Weekend in Flagstaff: The Ultimate Weekend in the Mountains



Description:

This trip is designed for the drive-by traveler looking to experience rich culture and vast wilderness of Flagstaff. Upon arriving in Flagstaff on a Friday night, travelers will want a good meal and a chance to poke around the historic downtown area. The first Friday of every month is the town’s “art walk.” Timing a visit around these dates will offer visitors a chance to see original art and the best live music Flagstaff has to offer. The first full day will be spent outdoors as much as possible. An 8-mile loop along the base of the San Francisco Peaks offers visitors a chance to get to know the physical landscape of Flagstaff and even go swimming. The next day visitors will explore surrounding landscapes through a historical tour of Anazazi ruins, cliff dwellings, and extinct volcanoes. All the while, visitors will eat great food, drink local beer, and sleep in a haunted hotel!

user rating

Author: kgboggs


Day 1 - Flagstaff


When you arrive in Flagstaff‚ the first thing you’ll want is a good meal. Mountain Oasis‚ located downtown on Aspen‚ across the street from Heritage Square‚ is a great place to enjoy good American and Italian fair. Have some wine and watch the people on the street from your table. The Hotel Monte Vista is just a few blocks‚ east of the restaurant where you can enjoy a few cocktails in the Lounge before heading upstairs. On the weekends‚ the Monte Vista Lounge‚ or the "Monte V" to the locals‚ or "The "V"‚ as it is referred to by the hipsters‚ offers live music every weekend. The hotel‚ they say‚ which has been around since the early 1900's‚ is haunted.


1

Mountain Oasis International Restaurant

user rating

expert pick

Location:

11 East Aspen Ave
Flagstaff, AZ 86001

Contact:

tel: +1 928 214 9270
fax: +1 928 214 0020


2

Hotel Monte Vista

user rating

expert pick

Location:

100 N San Francisco St
Flagstaff, AZ 86001

Contact:

tel: +1 928 779 6971 / +1 800 545 3068(Toll Free)
fax: +1 928 779 2904


Day 2 - Flagstaff


For breakfast, La Bellavia is located south of the tracks on Beaver St. Make your own omelet or try any one of their fantastic choices of pancakes. Their coffee is good, but coffee lovers might enjoy Macy's European Coffee House & Bakery, which makes numerous varieties of espresso drinks. Our journey begins at the Rocky Ridge trailhead off of Schultz Pass Rd. Most of the year, most cars should be able to manage the road, but if it’s muddy, don’t risk it without a 4x4. Before you get to the trailhead, however, make sure you have plenty of water. High altitude hiking is extremely dehydrating, especially for those not acclimated. Bring at least 2 liters of water per person. It would also help to bring a map just in case. In any of the wilderness stores downtown, you may find a “Flagstaff Trails Map;” they are $10 but they’re printed on high quality water-proof paper. Quality topography maps can also be found here: http://singletrack.us/gallery/displayimage.php?pid=3976&fullsize=1 As you begin your journey, keep in mind that this is a popular mountain bike trail too – and a difficult one at that—make sure you give bikes the right-of-way. This trail received its name for good reason. While the towering rock and pine top views easily avert your gaze away from the trail, watch out for rocks and boulders along the way. When you get to a fork in the road, stay to the left. The Rocky Ridge Trail continues to the right and leads to Buffalo Park, but this guide leads north to Dry Lakes on an unmarked trail known as Lost Burrito. Follow the trail to an open prairie, the site of an old Ranch called Dry Lakes. Most of the year, this pond is, indeed, dry. However, after much precipitation in late summer, this small pond is full of water and teeming with life: frogs, cranes, and salamander. You should also be able to see hoof prints from elk and deer as well as the paws of raccoon, rabbit, and squirrel checker the flood plain. Continue hiking on either side of the pond and back into the forest. Stay to the left, but be sure not to take the first left turn you see at the pond – go past this trail around an old fence and into the forest. This trail is not labeled either, but it is known as the Little Gnarly Trail. This stretch of trail is beautiful, with aspens, evergreens, and wildflowers. Continue to the left through two forks in the trail. You should be heading north or northeast. Now stay to the right through one more fork and you should arrive back on Schultz Pass Rd. Here, keep right and find the trailhead for the Sunset Trail and keep your eyes open for Schultz Tank. This is a beautiful remote pond that is full year round and particularly full in the late spring and late summer. This is a great, quiet spot to go for a swim. The water will be chilly, but on hot days, a quick dip is completely worth it. From Schultz Tank, jump back on the Sunset Trail, and follow it south for quite a while. The Upper Brookbank Trail should appear on the right and there is a well-marked sign. There is a trail to the right just before the Brookbank Trail, but don’t be fooled. Follow the Upper Brookbank Trail along a scenic ridge and around a small hill. Continue onto the Lower Brookbank Trail and follow it back to the Rocky Ridge Trail. Stay on the Rocky Ridge Trail for a mile or so and soon you’ll arrive where you started. In Flagstaff, its hip to walk in to casual dinning restaurants in your dusty hiking boots, so don’t worry about going back to the hotel right away. You’re going to need some food. A great place to after a long day in the woods is Beaver Street Brewing Company. In particular, an R & R Oatmeal Stout hits the spot with a wood fired veggie pizza known as the “Enchanted Forest.” Don’t worry, your hotel, the Hotel Monte Vista, is within walking distance from Beaver Street Brewing Company, so don’t be afraid to try the other microbrews on draught.


