Traveling from Flagstaff to the Grand Canyon
The Mountain Town of Flagstaff, AZ is the closest major city to the Grand Canyon's South Rim and the largest in Northern Arizona. Flagstaff rests at 7,000 feet in elevation and enjoys 4 seasons, similar to the Grand Canyon’s South Rim. Home to Northern Arizona University this laidback college town is a great destination in its own right and the best base camp to explore the Grand Canyon and surrounding areas. Flagstaff got its start from the Logging and the Railroad industries, but modern-day flagstaff runs off tourism and Northern Arizona University. Resting in the heart of Northern AZ, the trip from Flagstaff to the Grand Canyon is 2.5 hours closer than Phoenix, making travel to the South Rim much easier.
Surrounded by Coconino National Forest and outdoor adventure, there are many great activities in and out of town. Flagstaff offers an arboretum, museum, amphitheater, observatory, playhouse and all the cultural and educational activities offered by NAU. Snowbowl is the local mountain for skiers and snowboarders and has some of the best powder around during a good snow year, and it’s on the way to the Grand Canyon. Although not equal to Grand Canyon hikes, the San Francisco Peaks and Mogollon Rim offer some great hiking right outside of town. There are also several small lakes including Lake Mary for fishing, boating and enjoying some water in this desert climate. Climbing and Bouldering are popular sports in Flagstaff as well and the local crags are world class. There is also a climbing gym in town for people who still want to get out during one of the rare days in Flagstaff without sunshine. With the San Francisco Peaks as its backdrop, a lively downtown scene, great cultural activities, and a lot of outdoor adventure, this is the sort of destination many visitors would love to call home, or at least stay for a bit on your way to the canyon. Read the guide below to learn more.