We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Is this doable in a day?

Level Contributor
111 posts
1 review
Save Topic
Is this doable in a day?

We're staying in Flagstaff with family. We have 3 kids ages 9, 15, & 17. I'm wondering if this is doable in a day.

Be at Walnut Canyon at 8am. Island trail and rim trail.

Drive to Waupatki for Wapathi Pueblo Trail.

Drive to Sunset Crater for lava flow trail.

If we limit our time in the visitor center to 30 minutes each for the displays what time will we be leaving Sunset Crater do you think, I'm estimating it would be @ 3:00 or is that way off? Are we missing anything at these places if we do these trails and the visitor center, that's all I found to do on the website?

The big question is would this leave us time to go to the Cameron Trading post for dinner and shopping then on to Page to spend the night getting there before dark?

All comments on this itinerary welcome along with any other information or suggestions for what to include/not include on this day.

Thank you, Jen

Marina, California
Destination Expert
for Tucson
Level Contributor
6,371 posts
102 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Is this doable in a day?

When/where do you plan on eating lunch?

I think it's a tad optimistic. You could do it all in one day, but I doubt you'll make Page before dark, especially this time of year (not sure when you're going though). Dinner at Cameron sounds realistic though.

Sunset Crater is actually before Wupatki. Walnut Canyon and Wupatki are both fascinating but they're essentially the same thing (although in completely different settings), especially in the eyes of kids. They may not be interested in exploring the Wupatki Pueblo (kinda the highlight of the monument) after everything else, but there is a really interesting visitor's center there and the staff ranger is usually happy to entertain.

I do hope you plan on spending some time in Downtown Flagstaff. People traveling to the area seem to sort of miss it in a hurry to see the surrounding area, but it's a really beautiful town.

Grand Canyon...
Level Contributor
1,505 posts
Save Reply
2. Re: Is this doable in a day?

Just a slight disagreement - although Walnut Canyon and Wupatki both have ancient indian ruins, the terrain and feel of the areas is quite different. Walnut Canyon is a narrow canyon with a steep trail, while Wupatki is mostly a flat plain - and has two unique features to the area - a ball court like you'd see in Mexico, and a geologic "blow hole" - fun for the kids as it's a small crack in the earth that jets of air come out of.

But yes, from Flag, Sunset Crater is before Wupatki. Both National Monuments are connected by a loop road. You'd enter from US Hwy 89 at the south end and go thru Sunset Crater, then continue through Wupatki, exiting back onto US 89, north of where you started.

You'd just continue north on 89 for Cameron and then Page. But it will definitely be a long day.

Level Contributor
111 posts
1 review
Save Reply
3. Re: Is this doable in a day?

Thanks for the great information. Since we're staying with family I was planning on borrowing a cooler and packing a lunch to eat at whichever park we're at around lunch time. I was thinking since we had to go right past sunset crater on the way back thru we'd start at Wupatki then go back to sunset, but since walnut canyon is so similar it would be better to mix it up and do sunset then wupatki. I didn't realize you didn't have to come back past sunset on the loop road either so that makes more sense.

We're not going til June so sunset won't be too early, maybe between 9-10? Or if it sounds like too much in a day we could do walnut canyon a different day? Or plan on staying to see the sunset at Cameron if it's a good view and the roads aren't too bad to Page for night time driving? I'm at the very beginning of my research/planning so everything is tentative as I learn more about the area.

We'll be staying in Flagstaff for most of our vacation, just thought 1 night in Page to save on travel time so I could possibly fit in Antelope Canyon and a float trip in Glen Canyon.

I've seen pictures of downtown Flagstaff and it's very pretty and I will plan to spend some time there. I read somewhere that there's a hike up the SanFrancisco peak that starts right behind the university but I can't find any other info on it. All the hiking trails I've found talk about Humphrey peak. I hate changing subjects in the same post but since you mentioned it I thought I'd ask what I'm missing here, I must have the wrong idea of what the Sanfrancisco peaks are??

Thanks, Jen

Grand Canyon...
Level Contributor
1,505 posts
Save Reply
4. Re: Is this doable in a day?

"so sunset won't be too early, maybe between 9-10?"

"Or plan on staying to see the sunset at Cameron if it's a good view"

"I read somewhere that there's a hike up the SanFrancisco peak that starts right behind the university but I can't find any other info on it. All the hiking trails I've found talk about Humphrey peak"

Hi Jen,

Arizona doesn't have daylight saving time, so June sunsets are around 7:40-7:50pm.

Not much of a view at Cameron - you go there for the trading post, and restaurant, and it's about the only stopping point with anything between Page and the turn for GCNP south rim's east entrance.

The San Francisco Peaks is the name of the entire range, Mt. Humphreys is the highest. Were the trails you read about on Mt. Agassiz?

This website has info on Wupatki, Sunset Crater, and the peaks: …nau.edu/Places/san_francisco_peaks.htm

Mesa, Arizona
Level Contributor
3,796 posts
27 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Is this doable in a day?

Hi jen

for hiking trails try www.trails.com they have a free 14 day trial and its great also good for many other things like scenic drives ect.

I think those 3 places are doable in a day . Flag to Wupatki is the longest drive and allow a couple(2-3) hours for photos and exploration. Bring a picnic lunch as there are tables out there to sit and eat at.

The Cameron Trading post is a good hour from Flagstaff. As an alternative you might enjoy dinner on your way back from Wupatki at Horsemans Lodge which is just before the Flagstaff Mall on your way back on the right hand side great salad bar and food.

Also when do you plan on doing this trip? That will depend on the amt of daylight you will have.


Level Contributor
173 posts
1 review
Save Reply
6. Re: Is this doable in a day?

I think it is a little ambitious but you could do it.

We drove from Page to Cameron Trading Post and spent approx 2 1/2 hours shopping and lunch. Then on to Wupatki/Sunset Crater. This took about 4 hours total which I really enjoyed. We did both the Pueblo trail and lava trail. We also climbed Doony Mtn and there were a couple of smaller pueblos that you could skip. The loop road that you travel is about 35-40 miles long and the speed limit is 45 mph or less so that takes some time, plus the additional 2 hours highway driving between Flagstaff and Page.

We visited Walnut canyon another day and only spent about 1 1/2 hour because it was raining and the trail closes at 4:00. I enjoyed this also and the setting is very different from Wupatki and very beautiful but your kids might view it as more of the same.

I think it all depends on your kids. If you leave out Walnut Canyon you still have about a 9 hour day. If the kids are exceptionally interested in archeology and won't be burned out and cranky by visiting both sites go for it. I know personally when I was a teen I would have been miserable doing all of this in one day.

7. Re: Is this doable in a day?

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 10:17 am, August 20, 2009