Flagstaff Wildflower Season
by Austin Young| NAU Social Media | Digital Communications Specialist |
It isn’t hard to miss the colorful clusters of flowers that line up on the sides of roadways.
You will run into wildflowers while traversing through nature whether it is colorful lavender lupine up at Snow Bowl or the yellow flowers that adorn Fort Valley’s flower field.
The most notable of the flowers — the golden sunflowers.
You can find them all over town from Lake Mary, to Sunset Crater, and even on our very own NAU campus.
Sunflowers by NAU’s SBS building. Circa 2018.
The most popular spot for photographing flowers in town is easily the Fort Valley Flower Field.
If I had to pick one word to describe the view it would be PICTURESQUE.
If you’re looking to capture the beauty of it all, grab a camera for some beautiful landscape shots or fun vibrant portraits.
You can use a wide angle lens to capture the vast expanse of sun flowers or use a mid-range or telephoto lens to do tighter, close up shots of flowers or portraits of people.
Make sure to plan ahead. The sunflowers typically start popping up in late July, peak in mid-August and wither away by early September.
The field is located at the intersection of Shultz Pass Road and the US-180 when heading towards Snowbowl.
Please be respectful of the fact that most of the field is on privately owned land.
Other spots for sunflowers:
- There are random spots throughout North and South campus that sprout sunflowers. Check out Slug Garden near SBS.
- Along the road to and at Lake Mary and Mormon Lake.
- Sporadically around Buffalo Park.
- When the conditions are right there are sometimes sunflower fields that sprout up near Sunset Crater on Wupatki Loop Road. This is a lesser known spot for sunflower field scenery.
My favorite photo of Flagstaff sunflowers that I’ve taken. They can be enjoyed at night as well. Circa August 2017.
Other great Flagstaff views :
- Aspen Corner and Kachina Wilderness Area near Snow Bowl
You can hike under the aspens or settle down in a large, open grass field to watch the sun set.
2. Buffalo Park
You can walk/run the pathways of Buffalo Park during the day or enjoy the perks of living in a Dark Sky City by stargazing under the night sky.
3. Lake Mary
Perfect for day or night. During the day, you can also partake in recreational activities such as canoeing, fishing, or boating. By night, Lake Mary is one of the darkest places in Flagstaff — offering an unparalleled view of the stars up above.
4. Mars Hill
Enjoy a scenic overlook of NAU’s campus and the surrounding Flagstaff community. Be mindful that this area is private property and has set hours for when it is open to the public.
Things to Look forward to: Fall
As we approach October, we will be trading golden pedals for golden leaves.
Fall in Flagstaff brings change in the form of all sorts of leaves turning from green to oranges, yellows, browns, and reds. This is most apparent with our aspens trees all around Flagstaff.
Just like with flowers, you can find locations with clusters of aspens. The most famous spot being Lockett Meadow with its large stretch of aspen trees that tower over the Inner Basin Trail.
However the road to Lockett Meadow is a difficult, rocky one and shouldn’t be underestimated.
An easier location to get to is Aspen Corner, a popular destination for sight seeing and picture taking.
Aspen Corner. Circa October 2019.
Here’s to adventure and capturing all that Flagstaff has to offer