Flagstaff, Arizona

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Flagstaff, Arizona

Introduction to Flagstaff, Arizona

The city of Flagstaff, located in northern Arizona, is the county seat of Coconino County. It is served by two interstate highways, Interstate 17 which connects the city to Phoenix (145 miles to the south) and Interstate 40 leading to Albuquerque, New Mexico (322 miles to the east). Surrounded by national forests and situated only 80 miles south of the Grand Canyon, Flagstaff sits at the foot of Arizona's highest mountain, the 12,634-foot tall Humphrey's Peak.

Local lore has it that the town acquired its name from a pole made from a stripped Ponderosa pine tree and hoisted as a flag on July 4, 1876 to mark the U.S. Centennial. The 1880s saw early signs of Flagstaff's growth, including the opening of its first post office and the introduction of the booming railroad industry into the city. By the 1890s, Flagstaff had become the largest city on the main line between Albuquerque and the West Coast. In 1894, astronomer Percival Lowell leveraged the benefits of the city's high altitude and clear astronomical sighting conditions when he chose Flagstaff to be the site of the now famous Lowell Observatory. It was at this observatory that Pluto would be discovered 36 years later. The year 1899 saw the establishment of the Northern Arizona Normal School, an institution that evolved into the present-day Northern Arizona University. Flagstaff became incorporated as a city in 1928.

Flagstaff Attractions

Flagstaff is home to several attractions, starting with the Lowell Observatory, which welcomes visitors year-round for tours and telescope viewing. Winter at the Arizona Snowbowl means snow skiing and summer means scenic sky rides and disc golf. The Arboretum at Flagstaff is a 200-acre botanical garden and nature preserve offering visitors spectacular views and nature trail hikes through ponderosa pine forests. The Arizona Historical Society-Pioneer Museum explores the history of Flagstaff and northern Arizona. Coconino National Forest is the world's largest contiguous ponderosa pine forest and is home to a variety of wildlife. Annual events in Flagstaff include the Flagstaff Wool Festival, Independence Day Festival, the Coconino County Fair, and the Flagstaff Winterfest.

Flagstaff is an ideal starting point for day trips to attractions in neighboring areas. The Walnut Canyon National Monument, located 10 miles east of Flagstaff, offers a look at the dwellings and vegetation of life as it was over 800 years ago. Sunset Crater, named for the remarkable hue of its cone, is 12 miles outside of Flagstaff on US-89. Thirty miles north of Flagstaff is Wupatki National Monument, the ancient home of several tribal groups. Other nearby attractions include Oak Creek Canyon, The Arboretum at Flagstaff, Barringer Crater, and the Museum of Northern Arizona. Grand Canyon National Park lies 80 miles north of Flagstaff along U.S. Route 180. Glen Canyon National Recreation Area can be found about 135 miles north of the city along U.S. Route 89.

Baseball fans visiting Flagstaff during the month of March may want to make a day-trip about 145 miles south to the Phoenix area, where there is an abundance of Major League team Spring Training (Cactus League) sites, including:

  • Oakland A's and Milwaukee Brewers (Phoenix)
  • Texas Rangers and Kansas City Royals (Surprise)
  • Seattle Mariners and San Diego Padres (Peoria)
  • Chicago Cubs (Mesa)
  • Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (Tempe)
  • San Francisco Giants (Scottsdale)

Summertime brings Major League regular-season baseball action to Phoenix, home of the National League's Arizona Diamondbacks. At other times of the year, visitors to Phoenix can see a variety of sports played by local professional teams, including the National Basketball Association's Phoenix Suns, the Phoenix Mercury of the WNBA (Women's National Basketball Association), and the National Hockey League's Phoenix Coyotes. Tempe, located 10 miles outside of Phoenix, is home to the National Football League's Arizona Cardinals.

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High Points

Flagstaff strengths, compared to Peers (similar size places nationally) or State (other places in Arizona):

Category Trophy
Walking and Biking to Work
(vs. Peers)
Top 2% trophy Flagstaff Walking and Biking to Work
Short Commute Times
(vs. Peers)
Top 6% Flagstaff Short Commute Times
College Educated Adults
(vs. State)
Top 9% Flagstaff College Educated Adults

Comparative Profile of Flagstaff, Arizona

Comparing Flagstaff to similar size places nationwide (Peers) and to other places in Arizona (State):

Ratings range from 1 (lowest) to 10 (highest).

The People

Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
Male Share of the Population 9 6
Children Under 5 Years Old 5 4
Racial Diversity 4 6
Well-Paid Single Women 3 8
Well-Paid Single Men 3 7
Female Share of the Population 3 5
Age of the Population 1 1
Senior Citizens 1 1


Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
Average Household Size 6 5
Portion of People Married 3 1


Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
College Educated Adults 8 10
Median Family Income 5 8
People in Middle Class or Better 3 6
People Above Poverty 3 4

Commute & Sprawl

Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
Walking and Biking to Work 10 10
Short Commute Times 10 9
Working at Home 8 6
Public Transportation Use 3 8


Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
Seasonal and Vacation Housing 10 7
Housing Recently Built 9 6
Studio & One-Bedroom Rentals 8 10
Affordability of Property Taxes 8 3
Affordability of Rents 5 3
People Living Alone 4 6


Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
Low Violent Crime 2 3
Low Property Crime 1 2

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Flagstaff Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Large City 123 miles N of Mesa, Arizona
County Coconino
Metro Area Flagstaff
Standard Zip Codes 86001, 86004, 86024, 86038
P.O. Box Zip Codes 86002, 86003, 86015, 86017, 86018
Company Zip Codes 86011
Phone Area Codes 928
Time Zone Mountain (-7 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city does not observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 35.198
Longitude -111.65

