Looking for free things to do in Flagstaff, Arizona? Whether you are traveling alone, with friends, children, or dogs, Flagstaff has plenty of free options for you to take advantage of. The best thing you can do if you want to participate in free activities is to do your research and plan ahead. If you can bring your own gear: bikes, fishing poles, stand up paddleboards, roller blades - then you can take even more advantage of the free opportunities this mountain oasis offers. The first step in having affordable days with free activities in Flagstaff (so you can spend more on that delicious nightly dinner) is to come prepared.
The second step is to plan those free activities! We listed a few (okay a lot) of our favorites to help you get on your way! Because as the saying goes…. The best things in life are free.
Go for a hike, walk, jog, run on any of the many Flagstaff trails. Flagstaff's trail system contains more trails than you could do in a weekend. Do you want an easy, well maintained, just off the road trail? Then we suggest hitting the Flagstaff Urban Trail System (FUTS, pronounced “foots”). A city-wide network of non-motorized pathways that are great for recreation or transportation. Do you spend money on Uber or downtown parking? Then the FUTS may be a great way to save some dough and walk the trail from your Airbnb to downtown. At present, there are about 56 miles of FUTS trails in Flagstaff and it's growing toward the goal of about 75 miles in the future, to complete a system of 130 miles. For another easy, well-maintained scenic walk, go to Buffalo Park located in the middle of town. It's also a great place to have a picnic!
Or, if you are looking for that hidden sufferfest, single-track trail that leads to a view, then hike any of our trails that surround town and the mountain – start at any popular trailhead: Schultz pass, Aspen Corner, Fat Man's Loop, or Elden Lookout and you will find beautiful long trails to follow anywhere you venture.
Flagstaff has so many wonderful parks for anyone to enjoy. Bushmaster Park is a beautiful local park on the east side that offers live music in the summer, while Thorpe has an amazing children's play area and plenty of tennis courts. Thorpe Park also has a Bark Park where your pup can enjoy running around off-leash with some new friends. Wheeler Park is right downtown and is a great place for an afternoon nap, a game of frisbee or to people watch. If you want a spacious park with the best views, then you must visit Buffalo Park and walk their 2-mile loop.
So maybe you prefer to cover more mileage from the comfort of your car? Flagstaff is a great place for sightseeing from your own vehicle. If you want to stay in town drive up Mars Hill (on your way to Lowell Observatory) and look out over this mountain village. Or you can drive up the mountain by heading North on 180 and turn right up Snowbowl road for a breathtaking view. The drive to Lake Mary, Mormon Lake, Oak Creek or Kendrick Park will also give you beautiful views to take in as well.
Flagstaff has two public libraries with one right downtown for your convenience. Brightside bookshop and Starrlight books are gems in downtown Flagstaff that will give your mind inspiration while you browse their collections. Finally, Bookman's (located off Milton near Sprouts) has free activities for kids on Fridays but they also have an incredible collection that is worth exploring just to enjoy the entertaining education.
It's definitely one of the best nights of the month out in town. There's something for everyone on First Friday. From storytime for children and/or adults, free wine and cookies at art exhibits, to really great specials at local shops - and well, just really good art, you'll find First Friday in Flagstaff a fun experience. It winds down pretty early, so head into a local restaurant or cocktail bar to cap off the fun night.
The trails and parks you explore will be specific to the activity you are undertaking, but there is so much more you can do outside for free then walk, run or mountain bike on a trail. Kachina wetlands are a great spot for Birding. Picture Canyon hides a secret waterfall and petroglyphs. Watch the deer and elk wander through Buffalo Park. Take a swim in Lake Mary in the summer. Go snowshoeing on the rim above Sandy's Canyon. The opportunities that exist in Flagstaff's nature are boundless.
Our local university has shaped Flagstaff since it first opened in 1899. A local Division I university with a Lumberjack for a mascot has an incredible campus atmosphere and it is very open and welcoming to the public. Drive around and get lost and enjoy seeing all it has to offer. The sidewalks are fun and creative to bike, walk or skateboard. The campus even has urban bouldering so you can go climb around. The athletic fields are fun to look at while some of the practice fields are open to public recreation at certain times. It's a mellow, welcoming campus that hosts over 20,000 students and is a part of the local community and free for you to explore.
Willow Bend strives to educate all generations of people to make choices that are healthier for themselves, the community and the planet. There are several workshops, nature hikes, and fun projects going on all the time. Do a self-guided tour of the surrounding gardens to see wildlife and wildflowers or check out the Science Saturday events.
It's a big thing here. You'll find several disc golf courses around Flagstaff, in fact, there are about 6 established courses. There are few better ways to spend an afternoon then roaming around the forest with your friends, getting some leisure exercise in the fresh air with a beverage in hand. Just be sure to not hit runners and other innocent recreationists passing by!
