- Here, past meets present. Pueblos and cliff dwellings so well preserved it's hard to believe their builders moved on 700 years ago. Amid lava and cinder one can imagine a landscape still hot to the touch. Welcome to the Flagstaff Area National Monuments!
Copyright: - US National Park Service
Walnut Canyon National Monument
There is something for every one: prehistoric cliff dwellings at Walnut Canyon, the mountain scenery and geology of Sunset Crater Volcano, and the painted desert landscape and masonry pueblos of Wupatki National Monument.
Arizona does not observe daylight savings. You are on Mountain Standard Time. Leave Flagstaff with a full tank of gas and food as there are no services at the monuments.
Recreation - Backcountry hiking is not allowed in order to protect fragile archaeological sites. Hike one of our two trails or stop and take in a program given by park rangers. The Island Trail descends 185 feet (56 meters) in to the canyon providing access to 25 cliff dwelling rooms. A strenuous 9/10 of a mile (1.4 km) round trip, it is one of the best ways to experience the park. Climbing the 240 steps back up can tax heart and lungs. Trail closes at 4 p.m. daily, 5 p.m. June, July, and August. A fairly level 3/4 mile (1.2 km) Rim Trail provides canyon views and access to other ruins.
Allow at least 2 hours to see the museum, hike down to the ruins (trail closes at 4 p.m.), and to walk the Rim Trail. There are several picnic areas but no food or services in the monument. No camping. U.S. Forest Service and private campgrounds are located in and around Flagstaff.
The fee is $3 per person, children 16 and younger are admitted free of charge. Golden Eagle, Golden Age, and Golden Access Passports are accepted. Commercial tour fees are charged according to vehicle capacity: 1-6: $30, 7-25: $45, 26 or more: $100.
Climate - Be prepared for abrupt weather changes in any season. Expect windy conditions most of the year. Spring is usually mild but heavy snowfall can occur. Summer days are warm with temperatures in the eighties. Afternoon thunderstorms likely July to September. Winter days can be cold, snow and ice can cause temporary closure of the Island Trail.
Leave I-40 at Exit 204, 7.5 miles (12 km) east of Flagstaff; drive south 3 miles (5 km) to the canyon rim. Warning: Tight turn around for towed vehicles; 40 feet (12 meters) maximum length advisory.