While you may be tempted to stay inside the comfort of your Flagstaff vacation rentals, you should not miss the opportunity to visit some of the most beautiful desert landscapes of the United States.
Painted Desert and Petrified Forest National Park
About 115 miles east of your Flagstaff vacation rental is the Painted Desert and the Petrified Forest National Park. The Painted Desert visitor center is located on Interstate 40, just outside of Holbrook, Arizona. Both of these parks are natural wonders that were created by millions of years of erosion, water exposure and silica. Gaze upon the exquisite colors displayed in the Painted Desert and it is easy to understand why the Spanish gave it this name in the 1600s. Explore the ancient tribes that wandered these lands by visiting the standing monuments of Puerco Pueblo and the Agate House. The Painted Desert and the Petrified Forest National Park are federally protected lands.
Meteor Crater National Landmark
Located on Interstate 40, just 35 miles east of Flagstaff at exit 233 is Meteor Crater National Landmark. This landmark marks the spot of a collision of an asteroid with Earth over 50,000 years ago. The Meteor Crater is more than 550 feet deep and over 2 miles in circumference. The park is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and includes an observation deck, indoor viewing, cinema theater (where you can view the movie "Collisions and Impacts"), and a gift shop. Admission is $15 for adults, $14 for Seniors (ages 60 and over) $8 for Juniors (ages 6 through 17) and Children age 5 and under are free.
The Grand Canyon National Park
The Grand Canyon is a mile-deep gorge that was carved by the Colorado River in Arizona. The Grand Canyon National Park is divided into a South Rim and a North Rim. The South Rim of the Grand Canyon is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year although some facilities are closed during the winter months. There is a free shuttle bus that runs in the Grand Canyon Village area. The North Rim is open from May 15th through October 12th. During the winter months the road into the North Rim (Highway 67) is closed due to snow. Entrance to the Grand Canyon National Park is $25 per personal vehicle, for people on foot admission is $12 per person.
Joshua Tree National Highway
The Joshua Tree is a unique tree-like plant that is indigenous to the southwestern region of the United States in Arizona, Nevada, California and Utah and about 150 miles from Flagstaff on Highway 93 South is the Joshua Tree National Highway. This 40-mile stretch of Arizona highway runs in the center of thousands of Joshua Trees. An added treat is the incredible scenery along the highway including rock formations and an equal number of cacti. Spend the day driving across the desert and take the time to stop at the many roadside cut outs along the way and take lots of pictures!
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