About Flagstaff, Arizona

"The City of Seven Wonders"

Set amidst these seven wonders—the Coconino National Forest, Oak Creek Canyon, the San Francisco Peaks, Wupatki National Monument, Walnut Canyon, Sunset Crater Volcano and, of course, the infamous Grand Canyon—Flagstaff boasts an abundant history.

A wealthy Bostonian and Harvard cum laude mathematics graduate—intrigued by astronomy, astrophysics, and universal theory—set out to find the perfect location for planetary research. Percival Lowell theorized that the Arizona Territory might offer the solution he was seeking. He hit pay dirt atop a mesa about a mile from what is now downtown Flagstaff. The year was 1894. The site is the Lowell Observatory.

Tucked away amidst the Ponderosa pines of Kinlichi Knoll, stands the Riordan Mansion State Historic Park. Bordering NAU, this five-acre park features the distinguished home of brothers Timothy and Michael Riordan.

In 1904, the brothers constructed a 13,000 square foot mansion while the Arizona Territory struggled toward statehood. The Riordan's owned a massive lumber operation, brought electricity to Flagstaff, and built Lake Mary, which today provides the city with drinking water. Today, the mansion and its grounds are open for tours.

Hubert and C.D. Richardson, two brothers from Texas, claimed over 100 acres on the south side of the Little Colorado River gorge. Constructing a meager, tin-roof building in 1916, the Little Colorado Trading Post opened. The post—later renamed Cameron Trading Post—served its Navajo and Hopi neighbors. These indigenous tribespeople used Cameron to barter blankets, wool, and livestock for dry goods. Having grown exponentially over the last 100 years, Cameron holds some of the rarest Native American artwork in the region. One can touch the original rocks used to build the post and, if you look closely, you'll see dinosaur tracks in those rocks.

Flagstaff offers its residents and tourists a rich and diverse allowance of things to do, see and experience. The Seven Wonders affords its guests ancient ruins and still-standing Pueblos—remnants of centuries-old communities, preserved for our present-day awe. The San Francisco peaks serve as an oasis for skiers at the Arizona Snowbowl. Trails around the mountain's way offer bikers and hikers a plethora of off-the-beaten-path routes to explore. The downtown district leaves none wanting with all its eateries, shops, tea and coffee houses, and historic hotels and hostels.

Whatever draws you to Flagstaff—be it the vibrant downtown center, the plethora of outdoor activities throughout the year, the extraordinary Northern Arizona University, or its ancient, geological mystique—let Essential Flagstaff be your guide.

Essential Flagstaff shares with its readers all the best that Flagstaff has to offer. Our publication reflects the community that is Flagstaff and the surrounding Verde Valley. From the peaks of the San Francisco's, to the hub of the city, between the Grand Canyon and the Sunset Crater Volcano, we present to you the people, the businesses, the non-profit organizations, and community hotspots.

We invite you to sit back, relax, and sip a tumbler of Arizona's prickly pear vodka while flipping through our pages. We suggest you then venture out to explore spectacular Flagstaff by land or by air! Whether on skis or snowshoes, bicycling solo or with friends on the Alpine Peddlar, hiking trails on foot or experiencing the vast openness in a helicopter. And when you wave farewell to this extraordinary place, take us home with you because Essential Flagstaff is, "More than a magazine, it's a souvenir."

Flagstaff, Arizona


"The City of Seven Wonders"

Set amidst these seven wonders—the Coconino National Forest, Oak Creek Canyon, the San Francisco Peaks, Wupatki National Monument, Walnut Canyon, Sunset Crater Volcano and, of course, the infamous Grand Canyon—Flagstaff boasts an abundant history.

A wealthy Bostonian and Harvard cum laude mathematics graduate—intrigued by astronomy, astrophysics, and universal theory—set out to find the perfect location for planetary research. Percival Lowell theorized that the Arizona Territory might offer the solution he was seeking.

He hit pay dirt atop a mesa about a mile from what is now downtown Flagstaff. The year was 1894. The site is the Lowell Observatory. Tucked away amidst the Ponderosa pines of Kinlichi Knoll, stands the Riordan Mansion State Historic Park.

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