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Thanks to its high altitude and proximity to high mountains, Flagstaff is a premier destination for winter sports. The Coconino National Forest nearby, houses three resorts: The Arizona Snow Bowl Ski Resort, located on the state’s highest mountains, the San Francisco Peaks, is probably the most popular with locals and visitors alike for downhill skiing, and The Flagstaff Nordic Center, which stretches for 16 miles along Highway 180, and Wing Mountain, have good terrains for cross-country skiing. The Mormon Lake Ski Touring Center to the south of Flagstaff specializes in cross-country skiing as well.
Flagstaff has a great Historic Downtown and Railroad District, with numerous Restaurants(the authentic Mexican restaurants are some of the best in the country), Gift Shops, Boutique shops, Jewlery, interesting architecture of the 1800s era buildings with date/info plaques, to photograph and visit.
Being on the famous Route 66 , Flagstaff has numerous 1950s era historic motels, colorful artistic neon and 50s era Route 66 architecture and signage, summer time is popular with the motorcycle crowd, harleys and tourists from all over the world. For car buffs, The Annual Classic Car rally & Route 66 Days, Car show, happens every September, really transporting you back in time with the historic buildings and classic cars.
a Route 66 Motel Historic Downtown & Train District
There are plenty of things to do in Flagstaff during the other seasons as well. The city is surrounded by monuments and parks with majestic views and unspoiled landscapes. Lowell Observatory is very close by, Walnut Canyon National Monument, southeast of Flagstaff, has a canyon with cliff dwellings that belonged to the native Sinagua (or Western Anasazi) people, who occupied the area from about 500 to 1500 BCE. Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument is also located nearby off highway 89 north; there is a loop trail at the base of the crater, but the summit path has been closed since 1974 due to erosion. For fishing and swimming, try Oak Creek Canyon within the Coconino National Forest. There are many hiking trails around Oak Creek as well.
If you like off roading and utv/atv riding, or want more dirt roads to explore near Sunset Crater, there's Cinder Hills OHV area, just south of Sunset Crater National Monument, a popular place for OHV UTV riding, dirt biking, dispersed camping.
an off road Buggy on top of Cherry Bowl Crater Cinder Hills OHV
There are plenty of trails through the pine forests to explore, past and onto volcano cinder cones, hill climbs and gorgeous vistas. Best of all, camping is free, no reservations required! Cinders is very convenient to Flagstaff, being only 2 miles from the edge of town. Take highway 89 north out of Flagstaff, look for CINDERS OHV sign on right hand side heading north, FR 776, 2 miles south of Sunset Crater Monument .
The Grand Canyon South Rim is a short drive away, there's no reason not to stop in Flagstaff on your way through the area, you won't be disappointed.