If you haven't already heard of the Lava Tubes, this is a volcanic vent located in Hart Prarie. As the lava flowed from the vent, the outside hardened into a tube-like formation. This newly created tunnel filled with molten lava creating a fiery faucet. Once the flow was done the cave cooled and remains a mile-long tunnel for all of those brave enough to explore it. This 700,000-year-old formation remains a cool 35°-45° even in the summer. It is open year-round, but it requires a longer approach hike during the winter. For more information, you can find it here: https://www.flagstaff.com/lava-tubes
This is the newest addition to Lowell Observatory. Although you need to purchase tickets to attend the lectures, look through the telescopes and see the exhibits, but you don't need to pay to walk around Lowell and be mesmerized by this history and discoveries that had taken place here. The Giovale Observation Deck is a public observing plaza that features six advanced telescopes that collectively give you a viewing experience of rich star fields, planets in full color, nebulae, and galaxies that reveal structure. The deck itself during non-observation hours is a great place to get inspired while learning a thing or two about our universe.
When its sunny and warmer months of June and July, Flagstaff hosts free concerts in the park. These are typically local bands that play on the grassy lawns filled with families, friends and college students alike. Enjoy face painting, picnics, dancing and music with the locals of Flagstaff.
On Sundays May-October the Flagstaff Community Market hosts farmers, artists, food vendors, and many others who come together to sell their wares. Taste delicious samples of local, organic food; find the perfect Southwest sun hat, or buy handmade furniture or kitchen cutting boards. Even if you're not wanting to buy anything, the market is a perfect place to spend a Sunday morning with a cup of coffee in hand
Movies on the Square Saturday nights in Flagstaff during the summer are second to none. Downtown Flagstaff hosts a free movie under the stars at Heritage Square. Movies are always family-friendly. So bring your sleeping bags, blankets, popcorn snacks, and your favorite movie buddy. These make for some of the best summer night memories.
Sledding, snowshoeing, snowball fights, making snowmen and igloos are a great way to spend a snowy day. Make sure to bring your thermos of hot cocoa and lots of snacks. Please make sure to take all the pieces for your sled and snack wrappers with you when you are done! We're hoping the only thing you leave behind is a happy snowman (who maybe likes warm hugs, too).
During the Spring and monsoon season (late summer), the Little Colorado River releases a gorgeous, chocolate milk looking waterfall that's technically taller than Niagra Falls. You can park your car and walk down to near the base of the falls. It gets really mucky down there from the soft dirt deposit, so make sure to wear proper footwear. You can find more details here: https://www.flagstaff.com/grand-falls-arizona
Flagstaff has endless free opportunities for you to take advantage of while you visit. So, the first step is to prepare, the second step is to plan and our final step is to explore. You will only find those financially free, soul-enriching activities by getting out there. To see what our forests have to offer and what our mountain is holding you need to put yourself outside on the trailhead. Talk to the locals and get curious about the history this place carries. You can give yourself a personal tour of the hauntings of downtown or reach Humphreys summit (12,633 ft.) with a little bit of preparation. And maybe planning those free activities will be more rewarding than you ever imagined. If you don't mind spending a little money, we've got some more recommended things to do.
Family-Friendly | Self Guided
Spend a day visiting two of the most iconic landscapes in the American Southwest- Antelope Canyon & Horseshoe Bend! Our Lower Antelope Canyon Tours take you into the heart of one of the most spectacular slot canyons in the world. Afterwards, we visit the famous Horseshoe Bend, where y
Spend a day visiting two of the most iconic landscapes in the American Southwest- Antelope Canyon & Horseshoe Bend! Our Lower Antelope Canyon Tours take you into the heart of one of the most spectacular slot canyons in the world. Afterwards, we visit the famous Horseshoe Bend, where you can peer off the edge at the mighty Colorado River!
Family-Friendly | Professionally Guided | Shuttle Transportation | Food/Beverage Included | Discounts Available
Experience the wind ripping through your hair on a thrill ride over nature's wildest predators. Enjoy the adventure of a lifetime on a world-class zip line over Out of Africa Wildlife Park in Camp Verde Arizona! We are conveniently located less than 20 miles from Sedona, in the heart of
Experience the wind ripping through your hair on a thrill ride over nature's wildest predators. Enjoy the adventure of a lifetime on a world-class zip line over Out of Africa Wildlife Park in Camp Verde Arizona! We are conveniently located less than 20 miles from Sedona, in the heart of Northern Arizona's wine country, just minutes from tasting rooms and vineyards. From the top of the towers, you can see majestic red rocks, the San Francisco peaks, and the whole breathtaking Verde Valley including Cottonwood, Clarkdale and Jerome.
Come join us for a Zip Line adventure that you'll never forget! Ride the most exciting zip line ever devised, over Out of Africa and soar over Lions, Tigers, Wolves, Hyenas, Bears, Jaguars and other natural predators!
