Flagstaff Parks & Recreation (211 W. Aspen Ave., 928/779-7690, www.flagstaff.az.gov) provides details on facilities and programs. Thorpe Park, just west of downtown at 191 N. Thorpe Road, offers picnic tables and playgrounds as well as facilities for baseball, softball, soccer, tennis, basketball, volleyball, racquetball, horseshoes, and disk golf. From downtown, head west on Route 66 and keep straight where the highway curves left, continue west on Santa Fe Avenue five blocks, then turn right one block on Thorpe Road. The adjacent Adult Center (245 N. Thorpe Rd., 928/774-1068) hosts many community activities and clubs. Bark Park, also next to Thorpe Park, is a place for dogs to socialize in two off-leash sections—a larger area for large dogs and a smaller one for pint-size breeds
McPherson Park and the adjacent ice skating rink (July-April) at Jay Lively Activity Center (1650 N. Turquoise Dr., 928/774-1051) lie northeast of downtown; from downtown, you can head north on San Francisco Street, turn right on Forest Avenue, then left on Turquoise Drive. McPherson provides picnic tables under the pines, playground, tennis courts, basketball court, and a horseshoe court.
Buffalo Park spreads across a large meadow at the base of Mt. Elden with fine views of the San Francisco Peaks. The park has some picnic tables, but it's mainly a place to hit the trail. You can make an easy two-mile loop on the Buffalo Urban Trail, hike up Mt. Elden, or head off on other trails of the Flagstaff Urban Trail System. From downtown, drive north on San Francisco Street, turn right on Forest Avenue, then left on Gemini Drive.
Sawmill Multicultural Art & Nature County Park (703 E. Sawmill Rd., 928/774-5139) features demonstration gardens, a sculpture walk, tile & paint mural walk, playground, and a trailhead for the Rio de Flag area. From E. Butler Avenue, turn south two blocks on Lonetree at the light, then left on Sawmill.
Over on the east side of town, Bushmaster Park has picnic tables, playground, tennis, volleyball, basketball, horseshoes, and a skate park. It's at Lockett Road and Alta Vista Drive (turn south from Lockett Road at the sign).
Foxglenn Park (4200 E. Butler Ave.) offers a fancier skate park along with ballfields, playground, and picnic tables east of I-40 Exit 198.
Flagstaff Urban Trail System (FUTS)
You don't have to go far for a hike, as this trail network goes right through town. It connects the Mt. Elden trails with the Arizona Trail, Walnut Canyon National Monument, and other areas surrounding Flagstaff. Mountain bikers, hikers, joggers, and cross-country skiers use the trails. Flagstaff Parks & Recreation (211 W. Aspen Ave., 928/779-7690, www.flagstaff.az.gov) and most outdoor and cycling stores sell a map. Cyclists can check out www.flagstaffbiking.org for additional trail information.
Continental Country Club (2380 N. Oakmont Dr., 928/527-7997, May-Oct., www.golfflagstaff.com) offers an 18-hole course, driving range, pro shop, and restaurant on the east side of town; turn south from I-40 Exit 201 on Country Club Drive, then right onto Oakmont Drive.
The Flagstaff area is great horse country. If you don't have your own steed, local riding stables can provide one; reservations are advised. The Flying Heart Barn (8400 N. Hwy. 89, 928/526-2788) offers hour-long, half-day, and full-day rides year-round on and near the San Francisco Peaks; head 3.5 miles north on US 89 from I-40 Exit 201.
Arizona Snowbowl (928/779-1951, www.arizonasnowbowl.com), on the San Francisco Peaks, has some of Arizona's best downhill action. Four chair lifts and a towrope provide access to 30 runs/trails ranging from novice to expert. From the top of Agassiz Chairlift, it's two miles and 2,300 feet down. With sufficient snow, the Snowbowl is open for skiing 9 a.m.-4 p.m. daily from mid-December to Easter. Lift tickets cost $42 ($34 afternoons on weekends and holidays; $27 afternoons on weekdays) for adults; $24 ($19 afternoons) for ages 8-12; $22 seniors 65-69; and free for kids seven and younger and for seniors 70 and over.
Hart Prairie Lodge (elev. 9,200 feet) offers a ski school, rentals, repairs and a restaurant. Ski Lift Lodge (US 180 opposite the Snowbowl Road turnoff, 928/774-0729 or 800/472-3599) has rooms and a restaurant. To reach the Snowbowl, drive northwest seven miles from downtown on US 180 to the sign, then turn right seven miles on a paved road, which sometimes requires chains and/or 4WD.
Flagstaff Nordic Center (928/779-1951, www.arizonasnowbowl.com) grooms more than 25 miles of trails ranging from beginner to advanced near Hart Prairie and the San Francisco Peaks. The Center provides ski lessons, a beginner package, a snowshoe-only trail, equipment rentals and sales, and a snack bar. Races, clinics, and moonlight tours highlight the calendar. It's open daily from about mid-November until mid-April, as weather permits. Trail passes run $10, free for kids seven and under and seniors 70 and over; snowshoers pay $5. Take US 180 northwest 16 miles from downtown to near Milepost 232.
Wing Mountain Cross-country Ski Trails offers more than 17 miles of marked but ungroomed skiing near the San Francisco Peaks. The rolling meadow and forest country is ideal for ski touring. Head northwest 9.5 miles on US 180, then turn left onto Forest Road 222B, just before Milepost 226, and follow it one mile to parking. For road and skiing conditions near the Peaks, check with the Forest Service's Flagstaff Ranger District (928/526-0866, www.fs.fed.us/r3/coconino).
The groomed trails of Mormon Lake also attract cross-country skiers. In the village of Mormon Lake, Mormon Lake Ski Center (928/354-2240) has 20 km of groomed diagonal and skating trails ranging from easy to challenging. It's open daily, snow permitting, with a trail fee of $5 per adult or $15 per family, rentals, and instruction. Drive 20 miles southeast on Lake Mary Road, then turn right eight miles on Mormon Lake Loop Road. Mormon Lake Lodge (928/354-2227 local or 928/774-0462 Flagstaff) has rooms, cabins, and a cafe/steakhouse. For Mormon Lake road and ski conditions, call the Forest Service's Mormon Lake Ranger Station (928/556-7474).
To frolic in the snow, you can drive out US 180 to Wing Mountain parking, described above, or continue northwest seven miles to Crowley Pit on the left near Milepost 233, or to Walker Lake/Kendrick Park Watchable Wildlife Area on the left between Mileposts 235 and 236. Note that the Snowbowl doesn't allow snow play, nor are there parking spots along the Snowbowl Road. Parking along US 180 is permitted only at designated parking areas.
Flagstaff Climbing (205 S. San Francisco St. and 1519 N. Main St., 928/556-9909, http://flagstaffclimbing.com) has indoor walls up to 40 feet high to challenge all ages and abilities. Staff offer a store, instruction, guided outdoor climbs, and local climbing information.
Back to Flagstaff Sights
On to Flagstaff Accommodations