In this 400-foot-deep wooded canyon east of Flagstaff, the remains of 300 small 13th-century Sinagua cliff dwellings can be seen in the undercut layers of limestone. These cliff dwellings, though not as impressive as the ruins at Montezuma Castle National Monument or nearby Wupatki National Monument, are worth visiting for the chance to explore the well-preserved rooms, which the canyon setting protected from the elements (and from enemies). The same Sinagua people who built and then abandoned the stone pueblos in Wupatki National Monument migrated southward to settle for 150 years in Walnut Canyon. A self-guided trail leads from the visitor center on the canyon rim down 185 feet to a section of the canyon wall where 25 cliff dwellings can be viewed up close (some can even be entered). Bring binoculars so that you can scan the canyon walls for other cliff dwellings. Twice a month from Memorial Day to Labor Day (on the first and last Saturday), guided hikes are led into the monument’s backcountry (reservations required). There’s a picnic area near the visitor center.
Walnut Canyon National Monument
7 1/2 mi E of Flagstaff on Walnut Canyon Rd., USA
Our Rating Neighborhood Around Town Hours May–Oct daily 8am–5pm; Nov–Apr daily 9am–5pm. Visitor center closed Christmas. Phone 928/526-3367 Prices $15 adults, free for kids 15 and under Web site Walnut Canyon National Monument
Map7 1/2 mi E of Flagstaff on Walnut Canyon Rd. USA Flagstaff
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.