Monday, July 8, 2019

Walnut Canyon National Monument, Flagstaff

Walnut Canyon National Monument just out of Flagstaff, Arizona, is a very cool complex of Native American cliff dwellings you can hike down to or view from the rim of the canyon.  The interpretive signs are particularly good, focusing on the daily life of the people who lived here.

Not everyone is prepared for the stairs that go down 185 vertical feet into the canyon.  Well...most people are okay with the going down.  Just remember you'll have to go up.  It's at nearly 7000 feet of elevation, so the air may be a little thinner than you're used to.  Take water.

From partway down the stairs of the Island Trail.  Observe some of the many dwelling scattered along the canyon walls:

From the Island Trail:

How it might have looked back in the day:

One of the things I found very interesting was the difference between the vegetation on the north-facing side of the "island" and the south-facing side.

Up on the rim of the canyon, you can take the easy and pretty Rim Trail.  And if you go at the right time, you might see something like this prickly pear flower (picture taken June 22):

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