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Walnut Canyon National Monument

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Overview

Walnut Canyon is blessed with much natural beauty, but the highlights are the amazing ruins of the cliff dwelling Sinagua people. Populating the canyon from roughly 600-1250AD, these people hunted and farmed the canyon and rim above. The cliff dwellings were only inhabited for about 100 years, and it is not understood why they were abandoned in about 1250. They remained undisturbed until the 1880s when theft and destruction destroyed much of cultural gems and structures.

In 1915 the land was preserved as a national monument, and most of the cliff dwellings are not accessible, though a few trails take you right up to a few that you can investigate. The Island Loop trail gives you the best look at this amazing history.

Visiting Tips

This is a great place to explore any time of year, though the trails could be dangerous if it just snowed.

Recommended Routes in Walnut Canyon National Monument - 1

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Favorite View of cliff dwellings
Intermediate/Difficult

Island Loop

0.8 mi 1.3 km 233' Up 71.05 m Up 234' Down 71.22 m Down

Flagstaff, AZ

Walnut Canyon National Monument Running

  • 20 Miles 32 Kilometers of Trail
  • 1 Recommended Route
  • 2 Easy Trails Easy Trails
  • 1 Intermediate Trail Intermediate Trails
  • 0 Difficult Trails Difficult Trails
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Trails in Walnut Canyon National Monument - 2

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0.4 mi 0.7 km #1Rim Trail
Easy/Intermediate
Flagstaff, AZ
Easy/Intermediate
Flagstaff, AZ
18.4 mi 29.6 km #2AZT - Passage 31 - Walnut Canyon
Easy
Mountainaire, AZ
Easy
Mountainaire, AZ

Photos of Walnut Canyon National Monument - 10

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View of cliff dwellings
Jul 29, 2018 near Flagstaff, AZ
View of  Walnut Canyon.
Jul 29, 2018 near Flagstaff, AZ
Look carefully and you can see the trail and one cliff dwelling. Look very carefully and you can see dozens of dwellings.
Dec 31, 2015 near Flagstaff, AZ
View of the forest above the canyon.
Jul 29, 2018 near Flagstaff, AZ
One section of hundreds of Anasazi cliff dwellings.
Dec 19, 2015 near Flagstaff, AZ
Investigating the cliff dwellings.
Dec 19, 2015 near Flagstaff, AZ
The Anasazi were apparently shorter than your average 10-year-old!
Dec 19, 2015 near Flagstaff, AZ
Anasazi dwelling dot the cliffs below.
Dec 19, 2015 near Flagstaff, AZ
Mt. Humphrey above, cliff dwellings (hard to see) dot the cliffs below.
Dec 19, 2015 near Flagstaff, AZ
Lots of stairs on this short hike!
Dec 19, 2015 near Flagstaff, AZ