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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.

On October 6, 2015, the Flagstaff City Council unanimously approved the Picture Canyon Management Plan, a document that guides projects at the Preserve.

For more information about the history of Picture Canyon, click here.
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.

Picture Canyon has been designated as an Arizona Watchable Wildlife Experience Site given the number of birds and mammals that call Picture Canyon home.

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           

We are please to announce that Willow Bend Environmental Education Center will be hosting a guided tour of Picture Canyon from 9:00am - 12:00pm every second Saturday of the month from June through September. These free, guided tours will provide information about the natural and cultural history of Picture Canyon Preserve. If interested, meet at the Picture Canyon Trailhead at 9:00am. Contact Willow Bend at 928-779-1745 for more information.