Must-see historical sites near Flagstaff, AZ?

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Armando

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Will be making a trip with the family (all avid history buffs) to AZ in April.

I know all the usual tourist traps but interested any some lesser known (or maybe just not known by me) historical sites near Flagstaff, AZ. We'll be driving all over the place from there so even places 2hrs away would be worth the drive.
 

Billy-by-gosh

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You might be interested in the site of the 1800s "Pleasant Valley War." The principals in multiple skirmishes lasting over 10 years were the Tewksburys and the Grahams, and there were no survivors when it all ended. There is a small museum located in the little town of Young, AZ. Not on the regular tourist routes, it's located down in a large isolated valley but accessible from the highway 260 that crosses the Mogollon Rim (a beautiful drive in itself; and you should check local weather for road conditions in the high country during April)
 

Bojangles

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Plus one on the road trip to young, but it’s a super long drive, so be prepared, and probably little cell signal en route. Also visit the tonto natural bridge on the way. Have pizza in Pine, AZ at the wood fired pizza place. Hike the bear foot trail in pine, to the foot bridge and back(12 mi) or go all the way to the pine trail head, (14) but will need to shuttle. There’s some cliff dwellings in camp verde, and Jerome is pretty cool and historic, a must see if you’re in the cottonwood/ Sedona area. The views on lake Mary road are epic, especially if you are facing north. The Clarkdale train is kind of boring, imo.
 

Bojangles

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And, if all else fails, you must see the canyon. If your up that way, look at Lee’s ferry, and horshoe bend.
 

yonderin

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If you're at all inclined to go stand on the corner in Winslow, along the way you could check out Canyon Diablo and Apache Death Cave near Two Guns. Also Metor Crater which is pretty impressive.

The drive from Flagstaff to Sedona is awful pretty.
 

tenngun

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Monument valley ain’t to far( sight of most 59s westerns) and shiprock is a sight to see ( Shiprock was once at Winslow. Navajos took refuge on the rock when attacked by Apache. They prayed to the mountain to save them and the mountain grew wings and flew to its present location saving the Navajo. Leaving that big hole in the ground near Winslow)
 

Thagomizer

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Just happened to find this. So much to see and do in that part of AZ. Several Pueblo ruins are nearby,Walnut canyon is good. Petrified Forest is straight east and a good drive.head up into Navajo country and see dinosaur tracks near Tuba City, and then Monument Valley for sure. My favorite place is Canyon De Chelly.
Horse back tours are fun and scenic. Can also do that in Monument valley. Just south of monument valley is the small town of Kayenta that has a Navajo code talkers museum in the Burger king of all places. Betatakin ruins nearby is also a must. Hubbell trading post has a small collection of muzzleloaders including some leman Indian rifles. Much more-shoot me a PM if you want more details.
 

Notchy Bob

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I just saw this thread. I booked a hiking trip to the North Rim with an outfitter in 2018. We met in Flagstaff before shuttling up to Grand Canyon. I live in Florida, where the highest natural point in my state is, I think, around 326 feet. The North Rim is around 8,000 feet, so I went out a couple of days early to stay in Flagstaff (elevation ~7,000 feet) to get acclimated. I found, to my great pleasure, that Flagstaff is not only a "dark sky" city, and they also have the Flagstaff Urban Trail System (FUTS, pronounced "foots"), which connects with the Arizona Trail.

I know the original poster said he and his family are history buffs, but if you need some exercise and like to just get outside and walk, there are some great trails that you can access in Flagstaff without having to drive anywhere. Not exactly a wilderness experience, but you can get way off the pavement, see some interesting and different critters, and walk for miles in clean, fresh air without backtracking. Just remember to pace yourself if you're an eastern flatlander, make sure you have a map, and bring water!

I think Flagstaff is considered the gateway to Grand Canyon, and the South Rim is only a couple of hours away. The North Rim, on the other hand, requires an extensive "go around" to avoid that big hole in the ground, and will take most of a day just getting there. Either side of Grand Canyon is well worth seeing, but the North Rim is a completely different natural and cultural environment from the South Rim.

I would like to go back and spend some time in the Flagstaff area, if we can ever get COVID-19 behind us. I'd like to see some more of the historical and natural sights mentioned in the posts above (some of which I saw on trips back in the 1980's, some I haven't seen at all), in addition to another visit to the North Rim. I had a good experience there last year.

Notchy Bob
 

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