Astronomical Adventures' high desert viewing site is located approximately 35 miles southeast of Flagstaff, in the middle of the Flying M Ranch, a 90,000 acre working cattle ranch (twice the size of Washington D.C.) perched 6300 feet above sea level. The site is among the darkest, most transparent and frequently clear to be found this side of orbit. The ranch's location just west of Meteor Crater is in the weather shadow created by the mountains to the west, an area that receives only about 5-8 inches of rain annually.
Selected from over 200 potential areas nationwide, we have found our location in Northern Arizona to be the ideal site for our adventures. While Arizona enjoys more sunny days and starry nights than any other state in the country, the Flagstaff vicinity offers a spectacular combination of geologic diversity and astronomical viewing conditions and significance, with less light pollution and more moderate temperatures than Kitt Peak and the surrounding Tucson area (average day-time temperatures range from the mid-50s in early spring and late fall, to the mid-80s at summer's peak). The Colorado Plateau arguably contains the most spectacular and diverse geology on the face of the Earth, with representations of nearly every significant structure and process to be found in the Solar System.
Lowell Observatory, US Naval Observatory, National Undergraduate Research Observatory, USGS Perkins Telescope, and the 1/4 mile diameter Navy Prototype Optical Interferometer (NPOI) all selected this area for similar reasons. The city of Flagstaff preserves the surrounding dark skies with strict low lighting ordinances due to the proximity of these major observatories, while offering many amenities and activities as a major tourist gateway to the Grand Canyon.