Flagstaff's name comes from a pine tree made into a flagpole in 1876 to celebrate the Declaration of Independence Centennial. It's the largest city & regional center of northern Arizona & the seat of Coconino County. One of the highest US cities, Flagstaff sits at the base of the 12,633-ft San Francisco Peaks. It's a year-round mecca for visitors & many Arizonans maintain second homes here. Flagstaff has long been a transportation hub. Located along an old wagon road to California, Flagstaff was founded in conjunction with the arrival of the railroad in 1881. Today the town links I-40 to I-17, Hwy 89 to Page & Utah, & Hwy 180 to the Grand Canyon. Historic Route 66 passes through Flagstaff
Principal Economic Activities:
Flagstaff is a governmental, educational, transportation, cultural and commercial center. Tourism is a major source of employment. Traditional economic activities continue to employ people. New scientific and high teach research and development industries have located in Flagstaff. Approximately 19,000 students attend Northern Arizona University. More than 200,000 people do business in Flagstaff, both in the historic downtown area and at several shopping centers.
Flagstaff and the surrounding area are abundant with attractions. The Grand Canyon is the top area attraction with some 5 million visitors annually. Other popular sites nearby are the San Francisco Peaks, the dormant volcanos at Sunset Crater National Monument, the Indian ruins at Wupatki and Walnut Canyon, Meteor Crater (the world's largest), Oak Creek's red rock canyons and Monument Valley. Many recreational activities are found in the city itself. Lowell Observatory, where the planet Pluto was discovered, has both historic and modern telescopes and is open to the public. The Museum of Northern Arizona has Native American displays. Riordan State Park features a mansion built by two brothers prominent in the lumber industry. Flagstaff Winterfest is held annually to celebrate that season.
Flagstaff offers a wide range of community and cultural facilities. There are two museums, 10 art galleries, a symphony orchestra, six recreation centers, three libraries, 29 parks, two swimming pools, one public and five private golf courses, and ice skating/roller rink, 16 tennis courts, one bowling alley, 13 indoor theater screens, and one ski resort. Prepared on 1/02/2007