The City of Flagstaff acquired the 2,251-acre Observatory Mesa Natural Area from the Arizona State Land Department in 2013 given its open space value, unique scenic beauty, native vegetative communities, diverse wildlife habitats, and historical resources. The property is a natural amenity for northern Arizona and provides important habitat for large mammals travelling between the San Francisco Peaks and Mogollon Rim. Additionally, its proximity to Lowell Observatory makes it an important area for protecting Flagstaff's dark skies from light pollution. 

What You'll See

Take a hike on the Tunnel Springs Trail, Observatory Mesa Trail, or Mars Hill Trail for expansive views of the San Francisco Peaks and opportunities to see elk, mule deer, pronghorn, grey fox, porcupines, bats, goshawks, owls, and bald eagles. 

Getting There

From downtown Flagstaff, travel west on Cherry Street. Turn right on Thorpe Road. Turn right into the parking area for the Thorpe Park Bark Park. Observatory Mesa Natural Area is accessible by foot via the FUTS trail to the west of Thorpe Road. 


Helpful Tips


Flagstaff Urban Trail System, Flagstaff Loop Trail, adjacent to Thorpe Park and Lowell Observatory.

Access Info 

Vehicular access is available during the summer via a network of Forest Service roads. Be sure to only utilize roads that are designated as "open" under the most recent Motor Vehicle Use Map. 


City of Flagstaff