Walnut Canyon National MonumentEast of Flagstaff, off Interstate 40 on Walnut Canyon Road
Walnut Canyon National Monument was a haven for people more than 700 years ago. Their homes, cliff dwellings built deep within the canyon walls, are just one of the magnificent findings archaeologists use to help interpret this culture from times past. Choose between Rim Trail, a 30-minute easy, self-guided walk, or the Island Trail, an hour-long strenuous excursion to depths of the canyon.
Information: 928-526-3367; www.nps.gov/waca
Wupatki National Monument12 miles north of Flagstaff on State 89, then 21 miles east onto Sunset Crater-Wupatki Loop Road
At least three ancient civilizations have ruins or artifacts found in Wupatki National Monument, an important trade center about 800 years ago. The main pueblo complex includes a kiva, ball court and blowhole. Five pueblos and several trails wait to be explored by car or foot. A visitors center puts on special programs and exhibits.
Information: 928-679-2365; www.nps.gov/wupa
Grand Canyon Region
Allen's Outfitters Guided Trail Rides150 miles north of Flagstaff on State Route 89A
Take a 1- or 2-hour horseback ride through the forest, a half-day or full-day trip to one of the area's scenic overlooks or plan a longer pack trip. Some rides start from Jacob Lake. Book through Kaibab Lodge.
Information: 928-638-2389; www.kaibablodge.com
Information: 800-477-7238; www.raftarizona.com
Dry Park Lookout150 miles north of Flagstaff, near Jacob Lake on State Route 89A
This 125-foot tower southwest of Jacob Lake offers great views of the surrounding plateau and is the tallest fire tower in the Kaibab National Forest and welcomes visitors when it's staffed. Jacob Lake Lookout also offers great views of the plateau and Utah's mountains to the north.
Information: 928-635-8200; www.fs.fed.us/r3/kai
Grand Canyon Deer Farm25 miles west of Flagstaff on Interstate 40 at Exit 171, Deer Farm Road
Visitors can hand-feed and walk among a variety of animals at the deer farm, including fallow, sika and axis deer, pygmy and Nigerian goats, pronghorn antelopes, llamas, turkeys, peacocks, reindeer and a buffalo. Amenities include souvenir feed cups and a gift shop full of collectibles and souvenirs.
Information: 800-926-3337; www.deerfarm.com
Grand Canyon Railway233 N. Grand Canyon Blvd., Williams
Hop aboard the Grand Canyon Railway's vintage train from Williams to Grand Canyon National Park. Since its arrival in Arizona, the Grand Canyon Railway has been the transportation of choice for people looking for a leisurely and comforting journey to the legendary canyon
Information: 800-843-8724; www.thetrain.com
House Rock Ranch130 miles northwest of Flagstaff, 21 miles south of State Route 89A in House Rock Valley
Visit this ranch in the secluded House Rock Valley to glimpse a herd of free-roaming buffalo, as well as their neighbors, including antelope, bobcats, coyotes, foxes, mountain lions, rabbits, squirrels and a variety of birds. The buffalo are the descendants of a failed 1906 attempt to breed cattle with a buffalo herd that had been transplanted to the Kaibab Plateau.
Information: 928-643-7395; www.fs.fed.us/r3/kai
Kaibab Plateau - North Rim Scenic ParkwaySpanning 45 miles of State 67 from Jacob Lake to the North Rim
Grassy wildflower meadows scattered among ponderosa pines and giant white aspens mark the beauty of this scenic road. Cutting through the Kaibab Plateau, the road leads straight to the Grand Canyon's North Rim. Along the drive you can enjoy hiking, camping, wildlife viewing, or stop off at the historic lookout tower approximately 12 miles south of Jacob Lake. Due to heavy snowfall, this scenic road is closed November through May.
Information: 928-643-7298; www.arizonascenicroads.com/main.aspx
Kolb StudioAt the Bright Angel Trailhead, just beyond El Tovar Hotel in Grand Canyon Village, on the South Rim) This former home and studio of pioneering Canyon photographers, brothers, and partners-in-climb, Emery and Ellsworth Kolb, shows visitors the true meaning of living life on the edge. With its stable cliffside location and rotating exhibits from some of the Canyon's finest artists, the studio is a must see.
Information: 928-638-2481; www.grandcanyon.org
National Geographic Visitor Center and IMAX TheaterJust south of the Grand Canyon National Park entrance on U.S. Route 64 in Tusayan
For the ultimate motion picture, take in the Grand Canyon IMAX movie. The educational journey through the history and mystery of the Grand Canyon is also a highly entertaining and exhilarating experience, rivaling that of a helicopter ride over the Canyon. You may want to wait on filling up at the surrounding food court until after the show.
Information: 928-638-2468; www.explorethecanyon.com
North Rim's Point Imperial and Cape RoyalOff State Route 67, take the paved road just north of the ranger station 5 miles east to the fork, then 2 miles north to Point Imperial or 13 miles south to Cape Royal.
On the higher end of the Kaibab Plateau, these overlooks have views not afforded in many places. From Point Imperial, the highest viewpoint reachable by vehicle on the North Rim, you can see the Vermilion Cliffs, Navajo Mountain and the Painted Desert. At Cape Royal you can see the natural rock arch called Angels Window. Due to heavy snowfall, the North Rim is closed from November through May.
Information: 928-638-7888; www.nps.gov/grca/grandcanyon/index.htm
The Watchtower at Desert View Point25 miles east of Grand Canyon Village on Desert View Drive, on the South Rim
For architect Mary Colter, the goal for this unique South Rim structure was to provide optimal views of the Grand Canyon but also to be in aesthetic harmony with the environment. The historical landmark has been captivating Canyon viewers for 74 years. Information: 928-638-7888; www.nps.gov/grca
Tusayan Ruins and Museum22 miles east of Grand Canyon Village on Desert View Drive, on the South Rim
Experience the Grand Canyon's ancestral Pueblo Indian culture at this intriguing museum and partially excavated ruin dating from approximately A.D. 1185. Guided walks offered daily.
Information: 928-638-7888; www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/visitorcenters.htm