Family-Friendly | Professionally Guided | Discounts Available
Professionally Guided | Trip Begins in Las Vegas
Professionally Guided | Low-Risk Covid-19 Activity | Trip starts in Flagstaff
Central Departure Location | Custom Options Available | Family-Friendly | Packages Available | Reservations Required | Romantic | Some Restrictions Apply | Flights from GCNP Airport | Flights from Las Vegas
Environmentally-Friendly | Family-Friendly | Low-Risk Covid-19 Activity | Pet-Friendly | Fireplace(s) | BBQ or Grill
Low-Risk Covid-19 Activity | Trip Begins in Las Vegas
Business Center | Free Hot Breakfast | Indoor Pool | Whirlpool Tubs | Fitness Center
Concierge Services | Creekside | Fireplace(s) | Free Wi-Fi | Private Patios/Balconies | Romantic | Suites | Whirlpool Tubs | Sedona Lodging | Jacuzzi | Sedona Lodging
Low-Risk Covid-19 Activity | Professionally Guided
Packages Available | Custom Options Available | Flights from GCNP Airport | Flights from Las Vegas
Discounts Available | Family-Friendly | Low-Risk Covid-19 Activity | Pet-Friendly | ADA Accessible | Self Guided
Hotel Pick-ups | COVID-19 Precautions Taken | Low-Risk Covid-19 Activity | Professionally Guided | Trip Begins in Las Vegas
Professionally Guided | Low-Risk Covid-19 Activity
Central Departure Location | Custom Options Available | Discounts Available | Family-Friendly | Free Parking | Packages Available | Reservations Required | Upgrades available
Laundry/Dry Cleaning Service | Kitchenette or Full Kitchen | Fireplace(s) | Low-Risk Covid-19 Activity | Pet-Friendly
Flagstaff Extreme Adventure Course is an elevated obstacle course set in the tall Ponderosa Pines. It is securely suspended between the trees at 15 to 60 feet off the ground. At Flagstaff Extreme, we believe the best family memories are usually ones that take place outdoors, so bring th
Flagstaff Extreme Adventure Course is an elevated obstacle course set in the tall Ponderosa Pines. It is securely suspended between the trees at 15 to 60 feet off the ground. At Flagstaff Extreme, we believe the best family memories are usually ones that take place outdoors, so bring the entire family! There are 5 adult courses and 1 junior course with obstacles ranging from tarzan ropes, to wobbly bridges, swinging logs, cargo nets, ziplines, and even an aerial surf board!
Come Play in the Trees and explore the outdoors like you never have before!
To see our availability or book a reservation, check out www.flagstaffextreme.com or give us a call at 888-259-0125!
(See our website for age and height restrictions)
Family-Friendly | Central Departure Location | Packages Available
Pet-Friendly | Kitchenette or Full Kitchen | Fireplace(s) | Whirlpool Tubs | Great View | BBQ or Grill
Whirlpool Tubs | Outdoor Pool | Sedona Lodging | Business Center | Pet-Friendly
Environmentally-Friendly | Pet-Friendly
Family-Friendly | Free Parking | Self Guided | Upgrades available | Pet-Friendly | Discounts Available | Low-Risk Covid-19 Activity
Family-Friendly | Educational
24-Hour Front Desk | Business Center | Discounts Available | Fireplace(s) | Free Self-Parking | Free Wi-Fi | Multi-Story | Outdoor Pool | Packages Available | Private Patios/Balconies | Suites | Wi-Fi Available | Free Hot Breakfast | Sedona Lodging | COVID-19 Precautions Taken | Pet-Friendly
Family-Friendly | Self Guided | Professionally Guided | Groups/Meetings
Business Center | Concierge Services | Free Wi-Fi | Indoor Pool | Jacuzzi | Fitness Center | Suites | Free Hot Breakfast | Free Self-Parking
Pet-Friendly | Kitchenette or Full Kitchen | Free Wi-Fi | Fireplace(s) | Laundry/Dry Cleaning Service | Free Self-Parking
Custom Options Available | Low-Risk Covid-19 Activity | Professionally Guided
100% Non-Smoking | 24-Hour Front Desk | Bell Desk | Business Center | Concierge Services | Fireplace(s) | Fitness Center | Free Self-Parking | Interior Hallways | Jacuzzi | Laundry/Dry Cleaning Service | On-Site Restaurant | Outdoor Pool | Private Patios/Balconies | Red Rock Views | Room Service | Suites | Valet Parking | Wi-Fi Available | Sedona Lodging | Mountain Bike Clean/Repair Station | Spa Services | Pet-Friendly
Outdoor Pool | Fitness Center | Family-Friendly | Fireplace(s) | Kitchenette or Full Kitchen | BBQ or Grill