Flagstaff Vacations, Hotels & Lodging

Walnut Canyon

Walnut Canyon Ancient Cliff Dwelling
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Ancient dwellings of the Sinagua. Between 1100 and 1250, Walnut Canyon was home to several hundred Sinagua Indians that built cliff dwellings into the alcoves of the canyon walls. About 80 cliff dwellings were built throughout Walnut Canyon as shelter from the elements. Under the overhangs, these ancient natives constructed three side walls of rock and mud masonry with the back side of the alcove walls acting as the fourth wall. The rock ledges served as the dwelling floor. It is believed that the Sinagua Indians migrated from the Sunset Crater area just north of Flagstaff when volcanic eruptions made that land virtually uninhabitable. As skilled farmers, the waters from Walnut Creek that fed their new canyon home made soil fertile and ideal for growing crops.

The Sinagua mysteriously left Walnut Canyon about 1250. Many believe they integrated with other ancient Indian tribes and were the ancestors of today's Hopi and Navajo Native Americans. The Sinagua Indians left their cliff dwellings and artifact treasures as gifts to the world giving tourists that visit the Walnut Canyon National Monument an insight into past ancient times that can only be imagined.

Take a step back in time. Bring your spirit of adventure and hiking shoes. There are two trails or you can take a ranger-guided hike. The Rim Trail is fairly level and easy with great canyon views across a 3/4 mile round trip. The Island Trail is a more strenuous one mile round trip that descends into the canyon to experience 25 cliff dwellings. A museum and picnic area is available to visitors. Check the Walnut Canyon National Monument website for schedules and fees.

Directions To Walnut Canyon. Walnut Canyon National Monument is located about 7.5 miles southeast of Flagstaff, Arizona. Take Interstate 40 East and exit south at Exit 204. Continue south on Exit 204 for about 3 miles to the canyon rim. For the nearest lodging, see Flagstaff hotels or Flagstaff Bed and Breakfast Inns. Vacation Cabins and Vacation Homes are ideal for longer stays in Flagstaff.

Walnut Canyon Visitor's Center
(928) 526-3367

This page was last modified on 21 December 2011 at 10:32
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