Welcome to IdealLocationGear.com where we share your passion for the outdoors, your love for human powered experiences and your deep appreciation of the natural world. We are driven by our motivation to preserve and protect our environment for not only ourselves but our children, our grandchildren and all future generations.
We are located in the mountain town of Flagstaff, AZ (elevation 7,000′) and minutes from some of the most coveted outdoor recreation in the country. We enjoy 300 days of sunshine per year and are surrounded by millions of acres of national forest, national monuments, national parks and never ending trails! Our local ecosystems range from piñon-juniper studded plateaus, high desert red rock, green alpine forest and even alpine tundra can all be found within a short distance of town.
In the northern Arizona high country we’re blessed to be able to climb, bike, hike and run all year round! When the weather is cold, the snow-covered peaks call us to ski, snowboard, Nordic, snow shoe mountaineer and even camp. When things warm up, we shed our layers and get out on the trails to hike, backpack, mountain bike and trail run. Flagstaff is also the gateway to one of the world’s natural wonders in Grand Canyon National Park. Seven other national parks and monuments are within a day trips drive. On the water we enjoy everything from lazy summer floating to kayaking and rafting the rapids of the mighty Colorado River. From multi-day Canyon rim to rim backpacking trips to the alpine meadows of the inner Basin, day trips through the lava tubes, yoga on the red rocks or multi week Colorado River expeditions the opportunities for adventure and exploration are truly endless.
Kachina Wilderness: For back-country and alpine hiking head to the 18,960 acre Kachina Peaks Wilderness for a hiking adventure in the upper reaches of the San Francisco Peaks including Humphreys Peak, Arizona’s highest point at 12,643 feet. Sacred to hikers and the Hopi people, this northern Arizona landscape offers challenging trails through the forest and meadows of the mountain’s lower slopes. Some trails lead to the peaks of the mountain’s inner basin, a huge caldera formed during the mountain’s most recent volcanic cataclysm that is now spectacular alpine meadows. Mountain scenery and views from these trails are worth the journey!
Snowbowl: It snows in Arizona? Yep, if you live in Flag you better love the white stuff. In town we average more than 110″ of it every winter with well over two to three times that amount on the peaks. The Snowbowl resort opened in 1938 and is now one of the oldest continually operated ski area in the country. Located on the majestic San Francisco Peaks, with 777 skiable acres, a base elevation of 9200 feet, 2300 foot vertical drop and an average of 260 inches of snowfall annually!
The Trails: Named one of the “Top Seven Trail Towns in America,” by Trailrunner Magazine, Flagstaff is a hiking nirvana and one of the top hiking destinations in the world. Towering above the Volcanic Highlands at 12,643 feet into the blue Arizona sky, San Francisco Peaks offer challenging trails to three summits that ring this dormant volcano. Located only 14 miles from downtown Flagstaff, the trailhead for Humphreys Summit, the highest peak in Arizona, offers amazing hiking challenges and spectacular panoramic views that stretch to the Grand Canyon. The 817-mile Arizona National Scenic Trail, stretching from Mexico to Utah, cut’s through town.
The Canyon: aka The Grand Canyon: When you experience the Canyon you’re first aroused by the grandeur and majesty. If you’re lucky enough to spend time in the Canyon below the rim a further liberation awaits. The modern world falls away as you drop below the rim. It’s a trip not just out of the human realm, but into the deep geology of the earth. Layer upon layer of the planet’s crust is revealed, stratum by stratum: the Toroweap limestone, the Coconino sandstone, the Redwall limestone, the Tonto Group, and finally the Vishnu schist deep down which is close to two billion years old, nearly half the total age of the planet. Hiking on the stuff that is under our very feet as we go about our lives is laid bare here. And in the silence and stillness, in the solitude of the canyon in winter, it’s all the more impressive.
The Native Lands: Some of America’s most overlooked outdoor gems are near our backyard and offer a whole other level of exploration and spiritual experiences: amazing slot canyons of Antelope Canyon on the Navajo Nation are a surreal fantasy of smooth and curved red sand stone walls; Monument Valley’s buttes, mesas and iconic monuments reaching to the clouds; Petrified Forest National Park; Canyon de Chelly; Grand Falls and Havasupai Falls, just to name a few.
Red Rocks: For R&R and a break in the weather we head south to the red rock scenery and hiking trails of Sedona. The 30-mile stretch between Flagstaff to Sedona drops and carves through dramatic Oak Creek Canyon.
The City of Flagstaff: What’s not to love about Flag? Flagstaff is the outdoor recreation capital of the southwest, offering year around activities such as mountain biking, hiking, camping, trail running, skiing, rock climbing, white water rafting. At an elevation of 7,000 feet, in the midst of the world’s largest ponderosa pine forest, Flagstaff is a four season hub of activity where an eclectic mix of small town charm and endless outdoor adventure opportunities always beckon. Those who like to hit the town will have a hard time choosing between all of the locally-owned shops, micro-breweries, restaurants and galleries in our historic downtown. Flagstaff is infused with new energy both from its residents and college students at Northern Arizona University. The university adds jobs to the city’s economy, plus arts and entertainment to its cultural scene. Flagstaff has its own unique vibe, mixed with small college town energy, it stimulates the mind and spirit.
Flagstaff is a magnet for elite swimmers and runners intent on altitude training. Olympic athletes from around the globe come to gain an edge in the thin air and high altitude training facilities. In town we hit the flat, 50-plus-mile Flagstaff Urban Trail System encircling town. On the edge of town the aspen groves and grassland prairies trails near Hart Prairie Road are dotted with summer wild flowers and ideal for cross country skiing in winter. Schultz Pass and the surrounding creek trails are the money spot for mountain biking.
Flagstaff is all about playing hard and then unwinding; be it floating down the river, listening to music in the square and sipping a delicious microbrew. More than a half dozen microbreweries call Flag home, and there’s never a shortage of good places to eat.
Flagstaff is America’s First Dark Sky City and has been named to numerous “best places” lists over the years: “Top Five Cities in the country for Runners” – Outside Magazine, “9 Fittest Towns in the West” – Sunset Magazine, “Top 10 Places for Bicyclists” – Outside Magazine, “Best Place to Retire for those seeking the best year-round climate” – U.S. News & World Report, “Top 10 Cities with the Best Summer Climate” – CustomWeather, “100 Best Retirement Towns” – Where to Retire Magazine, “Five Best College Towns” – Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, “50 Most Alive Places to Live” – Modern Maturity Magazine, “America’s Best Towns” – Outside Magazine, and “Best Places to Live” – Men’s Journal.
What can we say? We’re not the only ones who love it here. This is paradise.
That’s our playground, but where is yours?
Ideal Location is building out a community of brand and destination ambassadors.
Pin your Ideal Location.
“This is the most beautiful place on earth. There are many such places. Every man, every woman, carries in heart and mind the image of the ideal place, the right place, the one true home, known or unknown, actual or visionary.” Edward Abbey