2023 Sun-Climate Symposium – Things to do

2023 Sun-Climate Symposium – Things to do

Things to do:

One of the seven wonders of the world, Grand Canyon National Park, South Rim is an hour and a half drive from Downtown Flagstaff.  You can enjoy beautiful views of colorful rock layers and impressive buttes.  Enjoy a hike on South Rim Trail, visit the visitors center or take the scenic drive to view one of the most spectacular examples of erosion anywhere in the world! 

Meteor Crater outside of Flagstaff is the best-preserved meteor impact crater on Earth!  More than 50,000 years ago, a huge iron-nickel meteorite, approximately 150 feet wide and weighing several hundred thousand tons impacted the area with a force 150 times greater than the atomic bomb.  The result is a giant bowl-shaped cavity which measures 550 ft. deep and almost a mile wide.  Scientists have carried out research at the site for decades, and Apollo astronauts trained there in preparations for their journeys to the Moon. 

While visiting the Meteor Crater, take a stroll in Downtown Winslow to relive that famous Eagles song line, “standing on a corner in Winslow Arizona”.

Leaf Peeping on the Aspen Loop Trail from Snowbowl Ski Resort is a 2.5-mile loop that will take you through aspen, spruce and pine groves and delivers spectacular views of the forest and volcanic fields below.  The loop trail meets the Arizona Trail .9 miles from the trailhead.  Take the Arizona Trail north (right) about 2.5 miles to a sign indicating that Bismarck Lake is .02 miles to the west (left).  Follow that spur trail to the small lake that is located in a large meadow at an elevation of 8500’.  Keep your eyes peeled for elk, deer or raptors! 

Near Sunset Crater in the Walnut Canyon National Monument is also home to single-story cliff dwellings.  The one-mile round-trip Island Trail provides access to 25 cliff dwellings.  This site is located just outside of Flagstaff off I-40 and FS622.

Mesa Verde National Park is a 5-hour drive from Flagstaff and is the first national park of its kind to “preserve the works of man”.  This park was established to preserve archaeological sites built by the Ancestral Puebloans who inhabited Mesa Verde for more than 700 years from 550 A.D. to 1300 A.D. 

Situated in a unique geological area, Sedona is a picturesque city surrounded by red-rock monoliths named Coffeepot, Cathedral, Bell and even Snoopy because their massive shapes resemble these distinctive objects. Spend a day hiking, horseback riding, or bouncing in a Jeep on trails and dirt roads that crisscross this area, and then enjoy the comfort of deluxe hotels, country inns and prestigious and luxury resorts and hotels.

Wupatki National Monument is a site that represents the footprints of the ancestors of the Hopi people.  In the 1100s, the ancestors of contemporary Pueblo communities created a bustling center of trade and culture.  There are several hiking trails in the area.

Humphreys Peak is the tallest peak in Arizona at an elevation of 12633 at the summit.  There are several hiking trails near Humphryes Peak, with the hike to the summit considered challenging at 10.7 miles and an average time of 6 hours and 39 minutes to complete the round trip.  Please note, snow is possible and could make this inaccessible without proper gear.  If you do plan to tackle the summit trail, please read up on conditions and recommendations for required gear before going!  

For people bringing the kids along, there’s something for you too!  Check out Bearizona!!  View wildlife in spacious, natural environments.  30 miles outside of Flagstaff!

If you plan to arrive to the area the weekend before our Symposium, there will be an annular solar eclipse.  The path will take it over the Four Corners area, which is approximately a 3 hour drive from Flagstaff.  There are no major cities around Four Corners, so you might opt for Albuquerque, which is a 5-hour drive from Flagstaff.

There are so many more things to do in Flagstaff!
Be sure to review the Visitors Guide PDF for more suggestions before your trip!