Walnut Canyon – Unique Arizona Travel Activity

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.

Walnut Canyon National Monument

9 Comments on "Walnut Canyon – Unique Arizona Travel Activity"

  1. Thanks for sharing your experiences Nancy! Walnut Canyon National Monument is a very worthwhile and easy stop for just about anyone on their Grand Canyon vacation.

    Have a good one ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. I love visiting Arizona. It’s just so different from Minnesota where I’m from. The desert fascinates me, and I’m so taken with all of the canyon’s and rocky cliffs everywhere.

    Also, I’m just kind of dorky about National and State parks in general:)

    Very cool video!

  3. Very nice! A great area – as a Phoenix Resident I relish the periodic opportunities that arise to make a day trip up along the rim/to the Flagstaff area. Nice work on the video.

  4. A few years back we took our then seven-month old boy to Arizona for 10 days. We spent much of our time in southern Arizona – Tucson, Bisbee, Sonoita – but then we headed to Sedona for a few nights. Instead of hauling it to the Grand Canyon, which we’ll save for another trip, we visited Walnut Canyon, Montezuma Castle, and Wupatki, as well as Flagstaff. Walnut and Montezuma were cool, but Wupakti was actually our favorite – with the trails through the old volcanoes, the distant views of the painted desert, and the impressive and desolate Pueblo ruins.

  5. Caitlin @ Roaming Tales | January 27, 2010 at 12:08 pm | Reply

    Love the video and the fact you are highlighting a less well known site. There are so many great parks out there and yet a few well known ones get all of the visitors.

  6. Walnut Canyon has always been one of my family’s favorites, too. Our boys loved it when they were young, I think because it is so easy to imagine being one of the Sinagua who lived there.

  7. Thanks for sharing this — I live in Vegas, and love to visit northern AZ / Southern UT as often as possible. Have been through Flagstaff a number of times, but hadn’t noticed this park on the map before. Appreciate the tip – there’s always so much to do and see on any visit to the area, but someday we’ll check this one out.

  8. Hey great articles. We’ll be moving to Arizona soon. I did some research and there are a lot of places to visit. I guess you just need to know where to go. I already signed up with a lot of hiking groups and hope to really do a lot of hiking.

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