Flagstaff to Page

Colorado Plateau

Distance (miles)

Flagstaff Elevation (feet)

Page Elevation (feet)

The federal highway, US Route 89, officially has its southern terminus on the east side of Flagstaff where it intersects with Santa Fe Avenue (old Route 89/66) and I-40.

The first section of 89 north of Flagstaff passes through the San Francisco Mountains Volcanic Field. To the west are the San Francisco Peaks and the highest mountain in Arizona, Humphreys Peak at 12,643 feet. On the east side of highway 89 is Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument and the prehistoric ruins of the Singua people at Wupatki National Monument.

US Route 89 gradually descends into the Painted Desert and enters the Navajo Indian Reservation just north of Gray Mountain. At the Cameron trading post, the highway crosses the Little Colorado River. To reach the south rim of the Grand Canyon, take Arizona Route 64 just south of Cameron. After passing the intersection of US Route 160, highway 89 parallels the massive red Echo Cliffs.

Construction of Glen Canyon Dam on the Colorado River began in 1956. With the completion of a bridge in 1959, US 89 was rerouted from Bitter Springs to Page. From Bitter Springs, the highway climbs onto the Kaibito Plateau hugging the cliff face to a spectacular road cut at Antelope Pass. Approaching Page, Lake Powell and Glen Canyon Dam come into view.

Special Attractions

Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument

Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument

Arizona

Get close to one of the biggest of the volcanic formations in the San Francisco Volcanic Field by taking the loop road sixteen miles north of Flagstaff through Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument. Sunset Crater is the youngest volcano in the area erupting about 900 years ago. The road passes through the Bonita Lava Flow where magma oozed out at the base. The cone is 1,000 feet high and is crowned by red oxidized cinders that seem to glow at sunset and gave the peak its name.

Wupatki National Monument

Wupatki National Monument

Arizona

Also on the loop road off US Route 89 is Wupatki National Monument where the ruins of prehistoric Indian dwellings are open to visitors. These ancient buildings were occupied for about 100 years shortly after the formation of Sunset Crater. The ash made the land more fertile by absorbing moisture and preventing evaporation. By 1180 thousands of people were farming this region. Their multistory buildings are still standing today as a testament to their excellence as stone masons.

Grand Canyon National Park-South Rim

Grand Canyon National Park-South Rim

Arizona

Turn west on Arizona Route 64 just south of Cameron to reach the east entrance to the south rim of Gand Canyon National Park. Stop at Desert View and climb to the top of Mary Colter’s tower to get your first view down into the Inner Gorge of the Grand Canyon. Then continue along the East Rim Drive and stop at the view points along the way to the new Visitors Center at Mather Point. Then hop on a scuttle bus along the West Rim Drive and view sunset at Hopi Point.

Painted Desert

Painted Desert

Arizona

As US 89 approaches Cameron, you enter the western edge of the Painted Desert. The colorful formations were formed by erosion of a soft layer of siltstone, mudstone and shale that was created in the swampy environment at the edge of an ancient sea. Iron and manganese provide pigments that color the rock layers. The Painted Desert extends north along the base of the Echo Cliffs.

View photo galleries of special attractions along US Route 89 between Flagstaff and Page…

The Flagstaff to Page Road Trip Guide is sponsored by

Grand Canyon Association—enriching experience through knowledge

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Towns, Cities and Reservations

Flagstaff
Antelope Hills
Gray Mountain
Navajo Indian Reservation
Cameron
Willow Springs
The Gap
Cedar Ridge
Bitter Springs
Page

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Public Lands and Historic Places

Riordan State Historic Park
Coconino National Forest
Kachina Peaks Wilderness
Walnut Canyon National Monument
Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument
Strawberry Crater Wilderness
Wupatki National Monument
Grand Canyon National Park-South Rim

mountain

Landmarks

San Francisco Peaks
Cinder Hills
Deadman Mesa
Painted Desert
Ward Terrace
Little Colorado River
Hamblin Ridge
Echo Cliffs
Petal Hills
Kaibito Plateau

View these articles to find out more about…

Getting to Page, Arizona, on US 89T

UPDATE: As of March 2015, US Route 89 between Bitter Springs and Page has reopened with the completion of repairs to the highway as it ascends the Echo Cliffs. US 89T is now Navajo Route 20 and is a possible alternative. Heavy trucks and vehicles...

The Painted Desert Project

The last place you would expect to find street art is along US Route 89 on the Navajo Reservation. But there it is. You can’t miss it as you head north from Flagstaff. It’s on tanks and roadside jewelry stands. Big black and white photographs pasted up there for all...

US Route 89 Roadside Attraction: Horseshoe Bend Overlook

When water slowly flows across a flood plain it tends to curve back and forth or meander. Meandering rivers erode sediment from the outer curve of each meander bend and deposit it on an inner curve further down stream. This causes individual meanders to grow larger...

What makes life so fine on Route 89 by Wayne Ranney

On the last day of our Spring 2010 Road Trip we had breakfast with Wayne Ranney in Flagstaff. Wayne was an early supporter of the US Route 89 project; in fact he is Member #2 of the US Route 89 Appreciation Society (Barbara is #1). He and his wife, Helen, are sponsors...

Grand Canyon

It has been several years since I have been to the Grand Canyon to photograph. For about 15 years in the 80's and 90's I spent as much time as I could in the canyon including raft trips, rim to river hikes and photographing from nearly every view point on both rims. I...

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