1

Schultz Pass Road Scenic Drive

user rating

expert pick

Location:

Schultz Pass Road
(Right off Route 180 North, approx. 5 mi. north of Flagstaff)
Flagstaff, AZ 86001

Contact:

tel: +1 928 774 9541 (Flagstaff Visitor Center)


2

La Bellavia Restaurant

user rating

expert pick

Location:

18 S Beaver St
Flagstaff, AZ 86001

Contact:

tel: +1 928 774 8301


3

Sunset Trail

user rating

Location:

5075 N. Highway 89
Flagstaff, AZ 86004

Contact:

tel: 520-526-0866
fax: 502-527-8288


4

Brookbank Trail

user rating

expert pick

Location:

5075 N. Highway 89
Flagstaff, AZ 86004

Contact:

tel: 520-526-0866
fax: 502-527-8288


5

Beaver Street Brewery and Whistle Stop Cafe

user rating

expert pick

Location:

11 South Beaver St
Suite 1
Flagstaff, AZ 86001

Contact:

tel: 928 779 0079
fax: 928 779 0029


Day 3 - Flagstaff


Rise early and go across San Francisco Street to Late For The Train. They’ve got the best double shots of espresso in town. They also offer a variety of pastries that are good to take on the road. Today our trip to Flagstaff will take us on a brief geological and anthropological history lesson that will provide a taste of the diverse terrain in the surrounding area and how it was formed as well as who inhabited the area and how they lived. Our first stop is about 8 miles out of town. Drive East on 40 until you see the Park’s Department’s sign for Walnut Canyon. The reason for it’s name will be obvious when you see it. Not only do the cliff walls resemble the colors of walnut, but black walnut trees are all over the place. Take the Island Trail along a cliff and gaze back in time at the cliff dwellings tucked within the wedges in the cliff. The trail hugs the edge of this peninsula as visitors are allowed to walk in and out of the dwellings. In some spots, between the bricks, you can even see finger markings made when the mud was packed. You’ll want a good couple hours here. Next, get back on the highway take the first exit that has anything to do with 89 or Route 66. Take it and head north. Route 66 turns into 89, which will take us to Sunset Crater and the Wupatki Anasazi ruines, both of which can be accessed by turning right on Forest Rd. 545, about 40 miles north. Drive past the Bonito Campgrounds and follow the signs to Sunset Crater. This is an eerie place, covered in shiny black obsidian and recovering plant life. Take the Lava Flow Trail, an easy one-mile loop that takes hikers right up to the base of the small volcano. When the volcano erupted between 1040 and 1100, it dramatically altered the physical and cultural landscape. Continue to Wupatki National Monument by continuing on Forest Rd. 545. Just follow the signs. Before Sunset Crater erupted, Wupatki was the largest pueblo community in the area. There is a visitor’s center that share a parking lot with the Wupatki ruins, where you can learn more about the original structure and the people that lived there. From Wupatki, Forest Rd. 545 will take you to other structures, Lomaki and Box Canyon Pueblos as well as the Citadel and Nalakihu. If you time it right, the top of the Citadel at sunset is one of the most beautiful places in the area. Even without the sunset, the top of the Citadel provides spectacular views of the entire San Francisco Peaks mountain range. Forest Rd. 545 leads back to 89. Take it south back to Flagstaff.


1

Walnut Canyon National Monument

user rating

Location:

Flagstaff Areas
2717 N. Steves Blvd. #3
Flagstaff, AZ 86002

Contact:

tel: 928 527-1246
fax: +1 928 526-4259


2

Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument

user rating

expert pick

Location:

Flagstaff Areas
2717 N. Steves Blvd. #3
Flagstaff, AZ 86002

Contact:

tel: 520-556-7134


© 2014 NileGuide.com   ·   Blog   ·   Facebook   ·   Contact Us   ·   About Us   ·   Privacy Policy   ·   Terms & Conditions