NEW Community Guided Tours to Picture Canyon Natural and Cultural Preserve

Willow Bend Environmental Education Center in partnership with the Open Space Program within the City of Flagstaff’s Sustainability Section is pleased to announce that starting in June 2016 and throughout the summer months (June-September) we will be leading FREE guided tours to Picture Canyon.

Tours will last 2-3 hours and cover some of the history, ecology, geology, and archeology of Picture Canyon. The 3-mile loop will offer viewing, photography, and educational opportunities and will cover iconic sites along the way including Flagstaff’s only waterfall, Northern Sinagua petroglyphs and dwelling sites, and the Rio de Flag.

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Tours will meet on the second Saturday of the month (June-September) at 9am at the Picture Canyon Trailhead off of El Paso Flagstaff Road. From downtown Flagstaff, travel west on Route 66 toward the Flagstaff Mall. Turn right on Route 66 and left on El Paso Flagstaff Road. The trailhead is approximately ½ mile down the road on the right side.


Participants will walk approximately 3 miles on uneven trails and are encouraged to wear comfortable walking shoes and bring a hat, sunscreen, and a water bottle. The tour is free and offered on a first come first serve basis. Families are welcome, but please note the trail is not stroller suitable, and might be a little strenuous for young children.

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In addition to free community tours the partnership will include free guided field trips for Flagstaff schools and community groups during the school year, starting in September 2016. All trips must be scheduled in advance. To schedule a group or class field trip contact Cassandra Roberts, (928) 779 1745.

Cassandra Roberts, Willow Bend’s Educational Director, and tour guide, is excited about this opportunity, “We have been working with the Open Space Program for almost a year, and I am excited to expand our partnership and offer more opportunities for the public to get outside and learn about our beautiful natural and cultural resources”. Betsy Emery, Open Space Specialist, added that the City’s Open Space Program has received a number of requests for these types of tours since the City acquired Picture Canyon in 2012. The Open Space Program is excited to partner with Willow Bend to provide the community with educational tours of the high quality Willow Bend is known for.

Picture Canyon, located in northeast Flagstaff, is a natural and cultural amenity in northern Arizona, serving as a critical riparian habitat, popular recreation corridor, and home to significant cultural and archaeological resources. Through a 2004 voter approved Open Space bond and a 2012 Growing Smarter Grant, the City of Flagstaff successfully acquired this 477.8 acre parcel of land and is now working hard to make it accessible and enjoyable by residents and visitors.

For more information about the tours please visit, or contact (928)779-1745.