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 .
Walnut Canyon National Monument Reviews
I make my living taking photos of the national parks and famous landscapes. My work is sold on Getty Images and I have some of my work displayed in galleries in Sedona and Jerome. Walnut Canyon Nation... more »
So glad we took the time to visit and walk down along the Island Trail - a unique and delightful experience! Fascinating and scenic. We were pressed for time so just did the Island Trail and then took... more »
Due to knee issues, I couldn't do the hike down the stairs to see the ancient cliff dwellings up close. So we took the much easier hike on a paved path that winds along the rim of the canyon. Amazing ... more »
We loved walking the trail and seeing the amazing views in Walnut Canyon. The lives lived in these cliffs must have been amazing! The park is easily accessible. The hike is steep in places (stairs) but doable. The kids were able to really grasp how these people lived, as they could go in and out of the dwellings (but don’t touch). Helpful signage and markers along the way. We hiked counter-clockwise and the first half was cool and shady.
We visited Walnut Canyon on a Flagstaff trip. I would recommend it as something to make sure you do for a half day trip if you’re in the Flagstaff area. This is a small park, but there is a lot to see and learn. The visitors center has a beautiful panoramic view of the canyon out the windows. There is a small gift shop with books of local interest, and rangers that can assist with questions and information. Outside there is a paved loop trail that explores the canyon. There are old cliff dwellings that the trails goes past, and you can explore around in what is left (unfortunately many years ago when they were discovered, people took a lot of “souvenirs” and did some damage to the dwellings - but you still get a feel for what was there). The hike is very pretty, with the typical piñon/juniper forest surroundings. It takes a little imagining to picture the creek running through the canyon, since it has been rerouted for water use. But the canyon floor is majestic still. There is also a rim trail that we hiked that stays along the upper rim of the canyon. There are various points of interest along this trail as well. We spent a morning here, as a half day is about right for this park
Beautiful! Simply amazing. I only went to the south rim and then read the north rim was better. I don't know how it could be but plan on finding out in the near future. Would recommend to anyone but should mention that you should be prepared to get your daily exercise in and you may be the only one to speak English.
I love this place, so peaceful and so amazing! Just be aware there are lots and lots of stairs so make sure you allow time to go up them slowly because going down is easy! You are in the mountains and the sun reflects off the rocks so its warm. Carry water, wear a hat, and use suntan lotion and bring a camera. Take the mile walk on the rim as well. The walk around is wheelchair friendly and you will be able to see the pueblo ruins from there. One of the main reasons I walk the trail at the top of the rim is to see all of the wildlife including the vultures and hawks as they ride the winds in the area.There are more pueblo ruins you'll be able to see in the canyon from the walk at the top and there is a pit house ruin on the walk at the top. The Rangers are wonderful and knowledgeable. The restrooms are always clean and are on the outside on the front of the visitors center. The visitors center is also wheelchair friendly.
This was one of our unexpected stops on our Arizona trip and we are so glad we stopped. The area is gorgeous and full of trees. Even in late July, the temperature there was in the 80's. There are tons of different hikes in the area, but the one that starts out the back door of the visitor center is the one we did. You go down almost 300 steps into the canyon and it feels like traveling back in time. You walk right next to (and into) cave dwellings where Native Americans lived hundreds of years ago. It's surreal when you stop, look around, and notice that you're surrounded by these dwellings on all sides. If you have kids under 18, ask the Park Rangers about the Junior Ranger program. Kids can earn special pins (can't buy them, can only earn them) by doing activities and recording some things that they see.
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