Getting to Flagstaff

Air travel

The most convenient travel option is to fly directly to Flagstaff's Pulliam Airport (FLG) itself, which now enjoys 100% jet service. The commuter flight from Phoenix to Flagstaff on US Airways is highly recommended for those who enjoy looking out the windows of airplanes (sit on the 'A' seat side of the aircraft). Don't be surprised, though, if you have to call for a taxi once you arrive in FLG. If you want a rental car in Flagstaff, we strongly advise you to make advance reservations before arriving at the Flagstaff airport. Upon leaving the airport, take I-17 north into town.

Some increased travel flexibility is available by flying to Phoenix, renting a car there, and then driving the 2 hours to Flagstaff. If you need to stay overnight in Phoenix, here is a page of airport hotels.

Rental Cars

Like many western towns, Flagstaff's historic downtown and neighboring streets are pedestrian friendly and easily accessible by walking. However, for those venturing across town or further, a rental car can be useful.  Keep in mind that if you stay at the conference hotel (or other nearby properties), the Drury Inn, the conference center is immediately next door, with plenty of evening dining options within 1km - you can probably forgo booking a rental car in this case.

Driving Directions, Phoenix to Flagstaff

Some people choose to fly to Phoenix instead of Flagstaff, and then rent a car. This is a beautiful 2-hour drive, with the rental cost probably roughly equal to the airfare savings. 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.

Important note: If you were thinking of driving from Phoenix thru Sedona on the way to Flagstaff (and feeling those energy vortices): the direct drive from Sedona to Flagstaff via the 89A switchbacks will unfortunately be closed from Memorial Day (May 26) until July 4th.  The alternate route from Sedona via Schnebly Hill Road is quite scenic but a poor quality road that requires a high clearance vehicle; the best route from Sedona to Flagstaff at this time will be through the Village of Oak Creek.

PHX-FLG Ground Shuttle

Arizona Shuttle offers a shuttle service between the Phoenix airport and Flagstaff. It costs $38 one way if you make your reservation on-line. The shuttle will drop you at the Amtrak train station downtown. You can take a taxi from there, or there is limited rental car availability with a desk in the train station (Hertz).

Hotels & Attractions

A large number of hotels and motels are local to Lowell Observatory and downtown Flagstaff. The Drury Hotel is quite conveniently located relative to the observatory, and within walking distance of a number of restaurants for dining options.

Additional information about other local hotels and Northern Arizona's tourist attractions may be found at the Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce, or the City of Flagstaff web site.

Local Maps

Map of Flagstaff

Map of Lowell Observatory Campus


Weather in Flagstaff (elevation 7000 ft/ 2100 m) in June is usually sunny and typically quite enjoyable. Evenings can still get chilly, so a light jacket or sweater is recommended. Average day-time high and night-time low temperatures for mid-June are around 80 F (26 C) and 42 F (5 C), respectively.  June is the beginning of summer, but prior to the seasonal "monsoon" rains that come to Flagstaff in July and August. Average precipitation is 0.36 inches (0.9 cm). Remember that Flagstaff is a "high altitude" city so to help acclimate yourself, be sure to drink plenty of water and avoid over-exertion the first couple days.