Beat the Heat: The Arboretum at Flagstaff

The Arboretum at FlagstaffAugust, the dead of summer in Phoenix, is about the time I start talking gibberish.  Let’s move to Alaska, become polar explorers and fish fresh Coho out of a flesh-numbing creek, I mutter.  I say it’s gibberish because I left Minnesota 15 years ago after a particularly hellish winter where, on one special day, my car became encased in ice.  It was like a tiny ice cube Christmas ornament with a car inside…only this was actual size.

Now, after 15 summers in Phoenix, I have the same disorder but in reverse:  I now have to flee the heat.  And so it was that we packed up the car on a Saturday morning and set out for Flagstaff–2-1/2 hours away and 30 degrees cooler.

I try to visit gardens wherever we travel, so we hit up The Arboretum at Flagstaff.  It’s right off of I-40, some four miles down a mostly unpaved road, but it feels like you’re a million miles away.  It’s quiet…peaceful…rustic.

Called “America’s Mountain Garden,” the Arboretum boasts one of the largest collections of high-country wildflowers as well as forested trails and mountain meadows to explore.  There are guided walks, wildlife program and stuff for the kids to do.  And a gift shop for shoppers.

We only had an hour-and-a-half to poke around, but we’ll definitely go back.  Stop in, if you get a chance…if only just for the change in pace!


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