Located just north of Flagstaff, Arizona, the San Francisco Peaks reach their highest point at the 12,633-foot summit of Mount Humphries. At least thirteen Native American tribes, including the Havasupai, Navajo, Hopi, and Zuni, attach religious significance to the range. Once the fiery center of one of Arizona's most explosive volcanoes, the five peaks (Agassiz, Fremont, Schultz, Doyle, and Humphries) surround the now dormant inner core, protecting land that the native people believe to be sacred. The Navajo consider the range to be their sacred mountains of the west, and medicine men use the herbs collected from the mountaintops in healing ceremonies. For the Hopi, the San Francisco Peaks are home the katsinam or kachina spirits, ancestors who have become clouds after their deaths. The kachinas are honored and revered at the peaks in hopes that they will bless the crops below with a quiet rain that will ensure strong growth and healthy lives. The Zuni, Havasupai, and Yavapai-Apache also consider these graceful remnants of the volcanic highlands to be sacred and go there regularly to pray and honor the spirits that dwell there.
In 1629, 147 years before the California city of San Francisco received its name, Franciscan friars founded a mission in honor of Saint Francis at a Hopi Indian village sixty-five miles from the peaks. These Franciscans at Oraibi gave the name San Francisco to the peaks.