Air travel: The greatest flexibility is available by flying to Phoenix, renting a car there, and driving 2 to 2.5 hours to Flagstaff. If you need to stay overnight in Phoenix, here is a page of airport hotels. Flying to Flagstaff itself is also possible for reasonable fares on America West airlines. The commuter flight from Phoenix to Flagstaff is highly recommended for those who enjoy looking out the windows of airplanes (sit on the 'A' seat side of the aircraft). If a rental car is desired in Flagstaff, advance reservations for rental cars at Flagstaff airport are strongly advised. Upon leaving the airport, take I-17 north into town.
Driving Directions, Phoenix to Flagstaff: Depart the Phoenix airport and head west. Follow signs for I-17 North from the airport (I-10 West will also take you to I-17). Simply stay on I-17 for about 150 miles until you reach Flagstaff. The drive takes you through a variety of ecosystems beginning with concrete/asphalt, moving through creosote/saguaro, then pinyon/juniper, and ending in ponderosa pine.
The following companies offer shuttle services between Phoenix airport and Flagstaff. These cost $30 one way and $55 round-trip. Please note varying limits for luggage and door-to-door options.
Directions to Lowell Observatory: From I-17, you'll enter Flagstaff going north on the main artery, Milton Road. Continue north on Milton (towards the Peaks), favoring the left lane. Just after you go under the railroad overpass, get in the left turn lane and make a sharp left onto Santa Fe Avenue, westbound. Santa Fe transforms into Mars Hill Road, bearing right at the foot of the hill (there is a sign for Lowell Observatory).
Park in the main parking lot in front of the Steele Visitor Center. The meeting will take place in the Visitor Center. For the Wednesday night Reception, enter through the large wrought-iron gate to the left of the Visitor Center, and follow the walk to the Slipher Building dome.
Hotels: We have reserved a block of rooms at La Quinta Inn and Suites, 2015 S. Beulah Blvd., 1-800-531-5900 (toll-free within USA), +1-928-556-8666 (direct line), +1-928-214-9140 (fax). Please mention that you are a member of the "Lowell Observatory Group" to obtain the block rate of $50/night (+ tax = $54.97). Do not use the on-line reservation form, since it will not allow you to obtain the group discount. The hotel will provide a courtesy van to transport people to Lowell Observatory.
Invited speakers should contact the Lowell reception with their requested hotel dates, since their accommodation will paid directly by Lowell Observatory. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call +1-928-774-3358 and state that you are a Workshop invited speaker. Our administrative assistants, Karen Morefield and Mary DeMuth, will make the hotel reservation.
Foreign attendees may also request assistance with making hotel reservations. You may contact the Lowell reception as above, and please state that you are a Workshop participant. You will need to give your credit card information, which may be faxed to +1-928-774-6296.
Information about other local hotels and Northern Arizona's tourist attractions may be found at the Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce.
Weather in Flagstaff (elevation 7000 ft / 2100 m) in October is usually sunny and pleasant. Average daytime high and night-time low temperatures for mid-October are around 60F (15C) and 30F (-1C), respectively. However, it's a good idea to be prepared in case of below-average wintry conditions.
Restaurants: Here is a restaurant guide compiled by Lowell Observatory gastronomers.
Excursion to the Grand Canyon: We are pleased to offer a day excursion to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon , a World Heritage Site, and by far the most visited of our National Parks. The tour will take place on Saturday, 12 October, departing around 9:00 AM, returning around 6:00 PM. The fee of $60 includes complete transportation to/from the hotel, park entrance fee, picnic lunch, and a professional guide. In addition to the visually spectacular landscape, the Grand Canyon is rich in history, geology, and culture. The tour will feature these themes, and will include a visit to the remains of a prehistoric Native American dwelling, wildlife spotting with telescopes or binoculars, explanations of geology and historical sites like mines and caves, and other points of interest. The tour operator is American Dream Tours.
To sign up for our group discount on this excursion, please register by 01 August 2002 and mark the appropriate box on the registration form .
Excursion to Anderson Mesa observatory: There will be a tour of our Anderson Mesa telescope facilities for our public financial supporters, the Friends of Lowell Observatory, on Saturday, 12 October. The site is a 30-minute drive southeast of Flagstaff, and workshop participants may join this afternoon tour, space permitting. Among the telescopes on-site are the 72-inch Perkins Telescope, the Navy Prototype Optical Interferometer (NPOI), and the Lowell Observatory Near-Earth Object Search (LONEOS) telescope. To sign up for this excursion, please register by 01 August 2002 and mark the appropriate box on the registration form .