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Observe the cosmos from the same spot where Clyde Tombaugh discovered the planetoid Pluto in 1930. In addition to cosmological wonders above, the planetarium has interactive exhibits, live shows, a massive theater and knowledgeable guides that explain the universe from below. The Clark Telescope is the main highlight and throughout the year, the observatory holds viewings of celestial events like meteor showers, comets, etc. A great place to visit for all ages and especially for those interested in astronomy.
Originally built as a hospital in 1908, this museum is operated by the Arizona Historical Society and serves as a tribute to Northern Arizona's pioneer days and agricultural roots. An antique railroad engine welcomes you to the grounds, and exhibits familiarize you with the area's first settlers and their many contributions to the birth and growth of the city. One of the museum's most popular events during the year is the winter "Playthings of the Past" exhibit, featuring toys and games from the late 1800s to mid-1900s.
The scent of wild acorns and fresh air is intoxicating while visitors wander around in the world's largest Ponderosa Pine forest. And perched at a heavenly height of 7,150 feet above sea level, Flagstaff's Arboretum is home to more than 2,000 different species of native flora. The arboretum also holds special aviary programs which showcase Arizona's native eagles, hawks, and other birds of prey. Throughout the summer season it hosts events like the popular Native Herb Festival or the Penstemon Plant Sale, and if you enjoy vino, the Wine in the Woods event every September very popular.
This museum highlights the history of Arizona's 158th Infantry Regiment, a heralded military outfit that initially began as a rag-tag volunteer force comprised of Mexican-Americans as well as members of Pima and Maricopa Indian tribes (sworn enemies of the Apache). Often scorned, ridiculed and lacking resources, the First Regiment of Arizona Volunteers fought valiantly nonetheless during its short-lived existence. The volunteers disbanded nearly two years after, however the regiment reformed as the First Arizona Infantry and some enlistees participated with Teddy Roosevelt's 'Rough Riders'. In 1917, the 158th (as it was now called) fought in WWI, and in WWII, its troops received the moniker 'Bushmaster' due to their experience in jungle warfare. The museum contains a vast array of memorabilia which presents over 100 years of Arizona military history, from the 1895 Spanish-American War to Afghanistan.
The stunning expanse of Walnut Canyon sits on the Colorado Plateau. An extensive, winding trail commences at the visitor center, showcasing a wealth of outstanding geological marvels along its way, including rustic cliff dwellings that stand under beautiful canyon walls. These dwellings are believed to have been constructed by pre-Colombian people, most notably the Sinagua inhabitants. The Island Trail offers a detailed and strenuous hike which voyages deeper into the canyon, a breathtaking 85-foot descent into the heart of the community at this ancient site. Located within close proximity to Tuzigoot and Montezuma Castles, this site also shelters the Old Headquarters, a rustic, log-built cabin, which is said to be one of the earliest in northern Arizona.
Located north of Flagstaff near the Wupatki National Monument, this volcano last erupted a little before the Norman Conquest on the other side of the world in 1066. The volcanic eruption scattered ash and black cinder for miles around the area. Serendipitously, the ashen soil allowed subsequent tribes to inhabit the area due to its ability to retain water. Alongside the volcano, visitors can examine fascinating geologic features such as 'Squeeze-ups' and 'Hornitos,' which are bulbous mounds of lava and droplets. Hike along one-mile Lava Flow Trail and discover hidden wonders or climb a nearby cinder cone on the Lennox Crater Trail and enjoy the astounding views. Unfortunately, hiking to the top is prohibited.