The San Francisco Peaks are Arizona's tallest mountain range, with Humphreys peak topping 12,633 feet in elevation. From here you can see four of the six C. Hart Merriam Life Zones: Transition Zone (open Ponderosa pine woodlands), Canadian Zone (fir and aspen forest), Hudsonian Zone (spruce and bristlecone pine forest), and Arctic-Alpine Zone (alpine meadows or tundra). The endemic and federally Endangered San Francisco Peaks Ragwort (Packera franciscana) grows in the alpine zone, and can only be found here on the San Francisco Peaks. The plants in the foreground are part of our Milkweed for Monarchs seed increase project. This photo-station provides a place to observe the change in seasons over the year, and over time will allow us to observe any changes in climate.
At 7,150 feet in elevation, The Arboretum at Flagstaff is a unique destination with a unique mission, specializing in plants native to the Colorado Plateau and northern Arizona. The Arboretum is home to 750 species of plants in greenhouses, gardens, and natural habitats--located on 200 acres deep within the Coconino National Forest. Once the home of founder and philanthropist Frances McAllister, The Arboretum today houses horticultural collections and rare plant specimens nestled among historic buildings in a natural setting.