Where the Rio de Flag runs by the museum, a deep basalt canyon and abundant coyote willows and Gambel's oak attract a diversity of migratory songbirds every spring and fall. An overlook and interpretive signs greet visitors near the entrance to the museum. Stop into the Museum for exhibits on Northern Arizona's history, geology, cultures, and more.

What you'll see

Deer, elk, fox, and bats are regular visitors in this area. A nature trail leads down into the riverbed where flowering plants and shrubs attract countless butterflies. Lizards are also easy to spot among the rocks. 

Just across the Rio de Flag is another Watchable Wildlife site, the Cheshire Wetlands. This site includes a viewing platform for the small wetland located south of the parking lot along Highway 180/Fort Valley Road. 

Getting There

From downtown Flagstaff, drive north on Highway 180 approximately 3 miles to the Museum of Northern Arizona (3101 N. Fort Valley Rd). Park in the museum lot; signs lead the way to the nature trail on the southwest side of the building. 

Helpful Tips


Walking trail with interpretive information. Museum (entry fee required) with exhibits, events, restrooms. 

Access Info 

Parking and trailhead are paved. Trail is rugged, dirt, and seasonally under snow. 


The short and convenient trail in the mini canyon right by the Museum of Northern Arizona has all sorts of wildlife surprises. In this AWWE audio guide, hear about the seasonal progression of birds you can see and hear from MNA’s Jodi Griffith. Learn how to spot the endemic Wupatki scorpion that’s found amongst the rocks here, from MNA biologist Larry Stevens.

Narrated by Rose Houk, recorded and produced by Diane Hope with funding from the AZGFD Heritage Fund. Recordings of red-naped sapsucker, warbling vireo, red faced and McGillivray’s warbler, wester tanager courtesy of Cornell Lab of Ornithology. 


Museum of Northern Arizona