Arizona was once home to many tribes and clans of native people. They inhabited primitive dwellings constructed in the steep walls of canyons found around the state. One of the best preserved communities of cliff dwellings is preserved by the National Park Service at Walnut Canyon National Monument, southeast of Flagstaff.
Walnut Canyon National Monument quick facts:
- Alive with ancestral activity between the years of 600 and 1400 A.D.
- Archeologists labeled this prehistoric culture Sinagua, a Spanish term for “mountains without water”
- Ancestral people farmed the canyon rims for centuries, growing corn, squash, and beans
- During the 1100s, many moved into limestone alcoves below the canyon rim, where they constructed the cliff dwellings we see today
- The community thrived for another 150 years before the people moved on
- Today, visitors can walk through about 25 dwellings situated along a well marked one-mile trail
- Ranger programs are offered daily at either 10 a.m. or 2 p.m. as long as staffing is available
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Video: See Walnut Canyon cliff dwelling ruins up close
There are so many cool things to see in Arizona and Walnut Canyon National Monument has been on my AZ Bucket List for a while. I’m glad I checked it out and I think you’ll like it, too.
Ready to see the dwellings of Walnut Canyon for yourself? Tap the map↓