Walnut Canyon National Monument
Hike down into Walnut Canyon and walk in the footsteps of the people that lived here over 900 years ago. Under limestone overhangs, the Sinagua built their homes. These single story structures, cliff dwellings, were occupied from about 1100 to 1250. Look down into the canyon and imagine the creek running through. Visualize a woman hiking up from the bottom with a pot of water on her back. Imagine the men on the rim farming corn or hunting deer. Think of a cold winter night with your family huddled around the fire... Come out and see millions of years of history unraveled in the geology of the rocks. Listen to the canyon wren and enjoy the turkey vultures soaring above. And if you look closely, you may even see an elk or a javelina. Different lifezones overlap here, mixing species that usually live far apart. In this canyon, desert cacti grow alongside mountain firs. A truly beautiful place to see! And it is a sacred place. The people that lived here moved on to become the modern pueblo people of today. Walnut Canyon is one of their ancestral homes. Travel through quietly and carefully. And please, leave no trace.
Walnut Canyon National Monument is located approximately 7.5 miles (12km) east of Flagstaff. To reach Walnut Canyon from Flagstaff, travel east on Interstate 40 toward Albuquerque. Take Exit 204, and head south. The Walnut Canyon Visitor Center is located at the end of this 3 mile road. Warning: Tight turn-around in parking area for towed vehicles; 40 feet (12 meters) maximum length is recommended.
A note about GPS units: The NPS highly recommends you follow these directions or call the visitor center at (928) 526-3367 and NOT rely on your GPS unit. While GPS units can be very useful in urban environments, they will often lead you astray in trying to reach Walnut Canyon. These units often do not accurately discern paved from unpaved roads, and may lead you into situations that vary from frustrating to dangerous.