I visited Flagstaff AZ late last spring, and I’m still talking about it. There are so many fun and interesting things to do in and around Flagstaff that a return vacation is definitely in order. The Grand Canyon, one of the best US National Parks, is pretty close by, and Historic Flagstaff (what with Route 66 and all) has a lot of quirky shops and southwestern restaurants. One activity I absolutely want to highlight, though, is a trip to Walnut Canyon National Monument. It’s my favorite of the best things to see and experience around Flagstaff, Arizona.
The loop trail in that video is not strenuous at all to walk around. It’s only about a mile long. There are a bunch of cliff dwellings along the trail (maybe 20 or 30), but Walnut Canyon has even more cliff dwellings that are not accessible via the trail. Those ruins are, in fact, off limits – but plainly visible when looking across the canyon. It’s a fantastic experience to be able to stand in the cliff dwellings along the loop trail. Visitors shouldn’t touch the walls or remove anything, of course, but taking the time to appreciate the stillness of the canyon, looking out from an ancient cliff dwelling, gives a powerful sense of what the days looked like to the Sinagua Indians, so many years ago.
I completely recommend experiencing Walnut Canyon National Monument to anyone vacationing in Northern Arizona. It complements the Grand Canyon National Park so well; green where the Grand Canyon is arid, small where the Grand Canyon is enormous, and completely manageable in one morning. It makes for a memorable travel activity. There are several other historic and interesting sites within a fifteen minutes drive of Flagstaff, but Walnut Canyon is my favorite one.