Arboretum At Flagstaff
The Colorado Plateau is one of the most diverse landscapes in the world, featuring volcanic highlands, fields of high country wildflowers and snow capped mountain peaks. Rising majestically from the desert floor, these natural scenic wonders fill the colorful northern Arizona sky with picture perfect backdrops that have delighted artists, scientists, tourists and Native Peoples for centuries. Perhaps no site has more colorful native flora in the highlands than the Arboretum at Flagstaff, located just off scenic Route 66 southwest of downtown Flagstaff, Arizona.
2,500 Species of Plants
Plant lovers and artists alike will enjoy the miles and miles of trails that crisscross the 200 acre site. Home to over 2,500 species of native and drought-tolerant plants, the Arboretum is far ordinary when it comes to visual stimulation and artistic beauty. Artfully arranged around themed gardens, ponds, constructed wetlands, nature trails and an amphitheater and concert area, the Arboretum at Flagstaff is a must-see for anyone interested in horticulture, natural vegetation, glorious flower displays or functional kitchen gardening. Its trails and paths are the perfect setting for viewing some of the more spectacular views in the high country or for capturing the vistas on film or canvas.
Join the more than 10,000 visitors who flock to the Arboretum each year in touring the Wildflower Meadow, actually a dual display of both native grasses and wildflowers like those found in the Great Basin Plains and at the upper elevations of the Colorado Plateau. More than simple beauty, the Wildflower Meadow is a visual and sensory classroom where visitors can learn about native species, the effect of weather conditions on natural wildflowers and how to prevent predatory plants from altering the native landscape.
The Herb Garden and nearby Kitchen Garden are culinary masterpieces which highlight the flavorful and delicious properties of traditional herbs as well as provide direction and helpful hints for growing your own garden. The climate of the Colorado Plateau mirrors that of mountainous Europe and Asia, making the Arboretum at Flagstaff the perfect location for demonstration gardens which include both native and non-native herbs and plants.
Things to See
Butterfly lovers will delight in the Butterfly Garden, a giant labyrinth of trails in the shape of a butterfly, filled with fragrant blooms and delicious nectars that attract the winged beauties. Designed by the astronomers at nearby Lowell Observatory, the main trail through the garden forms the body of the butterfly with the tiny veins of the wings serving as additional meandering paths through the colorful landscape. The Butterfly Garden takes into consideration the type of fragrance butterflies enjoy, as well as color, amount of sunlight and water these winged creatures need in order to find a particular place appealing. Another outdoor classroom, the Butterfly Garden is a living example of how to create your own butterfly habitat at home.
Guided tours of the Arboretum are offered daily and are especially interesting to first time visitors. However those interested in a slower pace exploration of the grounds are free to take a leisurely stroll through the gardens, enjoying the helpful legends along each of the paths. The Arboretum is beautiful throughout the year, with different seasons bringing different delights to your senses. Autumn fills the area with orange and crimson trees such as maples and oaks. Springtime brings a burst of color from flowering bulbs and is the perfect time to enjoy the woodland wildflowers. Summer is even pleasant in the Arizona highlands with the Butterfly Garden and Penstemon fields in full bloom. Looking for a less crowded visit to the gardens? The Arboretum at Flagstaff is open during the winter as well and the smaller crowds make for perfect viewing of the native grasses and constructed wetlands.
Getting to the Arboretum at Flagstaff
Located nearly 4 miles south of Flagstaff off Route 66 on Woody Mountain Road, the Arboretum at Flagstaff is easily accessible from town or Interstate 40. From town take Route 66 west until you reach Woody Mountain Road. Turn left and drive 3.8 miles to the Arboretum. From I-40 take exit 191 at Route 66. Drive two miles to Woody Mountain Road and turn right 3.8 miles to the Arboretum entrance. While the last few yards of Woody Mountain Road are unpaved, it is well maintained and even the smallest passenger cars are able to handle the drive.
Map To The Arboretum
Other Flagstaff Attractions
Other attractions in or around Flagstaff you will enjoy include the Lowell Observatory where Pluto was discovered, the San Francisco Peaks, the highest mountain range in Arizona, Sunset Crater and the Wupatki Ruins. The South Rim of the Grand Canyon is only about 80 miles from Flagstaff and Sedona is about an 18 mile drive through the scenic Oak Creek Canyon.
Where To Stay
Choose form a wide selection of Flagstaff Hotels or consider one of its many intimate Bed and Breakfasts.
Flagstaff High Country
San Francisco Peaks
Arboretum of Flagstaff