Flagstaff is located in Coconino County and is the county seat. It lies north of Phoenix between Williams and Winslow, along Interstate 40. The city also is near Lake Mary and Ashurst Lake.
A lofty pine tree, fashioned into a flagpole for the Declaration of Independence Centennial, inspired the settlement's name. Situated along a dusty wagon trail extending to California, Flagstaff sprang up after railroad tracks appeared in 1881.
Today Flagstaff, is a transportation, governmental, commercial, educational and cultural hub. Tourism is a significant employment source. Flagstaff's environs also attract photographers and film producers. Points of interest include Northern Arizona University and Lowell Observatory. The Grand Canyon is the premier area attraction with approximately 5 million visitors a year. Nearby Wupatki and Walnut Canyon national monuments contain prehistoric Native American ruins. Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument also is in the area.