Slightly off the beaten path near Flagstaff sits a cliff that once housed families belonging to the Sinagua tribe. The cliff dwellings above Walnut Canyon give you an idea of what life would be Read more...
Slightly off the beaten path near Flagstaff sits a cliff that once housed families belonging to the Sinagua tribe. The cliff dwellings above Walnut Canyon give you an idea of what life would be like in this high elevation without any air conditioning or Wi-Fi. Stones and dried mud come together to form a strong structure beneath the cliff face, nearly 600 feet above the canyon floor.
Sinagua people constructed the wall to create a home in the rock face along a curving part of Walnut Canyon. You have two trails to follow here. The Rim Trail, about 3/4 of a mile, follows the upper part of the canyon and has very little elevation change. To reach the ruins, The Island Trail is 1 mile long, and you need to climb 240 steps to get in and out of the canyon. Along the way, you get to gaze upon 20 ruins leftover from this settlement.
The homes in the rock face date back to the 12th or 13th centuries as some of the oldest structures in the southwestern United States. You can almost imagine living here, with crops growing near the stream bank and some wildlife passing through. Guided hikes are a good choice here, as rangers can take you off the normal path and even up to the 1904 cabin built on the site. Bring plenty of water and good hiking shoes.
This park is only open during the day and every day except Christmas. The closest campsites are in Flagstaff, about 10 miles away.