Walnut Canyon National Monument, Flagstaff

4.8
Nestled along the 2,040 m (6,690 ft) rim of its namesake canyon, Walnut Canyon National Monument gives you the chance to view indigenous dwellings dating back almost 800 years. Spread over more than 2,145 hectares (5,300 acres), the park contains 25 different cliff dwellings built by the Sinagua people. You can wander between these sites using the monument's 1.4 km (0.9 mi) trail looping down the side of the canyon. However, be aware that the hike back to the trailhead involves 240 steps. Plan to see Walnut Canyon National Monument and other attractions that appeal to you using our Flagstaff road trip planning site .
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Walnut Canyon National Monument Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
2,053 reviews
Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • Livin’ on the Edge The hike around the Island is mildly strenuous, but worth the effort. Everything else is easily accessible. Definitely worth spending 2-3 hours here. Hint: America the Beautiful pas...  more »
  • Had a great time hiking all the way to the bottom and back, hard to imagine the lives these people lived. They had a rough time trying to survive but it seems they must have been happy  more »
  • Beautiful memories of the beautiful Grand Canyon and Walnut Canyon...unbelivable colors of sand earth and clear blue skies  more »
Google
  • Really nice park. The scenery is gorgeous and the path is really interesting. Lots of stairs and some narrow parts of the path by pretty high drops but there were plenty of people of all ages and abilities there that did fine. They have a nice informational video you can watch if you choose. The paths to the left of the canyon have some nice views, informational signs, and tables to sit.
  • Walnut Canyon NM is located only 10 miles from Flagstaff AZ. It was the home to an ancient people who lived in this canyon, building along its steep walls some 700 years ago. Your trip starts at its visitor center located at the elevation of 6690 ft. Because of its high elevation, winters will be cold and snowy. Summers can be intensely hot and the Island Trail's sun exposure requires plenty of water and sun protection. There are two trails that start from the Walnut Canyon visitor center: The Rim Trail (0.7 miles) is fairly level, taking visitors to Walnut Canyon overlooks that allow viewing access of canyon ruins. The trail to the first overlook is paved, and is stroller and wheelchair friendly. A strenuous hike takes one into Walnut Canyon. Called the Island Trail, it is a one mile loop that drops towards the valley floor (elevation 6340 ft). The first trail section contains a flight of many stairs that quickly drops some 165 ft before leveling out. Here, a paved loop trail takes one by 25 cliff ruins. No climbing is allowed on the canyon's walls. Walnut Canyon NM is one of many southwestern National Parks that protects the site of ruins from ancient people and their cultures from long ago. This park, due to its close proximity to Flagstaff, began that protection in 1904. The original ranger cabin is still on site. This is a wonderful park that allows self-guiding access to many amazing cliff ruins. If visiting here, please continue that legacy of protection by staying on the trail, for all to enjoy.
  • Always a hidden gem in Flagstaff. Get there before 4pm to have the most choices because they don't let you go into the canyon after 4 or on the rim after 430 and the place closes at 5pm. Small visitor center with bathrooms, etc. The rim path is nice and level and paved. Also, good for dogs... the trail into the canyon has about 400 steps and not dogs allowed.
  • Great hike (a bit steep so use caution) and the kids (4 and 6) did well! They completed their Junior Ranger book and earned a badge from the Park Ranger. The cliff dwellings were so interesting and kept the kids engaged. Breathtaking views!
  • The Island Trail is very intimidating (with 300+ stairs into the canyon that once you go down, you'll have to go back up again), but oh, so worth it! There are also some scary cliff edges. That being said, we did the trail with 9 kids (ages 9 and under) and 4 adults, and we all survived! (Take plenty of water!) Is a beautiful trail, with lots of plaques to read about the plants and historical uses of the cliff dwellings. The dwellings themselves are amazing. And you can even go inside most of them. How people could live there is a mystery.

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Where to stay in Flagstaff

Flagstaff's diverse assortment of hotels and motels provides all the amenities you need to relax after a long day adventuring. The city is home to a number of luxury bed and breakfasts complete with jetted tubs and fireplaces. Budget-friendly bed and breakfasts have fewer facilities and are often farther out of town, but boast plenty of charm and character. If you like the outdoors, take advantage of the city's mountain surroundings and pitch a tent at a campground in nearby Kaibab National Forest.
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