Flagstaff, the gateway to the Grand Canyon, is surrounded by mountains, volcanoes, desert and pine forest. It’s home to Arizona’s tallest mountain, Humphreys Peak. Towering over 12,500 feet, it is the highest of the collective group of dormant volcanic peaks known as the San Francisco Peaks. As you would expect, Flagstaff is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and also a fun stop along Route 66.
The city’s early economy was built on lumber, railroad and ranching. Today, Lowell Observatory, the U.S. Naval Observatory, the United States Geological Survey Flagstaff Station and Northern Arizona University are all based in Flagstaff. In fact, Lowell Observatory, established in 1894 by the astronomer Percival Lowell, is one of the oldest in the USA. Pluto was actually discovered here by astronomer Clyde Tombaugh in 1930.
In 1961, Project Apollo began as President John F. Kennedy and NASA aimed to get a man on the moon by the end of the 1960s. This would also begin another interesting legacy for Flagstaff.
The newly created U.S. Geological Survey astrogeology (study of the Earth and other bodies in the Solar System) branch in Flagstaff set up a new telescope to create lunar geological maps. Flagstaff was also determined to be an ideal astronaut training centre. The rocky depths of the Grand Canyon and the cosmic views from the night skies provided the perfect moon replica for simulated lunar buggy testing, geology training and mission simulations. Among the first to train in Flagstaff was Neil Armstrong, who of course, would go on to be the first man to walk on the moon.
Where you stay is the heart of your holiday. Location reigns supreme but do you prefer resort facilities or unique and boutique? Historic and old world or modern and shiny?
We aim to present choices across the spectrum but there are many hundreds of places to stay and not room to feature them all. Do speak to your Bon Voyage travel consultant and click the video for our take on this important topic.
We would rate the Bellagio as one of the best hotels we have ever stayed in. Fabulous, glitzy, exciting. We loved having breakfast at the poolside café... one of our best experiences ever. If it hadn't been for you we wouldn't have had the suite or cabana and we loved them. We both agreed that the hotel was the best for us and you had suggested that so well done!Leonore & Mike Rumford