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“Scenic and Educational-just off I-40”

Walnut Canyon National Monument
Ranked #1 of 112 things to do in Flagstaff
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: See millions of years of history unraveled in the geology of the rocks at this popular scenic and historic hiking area, once populated by the Sinagua Indians.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Activities for young children
Reviewed January 13, 2014

Located on a paved road just off I-40 about 7.5 miles east of Flagstaff, AZ is Walnut Canyon National Monument with its cliff dwelling community dating back about 800 years or more. It is amazing to think the Sinagua people lived here year round (elevation of visitor center is almost 7000 feet) in the 20 mile long canyon with its 400 foot cliffs. Plant life zones are like those traveling from Mexico to Canada including ponderosa pine forest, pinyon/juniper woodland, upper Sonoran desert, mixed conifer forest and riparian bottom lands.

I visited after a major winter storm with several inches of newly fallen snow. I did not try taking the Island Trail with its 240 steps, but did take the .7 mile self-guiding Rim Trail to the pueblo and pit house ruins. The trail is paved, wheelchair accessible (even in Winter), and the signs detailing plant and wildlife are readable.

The visitor center has two manual lifts inside (staff will operate them ) for guests who have trouble with stairs. A filmstrip with much information is a good place to start your visit. There are also numerous exhibits-some interactive-, a bookstore, and an observation deck overlooking the dwellings in the visitor center. Outside are the two trails mentioned and a picnic area. No food is sold at the monument (closest restaurants are back in Flagstaff), so bring your own lunch if you plan to picnic.

Admission is $5.00 per person except children who are free. National Park passes are accepted making admission free. Monument is open year round with extended hours May-October. Winter has its own beauty and I was fortunate enough to see a deer along side the road. I found this National Monument well worth a stop.

4  Thank Joan W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"the cliff"
in 330 reviews
"island trail"
in 193 reviews
"cave dwellings"
in 58 reviews
"take your time"
in 104 reviews
"visitor center"
in 154 reviews
"mesa verde"
in 54 reviews
"bring water"
in 67 reviews
"national monument"
in 91 reviews
"native americans"
in 69 reviews
"well worth the effort"
in 21 reviews
"great hike"
in 40 reviews
"afraid of heights"
in 21 reviews
"short hike"
in 28 reviews
"indian ruins"
in 29 reviews
"flagstaff area"
in 43 reviews
"easy hike"
in 21 reviews
"beautiful scenery"
in 23 reviews
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1,500 - 1,504 of 2,124 reviews

Reviewed January 7, 2014

The hiking trail down to the canyon dwellings was closed due to snow and ice, but the rim loop trail was open, with beautiful views. Amazing geology.

Thank Fhorn2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 4, 2014

There are definitely quite a few steps and inclines, but the place truly is fascinating! To see how the Indians lived live in spaces on the sides of a canyon was a very impressive thought-provoking trip back through time.

Thank vinniedog20
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 3, 2014 via mobile

Short review- if you are going to have your 4-legged companion(s) and want them on the trail with you, this is not the trail....unless you leave them in the car :(
Did not visit due to this circumstance!

4  Thank Melissankym
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed December 30, 2013

We got there when it opened at 9 am. Left at 1030, did both the canyon trail and the rim trail. Don't be put off by all the steps going down and back up on the canyon trail. We are in our late 50s and did just fine. We took a lot of pics and being able to see inside some of the rooms was very impressive. The rim trail was nice and easy with 2 over views. A great place to visit if you are in the area.

Thank nriemen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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