of Northern Arizona

Before exploring the Colorado Plateau region, tour this fine museum to get acquainted with its wildlife, geology and Native American culture.

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Alamy

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Otherworldly Scenes at Sunset Crater Volcano
Otherworldly Scenes at Sunset Crater Volcano

Wander among spatter cones and weird lava “squeeze ups” or climb a cinder cone at this national monument, where NASA tested one of its lunar vehicles.

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Getty Images

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An Evocative View of the Past: Walnut Canyon
An Evocative View of the Past: Walnut Canyon

Nearly a millennium ago, Native Americans built rock and wood structures, and planted crops in this beautiful canyon, now a national monument.

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Ian Dagnall Commercial Collection/Alamy

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Set Your Sights High at Lowell Observatory
Set Your Sights High at Lowell Observatory

See historic telescopes and enjoy multimedia astronomical shows here on Mars Hill. Clear nights offer great views of the moon, planets and stars.

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National Geographic Image Collection/Alamy

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Ride Up Arizona’s Highest Peak
Ride Up Arizona’s Highest Peak

On weekends in summer and early fall, take the chairlift up Humphreys Peak. Enjoy the vistas here or (if you can) hike to the 12,633-foot summit.

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Tom Bean/Alamy

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