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Picture Canyon
With funding from the 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 for $4.778 million. Located in northeast Flagstaff, Picture Canyon is a natural and cultural amenity to northern Arizona, serving as a critical riparian habitat, popular recreation corridor, and home to significant cultural and archaeological resources. The acquisition of Picture Canyon provides a natural place for members of the Flagstaff community to learn about ecology, geology, and archaeology, while participating in outdoor recreation.
A Google map of Picture Canyon can be found here.
From Tucson/Phoenix/all points south of Flagstaff:
  • Take I-17 to eastbound I-40 in Flagstaff. 
  • Take exit 201 (Country Club), turn left onto Country Club Blvd. 
  • At the intersection with Highway 89 North, turn right. 
  • At the second signal, turn right onto Marketplace and travel about 1 mile to the T intersection with Test Place. 
  • Turn right, and at the next stop sign, turn left onto old Route 66. 
  • Drive 1/2 mile and turn left onto El Paso Flagstaff Road. 
  • You will see a sign for the Wildcat Water Treatment Plant. Stay on this road, which curves to the right around the water treatment plant property. There will be a parking lot on your right. 

Picture Canyon Natural and Cultural Preserve is a great place hike, mountain bike, horseback ride, photograph the natural environment, watch wildlife, experience fall colors, and discover cultural resources, including petroglyphs.

The Preserve is open to the public year round. There are no facilities available.

Please follow proper cultural resource etiquette as well as state and federal laws. Do not deface ruins or remove artifacts from the Preserve.

To learn more about the plants found in the Preserve, view our plant list

Trail Information:
Trail Name Distance Important Information
Don Weaver  0.7 miles Provides views of the inner canyon and lush riparian area. As of April 2015, this trail has not been formally designated or constructed. Some elevation change required climbing out of the canyon.
Tom Moody Loop  2.8 miles Utilizes abandoned road beds to form an outer loop around the Preserve. There is currently no directional signage installed. Relatively flat trail.
Arizona Trail
(within Preserve)
 1.5 miles A segment of the 800+ mile trail that connects Mexico and Utah. Trail is easy to distinguish and there is little change in elevation in this portion.

No hunting, fishing, woodcutting, or motorized vehicles are allowed within the Preserve. Do not climb on the Canyon walls or swim in the Rio de Flag.          

Picture Canyon  
Picture Canyon 3_thumb.jpg           

Picture Canyon National Trails Day
Saturday, June 6, 2015, 8:00 am - 1:00 pm

Please join us at the El Paso Parking Area to build trails, pull invasive weeds, and revegetate the Picture Canyon Natural and Cultural Preserve. To volunteer, please contact Betsy Emery at or 928-213-2154. 

Sturdy closed-toe shoes, long pants, sunscreen, water, and head protection are required. Hardhats, gloves, tools, and trail work instructions will be provided. Children under 18 must be accompanied by a parent/guardian.