Flagstaff Climate

Nearest Weather Stations

  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)
Distance 4.6 miles
Jan Temp 17 to 43 F
Apr Temp 27 to 58 F
Jul Temp 50 to 82 F
Oct Temp 31 to 63 F
Annual Precip 22.9 inches
Distance 5.2 miles
Jan Temp 8 to 43 F
Apr Temp 22 to 56 F
Jul Temp 43 to 80 F
Oct Temp 25 to 62 F
Annual Precip 23.2 inches
Distance 7.4 miles
Jan Temp 11 to 43 F
Apr Temp 23 to 57 F
Jul Temp 43 to 81 F
Oct Temp 26 to 63 F
Annual Precip 22.1 inches
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Flagstaff Population (2000)

Category Count Percent
Total Population 52,894 100%
Male 26,226 49.6%
Female 26,668 50.4%
Under 18 12,834 24.3%
18+ 40,060 75.7%
65+ 2,826 5.3%
Median Age 26.8
Average Family Size 3.13
White 41,214 77.9%
African-American 927 1.8%
Asian 660 1.2%
American Indian & Alaskan 5,284 10%
Other 3,201 6.1%
Mixed Race 1,543 2.9%
Hispanic (included in categories above) 8,500 16.1%

Estimated Flagstaff Population Growth 2000-2005

Category Value
Est. 2005 Population 57,391
Growth 4,497
Growth % 8.5%

Flagstaff Ancestry

(From 2000 Census, as reported by individuals)

Note: This is national, not racial, ancestry, so, e.g., the Census doesn't have categories for Hispanic and African-American people. CityTownInfo is currently gathering additional ancestry data for this site.
Ancestry Percent
Other (often includes Hispanic and African American) 33.8%
German 14.4%
English 10.4%
Irish 8.8%
US/American 4.6%
Italian 4.3%
Norwegian 2.5%
Polish 2.1%
Swedish 1.9%
Scottish 1.8%
European 1.8%
French (except Basque) 1.5%
Scotch-Irish 1.5%
Dutch 1.4%
Welsh 0.9%
Russian 0.8%
Danish 0.7%
French Canadian 0.6%
British 0.6%
Hungarian 0.5%
Swiss 0.4%
Canadian 0.4%
Scandinavian 0.4%
African 0.4%
Czech 0.3%
Greek 0.3%
Croatian 0.3%
Finnish 0.2%
Ukrainian 0.2%
Lithuanian 0.2%
Portuguese 0.2%
Czechoslovakian 0.2%
Celtic 0.2%
Northern European 0.2%
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Neighborhood and Nearby Area Names

According to the US Postal Service, Flagstaff, its neighborhoods, and/or surrounding areas are also referred to as:

Bellemont (86015)
Happy Jack (86024)
Mormon Lake (86038)
Northern Arizona University (86001)
Parks Comm Po (86018)

Note that not all alternate names are acceptable for use in US Post Office addresses.

Flagstaff Public Libraries

Flagstaff City/coconino County Library Dist.
Flagstaff, Arizona
(928) 779-7670
Library Web Site

library logo

More Information for Librarians

Flagstaff Hospitals

(928) 779-3366
Emergency Service: Yes

Starbucks in Flagstaff

(As of 2005)
Highway 66 & Switzer Canyon
1426 E. Route 66
1201 S Plaza Way
Target T-935
1650 S Milton Rd

Wal-mart in Flagstaff

(As of 2006)
2750 S Woodlands Village Blvd
(928) 773-1117
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Featured Colleges in the Flagstaff Area (QuickSchools™)

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Flagstaff High Schools (2004)

(Sorted by Number of Students)

Title I eligible, not participating.
Serves 1,427 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 21.6

Title I eligible, not participating.
Serves 1,404 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 20.8

Serves 1,022 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 20.9

A Charter School.
Serves 277 students.

3100 N. FORT VALLEY RD. #41
A Charter School.
Serves 160 students.

A Charter School.
A Title I School.
Serves 108 students.

Serves 90 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 18

Serves 16 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 16

Serves 3 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 3.8

A Non-traditional School
Title I eligible, not participating.

Flagstaff Colleges

Click school name for a detailed profile.

Coconino County Community College

Northern Arizona University

(List of Arizona Colleges)

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City, State Similarity   1 Person Houses 65+ College Grads Commute Minutes Family Income Kids 0-4 Non White Pop. Poverty Prop. Crime Seasonal Housing Viol. Crime
      loose loose loose loose loose loose loose loose loose loose loose loose
1. Tempe, Arizona 89   28.5% 7.2% 39.6% 21 $55,237 5.7% 22.5% 158,625 14.3% 82.2 0.8% 6.2
2. Mammoth Lakes, California 87.1   28.5% 4.3% 34% 12 $52,561 5.7% 16.8% 7,093 14.4% 64.9 57.5% 4.9
3. Sierra Vista, Arizona 85.6   25.2% 12.1% 25.7% 16 $44,077 7.7% 26.7% 37,775 10.5% 39.5 1.1% 3.3
4. Corpus Christi, Texas 82.2   23.2% 11.1% 19.6% 20 $41,672 7.8% 28.4% 277,454 17.6% 71.9 1% 7.2
5. Gulfport, Mississippi 82   27.9% 11.4% 19.1% 21 $39,213 7.1% 37.8% 71,127 17.7% 74.8 1.1% 3.9
6. Farmington, New Mexico 79.5   22.5% 10.7% 19.7% 18 $42,605 7.6% 29.3% 37,844 16% 42.6 0.7% 14.1
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